Get Your Green Dream Job
Between 1998 and 2007, the green economy grew three times faster than the rest of the economy in the same period. Most of the job growth occurred in the renewable energy sector. Even during the recent recession, Brookings found that the clean economy outperformed the nation. Buffered somewhat through the recession and enjoying higher salaries, those working in the green economy have a bright future.
Do you have a passion for environmental issues? Do you want to be a part of the growing green economy but don’t know where to start? Here are some tips for getting a green job:
- Assess your skills. What are you good at? What do you have training in? Sustainability is beginning to permeate every industry, meaning that you might not have to shift gears so drastically to get the job you want. If you work in fundraising, perhaps you can apply your expertise to an environmental organization, for example. Working in the building trades? Get LEED certified or trained to install solar panels or conduct energy retrofits.
- Surf the job search sites. There are lots of great websites devoted solely to green job opportunities. Check out Idealist, Grist’s Green Jobs Board, Orion Grassroots Job Source, Treehugger jobs, GreenJobs.com, EcoEmploy, Renewable Energy World, and sustainablebusiness.com. Most large private, government and nonprofit organizations also let you sign up for job alerts when new positions are posted through RSS feeds or email. Interested in working for an environmental or conservation nonprofit? Many of EarthShare’s member organizations offer career opportunities on their websites.
- Go social. Social media can be a great way to follow news about the green economy and find job opportunities. If you’re on Twitter, follow @GristJobs, @EnvironmentJob_, and @greenerjobs for job alerts and @EDFbiz, @GreenBiz and @GuardianSustBiz for information on the green economy. And follow EarthShare’s Pinterest board for news and infographics about sustainability in the office.
- Network. Face-to-face connections are usually much more effective than electronic communication. Set up informational interviews with people in the field you’d like to work in and get a sense of the job market and skills required. Visit conferences that draw together professionals in your industry and start schmoozing! Some relevant annual conferences include Good Jobs, Green Jobs; RETECH and Greenbuild. CSRwire maintains a calendar of sustainability-focused events—find one in your area.
- Do a green retrofit on your existing job. Don’t find it feasible to jump ship in a tough economy? Virtually any employee can push for sustainable changes in their existing organizations. Try joining or starting a green team to share ideas with colleagues and build will for solutions at your company.
Get Started Green: Choosing Eco Employment, Earth911.com
5 Hot Green Jobs Available Today, National Geographic
Green Business Network, Green America*
California Green Jobs Guidebook, Environmental Defense Fund*
Texas Green Jobs Guidebook, Environmental Defense Fund*
Greening Business, EarthShare*
* EarthShare member organization