So you want a job in the environmental/sustainability/climate change field? Check out the following extensive resource list created by the attendees of the “Career Opportunities in the Climate Movement” panel at Powershift 2009: Juan Reynosa, Allison Rogers, and Jared Duval. This list is being updated as new resources become available. If you know of a website that should be posted here, email us.
Tufts Office of Sustainability is looking for volunteers (or those able to secure grant funding) to help with the following activities:
- Hosting an ‘eco’ themed radio segment on wmfo, Tufts campus radio station (during the school year)
- Sustainability-themed short videos (topics flexible)
If you are interested in any of these activities please email Tina Woolston.
For current job openings, see:
Tufts Institute of the Environment job and internship listings
- Sign up for their bulletin, which quite frequently lists sustainability positions in universities across the country
Green Collar.org: industry information, resource materials, and an interactive job board
Green Jobs (another one)
Sustainable Business (under Green Dream Jobs)
- Search job sites, company career pages and associations for sustainability jobs
DC – EcoWomen
- This is a monthly EcoHour event in DC for women, usually with a guest speaker. It is a great place to exchange information and look for jobs (jobs are often announced), to share your resume, and to make connections.
International – Green Drinks
- A monthly gathering in cities across the world; it is another great setting to exchange information, make contacts, and network to find a potential job or to recruit
Weatherization Training Program
Green Collar.org Educational Offerings
- Offers training and resources for jobs in the wind, solar and environmental arena.
Power Pathway Program in CA
Wind Training Program in NM
Chicago Organic Gardening, Non-profit Business
- Mid-Massachusetts Hub for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
- Apply to be a youth delegate at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development; or participate in the Citizen Science Competition
Washington, DC Internships
Summer program on renewable energy at University of Hawaii-Maui Community College
Earth Day Network – Green Schools
- Rankings for environmentally- and socially-conscious MBAs
Golisano Institute for Sustainability (Rochester Institute of Technology)
ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) Scholarships page:
Electrical Women’s Round Table, Inc. Fellowships in Electrical Energy
Me to We (Volunteer trips abroad)
The Otesha Project (Canada)
The Complete Guide to Landing a Green Job – free website with resources for job seekers
Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed
by Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman, Michael Patton
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas
by David Bornstein
The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom
Working Across Generations: Defining the Future of Nonprofit Leadership
by Frances Kunreuther, Helen Kim, Robby Rodriguez
The Tipping Point
by Malcolm Gladwell
The ECO Guide to Careers that Make a Difference: Environmental Work For A Sustainable World
by Environmental Careers Organization, Contributor Kevin Doyle
The Complete Guide to Environmental Careers in the 21st Century
by the Environmental Careers Organization
Great Jobs for Environmental Studies Majors
by Julie DeGalan
Careers in the Environment
by Mike Fasulo and Paul Walker
Green Jobs: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Employment
by A. Bronwyn Llewellyn
75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference
by PH. D. Glenn Croston
Million Dollar Consulting: The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice
by Alan Weiss (check out Alan’s many other guides and resources for how to start out as a consultant and other advice here: http://www.summitconsulting.com/)
Delaying the Real World: A Twentysomething’s Guide to Seeking Adventure
by Colleen Kinder
Women For Hire: The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Job
by Tory Johnson, Robyn Freedman Spizman, and Lindsey Pollak
- They also have a website
How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work: Seven Languages of Transformation
by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R. Covey
Guide to Career Education- Green Jobs- Green career resources for students and professionals
Tapping into Your Office of Career Services:
As Tracy Himmel Isham, a career counselor at Middlebury brought up during the end of the Powershift workshop session, we all agree you should reach out to your Office of Career Services. Go to them for advice; take advantage of their resume review; think of them as consultants who are really valuable to your preparation for your next professional step. Once you’re out of college, these types of services will be worth big bucks, so take advantage of it while you can! (If you’re an alum, reach out to see if they can help you as an alum too!) Your counselors may or may not be aware of the environmental careers area and the growing area of sustainability managers positions out there, and we imagine they might just be learning from you! However, all of the basics – how to strengthen your resume, how to prepare for an interview, how to present your best self for a job interview – will be great areas they can help you on regardless. Tufts Office of Career Services.
Get an Internship with the Organization/ In the Field You are Interested
Landing a job straight out of college is next to impossible if a) you don’t have prior experience with the organization or b) you don’t have a contact in the organization. Internships (either over the summer or over winter break, if you have January off) are often a great way to get a feel for the work and make impressions/connections that could lead to a job. Even if the internship is unpaid, you can find sources of support through your college (many provide fellowships for students to pursue research or volunteer work over the summer) or through winning scholarships.
Know Your Audience/Interviewer
Speaking of interviews, prepare, prepare, prepare! Always know the organization you are applying to or speaking with. Definitely do your research ahead of time – look at the bio of the person you’re speaking with, review the “About Us” and review their website thoroughly, know who you’re talking to and what their organization’s values and mission include.
Speaking of interviews again, do mock interviews! These are a huge help, whether you practice with a group of friends, or you practice with a group of community leaders/business leaders/professionals who you may not know as well to help set the tone and make it feel like a real interview. Especially in preparation for prestigious fellowships or a big job opportunity, be sure to practice in an interview setting. See if your Office of Career Services will help you with videotaping a mock interview, and to help you review your videotape together to talk about what you can do to improve your overall presence and presentation skills.
Go right to the source
While we’ve listed a starting list of websites to find job postings above, try to go right to the source itself. If you’re hoping to be a university sustainability manager, go directly to university websites (for example, http://jobs.harvard.edu/jobs/search_req) to try to find jobs related to your area of interest at the specific university … or, better yet, right to the department’s individual website. Do the same for companies, nonprofits, consulting firms, etc., as organizations don’t always post their jobs widely.
Don’t See It Listed? Contact Them!
Just because you don’t see a job listed doesn’t mean it’s not out there and/or it doesn’t mean the job can’t be created. Be polite yet aggressive if it’s appropriate – reach out to staff at the department/organization you want to work at, and find ways to get your foot in the door, perhaps through an informational interview, meeting the staff in another way, asking to intern if possible, or straight out ask them what their job openings might look like while expressing your interest. Often jobs in some organizations are never posted (anywhere!), and you’ll never know what openings are there without asking. (While this is good advice, please don’t use it with our office here at Tufts, unless you’re a current student!)
Still Not Listed? Propose It!
As someone interested in the climate movement as a career path, you are in an incredible and powerful position right now. Green jobs are exploding across the country (and will continue to grow throughout these upcoming years!), and our country is in need of people who have an understanding of sustainability and organizational change. You should feel empowered to pitch to a company/university/organization why they should create the type of job you’re interested in and there are many ways to go about this. For example, perhaps you pitch to them the cost savings aspect – by creating a FTE (full-time employee position) for a sustainability manager position, perhaps they’ll be saving 10% of their electricity bill (which might equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars!) simply by having someone on staff focusing on educating their employees. There are many creative ways to go about this and to pitch the value you’d bring to their organization, both in substance and in savings. (Just be ready for rejection – that’s okay too).
Consider consulting – there are and will continue to be many organizations who will need help addressing their energy savings goals and carbon emissions reductions programs over the next couple of decades. Becoming a self-employed consultant is one way to go about doing the great work you want to do, while also staying employed and working in various organizations. There’s lots to consider going this route (self-employment taxes, how to market your services, how to grow your business, etc.), so make sure you are taking advantage of as many resources as possible while considering this as a possibility. Also consider partnering with other new “consulting” type organizations out there while you are first learning the ropes about being an eco-consultant (ie, www.eco-coach.com).
This is only a starting list of resources we have created for you … There are so many other incredible opportunities out there! Keep in mind they don’t all have to be environmentally-focused to be a great resource for you for the amazing climate-focused work you’re doing. For example, consider entering a student business competition (ie, http://www.hbs.edu/entrepreneurship/bplan/) to help fund your fantastic business plan for your incredible enviro entrepreneur idea; consider entering design competitions (ie, http://www.advancedenergy.org/sbdc/) to show off your awesome smart growth ideas while also winning funding; consider going down avenues you may never have thought twice about (one student received over $12,000 in scholarship money for grad school from the Miss America Organization, http://missamerica.org/… you could too (well, if you’re a woman!)); reach out to your campus and community public service organizations who may be aware of public service-oriented fellowships, scholarships, and post-graduation opportunities, as those will most likely be a great fit regardless of the specific area you’re interested in.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
“In 1974 I would walk by people dying from famine to my economics class at the university… And I said: ‘What is this? I felt completely empty’…The theories I was teaching were useless for these dying people. I realized I could help people as a human being, not as an economist. So I decided to become a basic human being…I no longer carried any pre-conceived notions.”
“Good work finds the way between pride and despair.
It graces with health. It heals with grace.
It preserves the given so that it remains a gift
By it, we lose loneliness:
we clasp the hands of those who go before us, and the hands of those who come after us;
we enter the little circle of each other’s arms,
and the larger circle of lovers whose hands are joined in a dance, and the larger circle of all creatures, passing in and out of life, who move also in a dance, to a music so subtle and vast that no ear hears it except in fragments.”
“Problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them.”
George Bernard Shaw
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last create what you will.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
African Proverb, quoted by Al Gore
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
“One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”
(From Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967)
Henry David Thoreau
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
About Powershift 2009