As an affiliate of www.greencareercentral.com, I'm pleased to showcase an article by Carol McClelland, author of the newly published Green Careers for Dummies - a comprehensive new guide that explores everything about finding or making your way in the exciting and growing green career world.
Leverage Your Executive Experience to Launch Your Green Career
A variety of signs tell us that the green/clean/sustainable economy is taking hold. Some are calling this a transition into the Third Industrial Revolution or the Climate/Energy Economy. The key is to realize that this new emerging economy is going to change the way we do business in a number of significant ways. As I researched Green Careers For Dummies, I found evidence that over 50 industries are making a concerted effort to make their business practices greener, cleaner, and more sustainable. Executives are playing, and will continue to play, a critical role in the unfolding green economy. To find your place in this new economy, think about where your existing skills, expertise, and experience fit in this rapidly evolving economy. Use these questions to think about your options.
- Have you had previous work experience in an industry that is now going green? If so you can leverage what you know about the industry and package yourself as an indispensable expert to companies working in this industry.
- Is there an analogous industry you could transition into easily? If you don’t have direct experience within the green industry of your choice, explore your background to see if you have experience in an industry that is similar in some way. Perhaps you worked with a similar regulatory environment, with a similar manufacturing process, or with a similar target market. It’s possible your experience in a similar industry can give you a unique background you can use to establish a competitive advantage.
- Do you have a function that could be applied in a green industry? Although
many of the green jobs mentioned in the mainstream media are trade
oriented or very scientific in nature, a wide variety of executives are
going to be needed to move the new economy forward successfully.
Executives are needed in a wide range of companies from small start ups,
non-profits, mid-sized companies, as well as large, multi-national
- Are you an expert at a particular phase of company growth? Have you worked with start up companies in the past? Have you helped fledgling companies establish their presence in a developing market? Have you helped companies navigate a merger with a company or an acquisition of another company? If so, your experiences in business climates such as these are going to be sought after.
Finding Your Executive Position
To work within the green economy you must do your homework. In many ways these steps may feel very familiar to you, but the emerging nature of the green economy changes the game a bit.
- Research and explore your target industry to see exactly where your skills will be an asset. Although you may have common knowledge of traditional industries to know where you can contribute your expertise, it’s unlikely you have this level of knowledge about the emerging green industries. Take some time to conduct online research and do informational interviews with those working in your target field. As your knowledge grows, focus your attention on the areas of the industry where your skills are needed.
- Expand your green network. Who do you know that is committed to moving toward a sustainable world? Connect with these people to understand what’s happening in your local green economy. In addition to talking with your contact about developments in a particular green industry of interest, you’ll also be in touch with these people to learn about potential employment opportunities.
- Increase your knowledge about sustainability topics specific to your green target industry. Understanding the concepts and tactical solutions related to sustainability are critical for your employability. You have a number of options from reading books to taking online courses. Some professional associations offer training opportunities and certificates.
- Demonstrate your values. Some companies are looking for executives and employees who are committed to transforming business as usual to a more sustainable business model. Look for ways you can use your talents and experience in your local area through green teams, non-profits, or professional associations. Then incorporate these experiences into your resume, cover letter, and interview strategy.
Carol McClelland, PhD, author of Green Careers For Dummies, is one of the nation’s leading green career experts. Throughout her career, Carol has helped thousands of people find work that matches their values and interests. In addition to writing Green Careers For Dummies, Carol is the Founder and Executive Director of Green Career Central. This online resource center dedicated to providing career guidance, coaching, and resources to clarify the ever-evolving world of green career possibilities for professionals, students, and career counselors.
Carol is driven by three passions: guiding people to discover fulfilling careers aligned with their values, learning about innovations that enable people to live, work, and play more sustainably, and marveling at the inspiring wisdom of nature.