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Green Jobs


Enda Goodwin
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The future is green, and green is a potential area of high opportunity for you as a jobseeker. 

According to a report by the United Nations, millions of “green jobs” are likely to be created around the world over the coming decades because of trends in the emerging global “green economy.”  And here in the United States, there’s a clear and growing movement toward more environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices, both on the job and at home.  These trends have implications for the qualified and motivated jobseeker.

Both “green industries” (e.g., renewable energy, or the companies that serve these industries), or companies that embrace “green principles” as part of their business model, are on the increase. 

Finding a green job

Green jobs can be found in every area of the workplace and economy today.  They can include:

  • Jobs at every level of skill and experience in green industries or green companies;
  • Jobs at every level of skill and experience in organizations not in a green industry, but with a commitment to “being green;”
  • Opportunities for “ecopreneurs,” i.e., people starting a green model business in this developing economy.

Searching for a green job is not unlike searching for any other job, and includes the standard components of research, personal marketing, networking, interviewing, and negotiating.  An effective approach to a green job search will use the blended Internet-Milestones resources here on CRN, with a special emphasis on three “uniquely green” areas:

  1. Understanding the Green Job Market: The green job market is burgeoning, with U. S. estimates as high as five million new jobs over the next 20 years.  But what are they, where are they, and are you qualified?  This is where good research comes into play.  You may want to take a look at the information contained on green job resources.  And, listen to the Finding a Green Job podcast.
     
  2. Skills Transfer: You will want to conduct a more thorough personal skills inventory and assessment to determine how to transfer and apply current non-green skills to green industry language and usage.  If you do not have green credentials, you must figure out how to leverage your current background to make yourself attractive.  Review Milestone 2, Determine Your Professional Objective, especially the material on Skills, Accomplishments, and Transferrable Skills Inventory. 
     
  3. Interview Skills: Getting a green job may require that you sharpen and focus your interview skills in areas important to the targeted industry and company.  Many green job opportunities require not just green knowledge, but green commitment.  Strategies and tips for Interviewing for a Green Job. To ace any interview, you need to stand out from other candidates, and that means demonstrating knowledge of the industry, company, and issues.  In the green arena, you need to demonstrate both green know-how and commitment.  Call it green passion if you like. Do you have it?  Can you demonstrate it?  

Green jobs resources

You may already be thoroughly knowledgeable about the green economy and the career opportunities represented there.  But if you are not, take heart, as the information is out there and available with minimal digging. 

Industry Size and General Trends

  • The United Nations has issued Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World. This valuable information is downloadable and free of charge.  The report states that “millions of new ‘green jobs’ are likely to be created in coming decades as a result of the impact of the emerging global "green economy".  This is good place to start on researching the total green opportunity and identifying many of its component industry parts. 
  • Closer to home, a report sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and researched by Duke University identifies businesses with strong potential growth in the sector. The EDF also sponsored a study with Frost & Sullivan to detail the green energy economy.  The EDF has a useful site, with many new subjects and discussions appearing regularly. 

Information on Employers

  • Gathering information about employers is an essential part of job search, including green job search, as the more you know about potential employers, the shorter your search, as you’ll be able to demonstrate to the interviewer that you’ve done your homework. In addition, if you want to target environmentally friendly companies, you’ll want to add the ten top environmentally friendly companies (what Fortune calls The Green Giants) to your marketing plan.

Green Blogs

Additional Green Links

  • A very complete list of additional resources and links (of virtually every kind and description) on the global environment can be found at the WWW Virtual Library.  This site is more-or-less a clearing house and a compendium of environmental sites.  Scanning through what’s available there is worth your time.
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