Based on the Environmental Careers Workshop, hosted by the Environmental Jobs Network, Sustainable Living Festival
Tips for career changers
- Create networks - Get to know and to be known within your industry of interest, and get your foot in the door of unadvertised positions and opportunities.
- Get experience through volunteering - Get experience at the same time as building networks, getting more information about the industry, adding something specific to your CV, and finding out more about the opportunities available to you.
- Decide what you are really passionate about - Having a good idea of what motivates you and where your heart is will help define where you want your career to go.
- Evaluate and define your values and life purpose - Thinking systematically about your values and purpose will facilitate a career change and help give you direction.
- Do your homework - Take the time to learn more about the industry, potential employers and what opportunities are out there.
- Take the next step and ask for details - Whether it is speaking with a career counsellor, a recruitment agency, potential employers or people in the role that you want, make sure you do some research and speak to people with knowledge.
- Retraining - Do you have to? And will your employer support this? Not all environmental positions will require going back to school. Make sure you know whether it will be worthwhile for you. Be sure to also check with your employer to see whether they will pay for further training and education.
- Ask yourself, "Do I need an environmental job?" - A full career change may not be for you. Asking the hard questions can help you determine whether you really want to change careers or whether making your current career or lifestyle environmental would satisfy your passion.
- Be realistic about the steps you need to take - Changing careers is rarely easy. To do this successfully, it will take a lot of time and energy and you need to be prepared for a bumpy start.
- Stop working! - Take a break from work and reflect. Sometimes a bit of distance can clear your mind and help you figure out what you want from life.