Creating a career path in climate can be both rewarding and challenging. With a growing emphasis on sustainability and environmental awareness, roles across many industries are becoming climate-related and are increasingly sought after. While we believe that all jobs have the potential to be a ‘climate job’, this guide will take you through three key steps to enhance your chances of getting a job in climate.
If you’re already employed, but it’s not in a climate-specific job, it’s important that you get clear on whether you’re intending to work in a similar job at a climate-focused organisation or whether you’re looking for a new type of role completely.
All sorts of work is required in climate tech companies or climate-oriented organisations. For example, marketers, accountants, lawyers, copywriters and graphic designers are all needed to help climate-focused organisations focus and grow. You may be able to get a new role at a climate tech company, not-for-profit or within a sustainability team in government or industry. If you’re already employed, it may even be possible to shift within your current organisation to work on more climate-specific projects.
If you’ve decided to embark on a new career path, it can help to make a list of all of your skills, experiences and recent achievements. Not only will this remind you of your past successes, it can also help you to update your LinkedIn profile and CV. You can then use this list to pinpoint what skills can be transferred and valuable to other roles or industries.
If you’re not sure what role you’d like to take on next, just that it’s climate-related, it’s time to start exploring! Research the requirements, responsibilities and growth opportunities associated with any interesting roles. You can explore potential pathways via job boards and LinkedIn, as well as talking to people who have made similar transitions.
Once you’re clear on where you’d like to head next, it’s time to put yourself out there. Developing relationships with people already in the field you’d like to work in or connecting with those you know have made a transition from your current industry can be a good way to make inroads to your next job.
Research shows that it’s our ‘weak connections’ that are most likely to help us to find new job opportunities. That means, not our closest friends, colleagues and family members but rather those who are at an arm’s length. This makes sense. They’re likely to have a little bit of crossover but also have access to a range of people and opportunities that are beyond your current realm. So be prepared to pay for coffee. Book in time with former colleagues, study buddies and professional associates. Hear what they’re up to and explain where you’re planning to go next. How can you help each other?
Another way to put yourself out there is to attend climate-related or industry conferences, workshops, job fairs or other events. Most of us feel awkward when we strike up conversations at a networking event, particularly with a stranger. If the idea of networking makes you sweaty-palmed, plan a few conversation starters - and finishers - before you attend.
Finally, use LinkedIn to your advantage. Tidy up your profile to reflect your skills and experiences and demonstrate how they’re relevant to the climate sector. Develop a personal pitch that communicates your passion and expertise in this field. You can also use the QR code function on LinkedIn when at your next networking event. Connect with the people you meet at networking events or conferences via LinkedIn and make sure to send them a personal invite note so that your message invite stands out.
You’ve already got great skills and experiences. What do you need to be able to transfer them to a job in climate? Again, this will depend on whether you’re moving to a similar position in one organisation, to another in a more climate-focused one, or whether you’re starting a new career path entirely.
Either way, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go and enrol in a Masters degree. Although don’t let us stop you! Gaining the necessary skills and qualifications for your desired role is important but in many instances, particularly if you’ve got significant training and experience already, you may be able to fill any knowledge gaps through online courses or attending workshops to further your knowledge in relevant areas without having to obtain a new qualification.
There are plenty of books, podcasts, professional short courses and LinkedIn training programs out there that you can develop your own climate curriculum.
Securing a job in the climate sector requires clarity, networking and upskilling. By focusing on these areas, you can increase your chances of finding a role that aligns with your career goals and passion for the environment. Remember, perseverance is key in any job hunt, so don't be discouraged if success doesn't come immediately. Stay focused, keep learning, and continue to put yourself out there. All the best!
Need support in Navigating Self-Doubt in Climate Jobs?
Check out our climate jobs board here.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko