by Leonard Adler Green Jobs Network
This series on Green Jobs has highlighted many of the issues and opportunities in the green jobs sector. I run Green Jobs Network (GJN), a social enterprise dedicated to connecting people seeking jobs that focus on environmental or social responsibility with jobs and career resources. GJN arose from my personal experience as a job seeker, where I discovered that there was a need for more resources and support for people interested in finding jobs consistent with their values.
If you are searching for a job in this sector today there are two key themes I’d encourage you to keep in mind:
- Be realistic: While the economy is no longer officially in a recession, it is still weak and jobs aren’t as plentiful as we all want.
- Be optimistic: The green jobs sector has experienced strong growth and is projected to continue to do so (for example, see the recently-released Solar Jobs Census).
In addition, here are five tips to assist you in your search:
- Review online job boards. Green jobs are posted regularly on general-purpose job boards and job boards that are specific to the green economy or a sub-sector of it (such as Careers in Wind from the American Wind Energy Association). You can find a list of relevant job boards here.
- Network. It is often cited that many people find jobs via their connections. Examples of ways that green job seekers can expand their network include attending networking events organized by groups such as EcoTuesday and Green Drinks or by participating in the local chapter of a national organization such as Net Impact or the American Solar Energy Society.
- Network (the online version). Websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can serve as platforms for online networking as well as locating job postings. For example, GJN runs a 20,000-member group on LinkedIn in which members ask questions, share information, and post jobs.
- Attend events. A number of different types of events can be relevant for green job seekers. First, there are an increasing number of green job fairs and green career programs taking place across the country. For example, a Virginia Green Jobs Fair recently took place in Richmond and a Green Building Job Fair will be taking place in Chicago in November (a calendar containing these and related events is available here). Second, there are panel programs, conferences, and expos that focus on various aspects of the green economy. Attending these events can provide numerous benefits such as increasing your knowledge of topics relevant for your career and meeting representatives from organizations in the green economy — some of which may be hiring (for example, the upcoming Green Festival in Washington, DC and San Francisco will feature hundreds of exhibitors).
- Follow the money. There continues to be private and public sector investment in existing and new enterprises in the green sector. The recipients of these investments can serve as sources of current (and future) job opportunities. A list of news sources that track these funding developments is available here.
Feel free to add your own job search tips in the comments below. You can also find more tips and resources for your job search on GJN’s Green Collar Blog.