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Green-Collar Jobs

Job security is always an important issue. The issue of job security is a major plus in favor of green-collar jobs.  Few sectors of business or manufacturing are positioned to grow quite like the green jobs segment.  Emerging green technologies have the potential to completely change the energy industry and even alter how we live, work and move across the landscape.
 
Despite the global recession, soaring interest in the new energy economy is sparking tremendous opportunity for job hunters and career changers to turn to green jobs.  The federal government is investing billions into renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors to help get the U.S. economy back on track.  Leading businesses are investing billions more.  While most parts of the U.S. economy continue to struggle, many companies involved in solar, wind, biofuels, energy efficiency and other sustainable efforts are hiring today and are well positioned for future growth.
 
Research from the American Solar Energy Society shows that there are about 9 million of these green-color jobs in the United States with 37  million forecasted by 2030 Read about it here: http://www.ases.org So how do you find one of these jobs?  The following insider tips and background can give you the insight you need to help turn your career green.
 
 

How to Land a Green-Collar Job

Unmask the Myth

The biggest misconception is that green-collar jobs are primarily for researchers, scientists and PhDs.  The reality is that most of the jobs in the green economy are similar to roles in other industries.  Most solar manufacturers, for example, still need product managers, accountants, assemblers, IT professionals, customer service reps, marketing professionals and account executives, just like other codes.  “The green economy is not just for the PhD but also for the Ph-do,” says Can Jones, director of Green For All in Oakland, California.  Somebody still needs to build, sell, deliver, and install this technology.”  And that, of course, means serious opportunity for those who are seeking jobs.  In fact, a good many people are holding onto the idea that green jobs are only for those who are specially trained in green technologies or greener forms of energy.  But this notion is limiting their job search possibilities. By dismissing this notion and seeing that there is indeed some real opportunities with green jobs in the here and now, you can give yourself a very real leg up over the competition.

Paint Your Picture

Start to narrow down the type of environment in which you’d like to be working – or at least rule out the areas that don’t call to you. Kevin Doyle, president of Green Economy, a workforce consult firm in Massachusetts, offers these four steps to get started:

Company Research and Green-Collar Job Sites

Since you want to land a green job, it only makes sense that you know who the players are in the green job field.  This will require a little research, but keep in mind this legwork will be worth it because green jobs are jobs that are likely to last. This industry is poised to only expand and potentially to expand rapidly!



A good way to research and learn about the companies hiring for green jobs is to visit many of the traditional job sites. Yet, for a more focused approach, it makes sense to spend some serious time with sites that are focusing on green-collar jobs more specifically, such as greenjobs.com, and  sustainlane.com.  All of these sites not only have listings of new green jobs, but they also have some good general information as well.  

Take for example greenjobs.com, which lists out hundreds of green companies around the world and does so by category.  Thus, if you are interested in working for a wind power company, whether it’s in Oklahoma, Illinois or Germany, there are links available to begin your search.  If you are in need of finding out whom the players are within the green industry, a site such as greenjobs.com is a good stop.  It will guide you to a many of players in the field.

If you are interested in green-collar jobs, odds are you might have already visited TreeHugger.com.  TreeHugger is a great website loaded down with a wide variety of green and environmental related stories.  Searching through  TreeHugger's vast archives of articles and stories is a good way to learn about what companies are making valuable breakthroughs in the green field and alternative energy.  Even better yet, TreeHugger has a job board where employers are posting all sorts of jobs around the country and the world.  The jobs are very diverse and are literally seeking applicants of nearly every imaginable background and skill set.  For example, green energy start-ups also need experienced IT people.  Of course, when one thinks “green jobs,” IT might not come to mind. But this point helps underscore the kind of opportunities that currently exist in this very hot sector of the job market.  



In terms of numbers of green-color job openings, SustainLane is definitely worth a look.  There are lots and lots of green job openings, which like the job offerings on TreeHugger, cover just about every profession and level of experience imaginable.

While Sustain Lane and TreeHugger are great to get started, it is important that you don’t forget about the “old-reliable” job search sites such as Yahoo! HotJobs.  The people over at Yahoo! HotJobs clearly did not miss the fact that green jobs are hot.  In fact, Yahoo! HotJobs has a jobs section that is exclusively for green jobs.  Job seekers can research green-collar jobs in an impressive thirty-two sections ranging from such offerings as Green Building and Recycling to Organic, Renewable Energy and even Waste Management.  In short, there are a great many green-collar jobs just waiting for your review.

It is critical to remember that showing a prospective employer that you understand both their company and their competitors can give you a real leg up during the interview process.  You do not necessarily have to be an expert in the inner working of the solar energy industry. However, being able to show that you have done your research and understand some of the fundamental basics serve to show that you are serious, knowledgeable and responsible.

Green Job Sites

Treehugger Jobs
http://jobs.treehugger.com

Yahoo! HotJobs Green
http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/jobs-c-Green

SustainLane
www.sustainlane.com

Green Jobs
greenjobs.com

Monster.com
www.monster.com (Search for Green Jobs)

Sustainable Business 
www.sustainablebusiness.com

Environmental Career 
www.environmentalcareer.info

Care 2 Make a Difference 
jobs.care2.com/a/all-jobs/list

Reworking Your Resume for a Green Job

It makes great sense to take a moment and think about your resume.  This is a good step no matter what type of job you are looking for.  However, revamping your resume may even be more logical when looking for a new green-collar job.  Evaluate your skills and what new skills you have acquired since you began your last job.  By taking this step, you may discover that your new skills are very attractive to prospective green employers.

To make your resume greener, you may want to do a bit of volunteering for environmental organizations.  By taking time to volunteer and learn about environmental endeavors firsthand, you are not only expanding your green-collar work history, but you are lending a hand to the earth in the process!



Look in your local paper for organizations looking for help, and consider your skill sets and what you genuinely may have to offer. For example, can you do web design or graphic arts? Are you great at PR, customer service, or leading a team? These are all skills that you could offer to an environmental organization.

Some suggestions for where to start with volunteering are as follows:

Join a Community Agriculture Co-op. Volunteers often have the side benefit of getting some great local product.  You can find local branches at this link:  www.localharvest.org/csa

Help out with Clean Up the World www.cleanuptheworld.org. This global organization works with communities all over the world to conserve the environment.

Volunteer at a Green Conference or Green Collar Job Fair. Many large green conferences seek volunteers to make everything run efficiently.  More than likely, you will receive a free pass to the show and meet many interesting people in the process.

Visit VolunteerMatch.org. This website located at www.volunteermatch.org lists volunteer opportunities which you can search through by your area.  Although this website lists all types of volunteer work, you can search exclusively for environmental jobs.

Networking

Networking, much like re-evaluating your work experience and updating your resume, makes sense.  Engage in real life networking. You remember that right? You actually meet with people face to face instead of just virtually.

Many regions are now having Green Job Fairs where you can meet professionals from various green careers and learn about a wide variety of different green jobs. Often these Green Job Fairs are part of larger Green events.  If you see a Green Conference or Event taking place in your region, check to see if a Green Job Fair or Green Job Expo is planned. You can gather a great deal of information under one roof at these types of events.

Of course, online social networking is also a great ways to find jobs.  In terms of green jobs, there are some real opportunities to use social networking to your advantage.  Social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn can be used for your green-collar job search.  Simply log in and start searching for environmentally friendly and eco-aware Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups that seem like they might match your interests. 

In this way, you might just begin to meet all sorts of people who are green in their orientation.  Odds are that the people who are in these Facebook groups know a good deal about the green movement and might even be able to point you to companies that are hiring.  Remember, it’s always about networking!

Embrace the Green Job Opportunity

Landing a green-collar job is, in many ways, like landing any other kind of job.  Yet, the fact is that there are going to be so many green jobs opening up in the coming years.  This means that there are some really impressive opportunities.

Green companies, such as alternative energy and solar companies are hiring. This is a sector that is likely to stay hot for years.  Many green job seekers have yet to see the full potential in this segment and have failed to realize the extent of the opportunity.  Green jobs are available for people with a wide-variety of skills and from a wide-variety of backgrounds.  Now is the time to figure out how to leverage your skills and your interests into being of benefit to our planet.




 

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