Eco-Coach

Green your life at home, work & play

So you want a green job? May 17, 2010

There’s a myriad of reasons why people want green jobs.  Some want to help the planet.  Others are looking for a new career.  While others may want to be part of what some experts have called the “next big thing.”

Whatever your reasons, finding a green job is a new type of job hunt.  The traditional methods of uploading your resume to various job boards may work but it often takes much more time to sort through to find green job listings.  Not to worry! Here’s 5 ways to search for and attain your green job:

1. Constantly jumping all over the internet, trying glean the best way to find a green job can be slow going and sometimes frustrating.  If you’re looking for a one stop resource, pick up DC Green Jobs and Careers. This comprehensive guide provides an inside look into the DC green job market and offers concrete local and national resources to help you navigate the emerging green job market. The book can also be downloaded as a PDF.

2.  Online job boards are still valuable tools to find green jobs.  You need to seek out boards that exclusively list green collar jobs.  Often times you may even find tips and a green jobs board within a traditional job search engine like Yahoo.  Another mainstream job board provider, Career Builder, launched a site devoted only to green jobs last year. Check the boards regularly and stay up to date on any new boards that may be useful to you.

3. Networking is an excellent way to learn about unannounced jobs as well as potential careers.  You may know you want a green job but aren’t exactly sure in what capacity.  Utilize LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networking sites you may be a part of to find people in the fields or jobs you’re interested in.  To ease into it, you can simply start with your alumni network at your respective alma mater’s career website.  Once you find a match to your interests, contact him/her for a fifteen minute informational interview to start building your own green network.  You probably won’t get a job right away but networking is all about building relationships.  Your contact may not have a lead now, but may in the future or may know someone who is looking for someone with your profile.  If you’re not already part of social networks, join today!  They can be extremely useful tools for both personal and professional relationship building.  Some green networks: Bright Green Talent, 2People, and care2.

4. Sometimes people find themselves experiencing a “catch 22”, you find a job you want, but it requires experience, but how do you get experience if no one will take you without experience!  This can be frustrating but a good way to move out of this pattern is to volunteer.  Volunteering with an organization that supports a cause you’re passionate about can give you experience, help you learn more about that particular field, and make contacts that may lead to a job.  This is also advisable to those who are trying to transition into a green career.  Idealist and even some of the above mentioned social networks are a great way to find volunteer opportunities.  Or just go to your favorite green organization’s website and contact the staff to see if there are any volunteer positions.  Volunteer positions can range from administrative work to organizing a large scale event or workshop.

5.  Attend job fairs and conferences in your area of interest.  Many cities are starting to host green job fairs.  You just need to keep an eye out for them.  Some sites to check for job fair info include: Green Collar Blog, Green Jobs Spider and Green Jobs Network. One of the best ways to find a green job fair is to subscribe to or regularly check green job websites.  In addition to job fairs, conferences are a treasure chest for job seekers.  Conferences may cost money, but you can often attend for free, if you volunteer some of your time.  At conferences you can learn more about your field, companies in your field, and also make some valuable connections/network.  There are a few ways to find conferences related to your interests.  Check out the web pages of organizations in your field of interest for events.  For example, if you’re interested in solar energy and know about the American Solar Energy Society, you can check its page for conference info.  And if you don’t know about any particular organizations, use your favorite search engine to type in “‘your interest’ conference” and hit search.  Additionally, the various blogs and websites mentioned in this post, may also have events pages to explore.

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