Carol is author of the new book, Green Careers for Dummies. Today she's "appearing" here in The Job Lounge as the first stop on her Virtual Book Tour. While she's here, she'll:
- Answer questions left by readers (as comments to this post).
- Give away a signed copy of her book to the person who asks the best question by the end of Monday, March 15th.
- Offer a $5 savings on all Green Careers for Dummies books. There's a link on the Blog Tour page for a mail-in rebate.
So, leave your question as a comment after this post, and Carol will respond. Maybe you'll be the lucky winner of Green Careers for Dummies !
Searching for a Green Job
by Carol McClelland
To find a job you must know where to focus your job search efforts, specifically which companies to target. If you are searching for a traditional position, it’s likely you’ll be able to rely on common wisdom to discover which companies in your target industry are located in your geographic region.
If you are searching for a green job, however, the way forward may not be as clear. You may not know, right off the top of your head, which green companies are in your geographic area or which green companies hire people with your skills. Just because you don’t know about these companies doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.
Use these detective strategies to find green companies in your area. As you find green companies, create two lists: one for green companies in general and one for green companies within your target industry.
- Watch your local media – regional papers, local papers, and business journals – for articles about companies making efforts to green their business practices or green start up companies receiving funding.
- Keep an eye out for upcoming Earth Day events and green festivals. In addition to attending these events to meet others who share your interests and values, pay attention to which companies are sponsoring and exhibiting at these events. Research them before the event so that you are ready to take advantage of opportunities to talk with them if you meet them in person.
- Scan green job boards. Although job boards only advertise a fraction of existing job openings, job boards can be used as a valuable research tool. By reading job postings you can gain a deeper understanding of what job titles exist, what skills are required, and which companies are in a hiring mode. Take what you learn to target the companies in your area that you want to research.
- Know the associations that support your target green industry. Professional, trade, and industry associations are a treasure trove of information. On the national associations’ Web sites, search for information about regional associations for your area. In addition to getting up-to-date information about the status of your industry or profession and training requirements, you can often find lists of company members you can use to build your lists.
- Follow the money. Stimulus money, venture capital, and investments by large multi-national companies are flowing. The question is where is the money landing in your region?
A. Enter your zip code in the Recovery.gov map to find out what companies/projects have gotten funding through the stimulus package. Keep watching this site; new grants, contracts, and loans are being announced and distributed on a regular basis and will continue through 2012.
B. Do a search on venture capitalists in your area. What companies are they funding? Although start up companies may take a while to reach the point where they are hiring, knowing which companies are growing will help you focus your networking and job search efforts.
C. Make note of any green rebates, tax credits, or financing programs in your area. When these programs start they generally create demand for new services, which can stimulate job growth in your area.
- Search for companies online. Combine search terms for your target green industry with your region (i.e. “solar companies” + “your region”) to pull up a list of green companies on your search engine. (Replace solar with your target green industry.) Explore the results to see what companies you want to add to your list.
As you begin to target specific green companies, set up Google alerts to get news updates on your target companies. Knowing about media mentions and press releases will alert you to what’s happening within the company. Although some of the news may not seem relevant to you personally, stick with it. Sometimes corporate level news will give you an insight into the direction the company is taking, a change in management, the addition of a new green initiative or division, or news that the company is landing more contracts.
Having this level of information will help you in your networking conversations, in your interviews, and later as an employee.
Carol McClelland, PhD, is the author of Green Careers For Dummies and the Founder and Executive Director of Green Career Central, a full-service online resource center dedicated to providing career guidance, coaching, and resources to clarify the ever-evolving world of green career possibilities for professionals, students, and career counselors.
Carol will be stopping by The Job Lounge throughout the day on March 15th to answer your questions. Leave a comment and she'll respond!