Five Strategies to Launch Your Green Career

It’s your intention to land a green career in 2008, but do you know how to make that happen?

Use the five strategies in this tip to focus and guide your actions. Don’t attempt to do all of these strategies as once. The key is to get a good foundation in one strategy before moving to the next. As you move through each strategy, your knowledge and clarity will build.

1) Identify Your Green Niche

The green economy offers tremendous possibilities. Some are available today while others will unfold over the next months and years.

To find your place in this new universe, your first and most important task is to discover the career that is the best match for your passions, talents, interests, and experiences.

The answer that is right for you is a combination of your interests. Don’t limit yourself by latching onto your first idea or the idea you’ve had for some time. Instead open your mind to all possibilities.

Begin your search for your green niche or refine your understanding of your green niche by creating a list of your favorite skills and interests. Don’t worry at first about how they will all fit together, just keep making your list. Think of each entry as a clue to your green niche.

When you have a list of forty entries, then explore themes and trends to see how your clues fit together. Sometimes your green niche will jump out at you. In other cases you’ll need to play with various combinations to find the one that works best for you.

If you’d like help with this process, we have several resources to help you.

2) Track the Current Events in Your Field/Industry

When you’ve narrowed your focus to your green niche, your next task is to immerse yourself in the field/industry that interests you most. If you are drawn to two industries, track advances in both of them.

Although you’ll want to track changes in the green movement in general, find blogs, news sources, and experts that can give you the full picture of your industry of choice.

If you haven’t defined your niche yet, you can use current events to help you discover the clues to your passions. What industries do you feel drawn to read about? What topics catch your attention? What do you talk about with others?

3) Talk to People in Your Target Field/Industry

Although you can understand a lot about an industry by reading, you’ll gain an even richer sense of what’s happening by talking with people who work in the field.

If you are struggling a bit to figure out whom to talk to, use these ideas to jump start your networking process.

— Attend a green networking event.

— Become active in the green movement in your local area.

— Attend professional meetings.

— Attend a relevant green conference.

— Talk with individuals over coffee, lunch, or a hike.

4) Watch for Opportunities

As you immerse yourself in your target field/industry, you have several goals.

— First, you want to learn enough to understand the various facets of the field/industry.

— Second, you want to identify where your skills, talents, and experience may be an asset.

— Third, you want to find organizations that hire people in your field.

— Fourth, you want to discover problems those organizations are facing. As you identify these problems, assess where you can use your skills to help them turn these situations around. When you can articulate your ability to help the organization meet their goals and reach for their vision, you are on the right track.

5) Be Ready

As you become more familiar with how and where you’ll fit into your target industry, begin putting the pieces together for your job search or your new business. When a live opportunity presents itself, you want to be ready to jump into action.

— If you are planning to launch a job search, you want to work on the best way to articulate the kind of job you are searching for, you want to update your resume, and you want to prepare yourself for future interviews.

— If you are planning to launch your own business, you want to focus on a clear description of your business idea, you want to create a solid business plan, and you want to create a way to market test your idea.

Figure out where you are in this list of strategies and start there. As you get a handle on one strategy, begin making progress on the next strategy. As you gain momentum, you’ll see clarity increase and your foundation strengthen.