Dan Smolen is the author of the new book, Tailoring the Green Suit: Empowering Yourself for an Executive Career in the New Green Economy.
In 6 Steps to a Green Career in Your Neck of the Woods Carol McClelland provided excellent insight and actionable suggestions towards building a career in the burgeoning “green” space. Today, Dan Smolen addresses a particular segment of the green career area: opportunities for green business executives.
A little background on Dan Smolen
Dan is native of New Haven, Connecticut who graduated from the Ithaca College Park School of Communications in Ithaca, New York. He lives in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Dan describes himself as a global “empowerer” of green business executive talent. He is also the founder of the career development resource, The Green Suits. As a “head hunter”, serial entrepreneur, direct/interactive marketing specialist, environmental and public policy activist, past chairman of a large regional political organization, and author of the popular green business-focused Sturdy Roots Blog, he brings a unique and much-needed perspective to the area of green business executive careers.
Special Offer for Job Loungers
Throughout today, Dan will:
- Answer your questions (as comments to this post).
- Give away a signed copy of Tailoring the Green Suit to the person who asks the best question by the end of today, May 3rd.
- Offer $7 in savings towards the purchase of the hardcover edition. And you can request that Dan autograph it for you, too.
Susan Ireland's Interview with Dan Smolen
Dan, thank you for being with us today in The Job Lounge. And thank you for taking questions from our readers. Let's start with the basics:
Who are the Green Suits?
The Green Suits are ambitious business executive careerists who are in—or are about to enter—emerging green industries such as renewable energy, green tech, and clean tech. They are also the executives at banking institutions, insurance companies, automobile manufacturers, marketing agencies and management consultancies who are eager to turn their conventional companies and market verticals green.How many Green Suits are there in the American executive workforce?
Since green business is still emerging, it would be nearly impossible to estimate the current Green Suits universe. Using census data and “green” market research findings I estimate that—5 years from now—there could be as many as 68 million Green Suits. YOU READ THAT RIGHT!Why is it so difficult to define a “green job”? Does the same difficulty apply to green business executives? What is your definition of a green business executive job?
That is a huge number, but given that renewable energy, green tech, clean tech, and other “verdant” businesses are poised to transform the U.S. economy, I believe that the 68 million number is entirely credible.
Some believe “green job” means employment in companies involved in “obvious” green business activities such as energy efficiency, renewable energy development, green tech manufacturing, etc. Others call “green jobs” blue-collar jobs turned green. That definition ignores the business executives in green jobs—The Green Suits. And then there are some that believe a green job could be any job in any company that serves to improve profits, people, and the planet—The Triple Bottom Line.What factors in your life and career led you to write Tailoring the Green Suit?
In the book, I proposed that the term “green business executive job” describes executive employment in any obvious market segment (such as renewable energy or green/LEED building) or not-so-obvious market segment (such as financial services or telecommunications) that:
- Serves to improve the company’s Triple Bottom Line;
- Extends acceptance of practices such as carbon-footprint reduction, recycling, mass-transit usage, virtual office work, and other related initiatives;
- Encourages corporate social responsibility through skill-based volunteerism and other practices;
- Promotes corporate transparency, and;
- Supports continued company-wide green business training and education.
This has been a very interesting time for me. To write the book, I have counseled with some great business leaders—such as yourself—and I am riding this big green wave which has been a thrill. We in green business know that the green economy is going to be huge, but few of us know how it will evolve. But I do believe that we are part of something big, and that our best days lie ahead.Ask Dan Your Question
The factors that led to this book are even more interesting. Several years ago I reckoned with the fact that my vocations (executive recruiting, marketing, business ownership) and my avocations (such 30+ years of environmental activism and public policy) did not mesh. So I integrated them. Now, my executive search specialization includes green business. And my other businesses—The Green Suits career empowerment community and business development company called Start It Up LLC are decidedly bright green. Further, through my book-writing, blogging, and speaking engagements, I have become a well-known advocate for the new green economy and the growing ranks of green business executives—The Green Suits.
It's your turn, Job Loungers. Please ask Dan a question in the comments section. Dan will be stopping by throughout the day today to answer them. Remember, best question wins an autographed book!