Building Your Green Industry Expertise
Looking to the future, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the growing emphasis on "being green" will be increasingly critical – in our homes, in our work and play, in education and industry, and in our governments.
Add to the growing need for "green-ness" the scarcity of experienced experts in the various "green" fields, and we find *OPPORTUNITY* for YOU!
If you are unemployed, you may have more time to use for yourself than you usually do. Put some of that time to good use by learning more about the "green" aspects of whatever you do. Even if you are still employed, it’s time to "sharpen your saw" as Dr. Stephen Covey recommends in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."
[If you haven't read 7 Habits, I highly recommend it! Check your library if you don't feel like you can afford to buy a copy right now or just want to save the paper.]
Increase Your Expertise = Increased Marketability
Becoming more knowledgeable about environmental issues and solutions will make you more marketable by:
- Adding scarce expertise/knowledge to the portfolio of skills you offer an employer
- Widening the window of job opportunities for you
- Increasing your competitiveness in this tough job market
- Showing your initiative
- Putting the "gap" between jobs to good use
- Increasing your network of professional contacts
What Is Happening?
Hundreds, if not thousands, of "green" industry-related skills and specializations are developing – and will develop - over the next 10 years.
- Completely new jobs will be created, akin to "webmaster" and "blogger" which basically didn’t exist 10 – 15 years ago but are quite common now.
- "Old" jobs will have new "green" requirements, akin to "cybercrime investigating" and "online marketing," which are basically new spins on existing pre-Internet professions.
- Many currently existing jobs will require green knowledge and skills in very limited use right now – think of the widespread use of email in right now vs. 10 or 15 years ago!
A quick search on the keyword "green job" through Indeed.com (search box above), a Job-Hunt Sponsor and my favorite job aggregator, turned up over 30,000 jobs today. From green internships and volunteer opportunities with government and non-profit organizations to technician jobs with an energy company and consultant for a waste management company.
How and Where Do I Develop These New Skills?
Start with Job-Hunt’s Green Industry section, and some time searching online.
- Job-Hunt has a very large (nearly 200 listings) Directory of Green Industry Associations which links to associations that offer resources, webinars, articles, and much more (sometimes including job postings from members).
- Consider volunteering for a green association or other green entity to add to your experience and knowledge as well as your network (be careful about working for a company for free, though).
- Go through Job-Hunt's Guide to Green Terminology and Beginners' Green Industry Glossary.
- Check out other online sources for free reports, seminars, webinars, and other training or information relevant to your field and also green. For example, Sightline – a green industry "think tank" for the US Pacific Northwest, great source of information, regardless of your location
If you have the time, energy, and ability to write, consider writing up your research and experiences to share with others in a blog, white paper, or ebook, to build your personal brand in this area. When an industry is relatively young, as the green industry is, you can stand out by having and sharing knowledge. Just make sure that it is accurate and reflects well on you – watch out for typos, spelling, and "facts" that aren’t real.
Whether or not you are employed right now, this is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge and build future job security (as much as anyone has) by becoming more knowledgeable in a small sector of this enormous field. This is your chance to be on the leading edge of your field, and, in the not-too-distant future, the knowledge will probably be a job requirement.
© Copyright, 2011 - 2013, Susan P. Joyce. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
About This Author...
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Susan is a two-time layoff "graduate" who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.