Overwhelmed with your quest for a green job? Not sure where to start?

You are not alone. Based on the questions I hear on a daily basis, I know it’s hard to figure out where to put your energy and attention when you are searching for a green career.

Use these four points to guide your actions as you continue your journey to your green career.

1) Nail down Your Green Niche

The green economy is evolving and shifting at the moment. With emerging technologies and growing industries, opportunities continue to open up.

With all of this change, it’s nearly impossible for one person to keep track of the developments taking place in all of the green industries and sectors. In fact, scanning the entire universe of green careers on an ongoing basis is a good recipe for overwhelm and frustration.

Instead, the key to success is to identify your green niche, the career that combines your skills, interests, experience and education. With a specific goal, you gain a clear understanding of your target career, focus your exploration, build momentum with your job search, and land a position that matches your strategy.

2) Immerse Yourself in Your Target Green Industry

Before choosing a specific job title, focus on understanding the components of your target industry. Having a big picture of your target industry will help you answer these questions to refine your sense of the industry.

• What problems is the industry facing?
• What opportunities does the industry have?
• What is missing in the industry that’s keeping it from solving these problems and capitalizing on these opportunities?
• What unique terminology is used within the industry?
• Who are the key players in the industry?

Begin with online research to grasp the basic structure of your target industry. Then expand your efforts by talking with your contacts to fill in the gaps in your understanding of the industry.

As you gain a sense of the industry, explore how your skills will benefit companies within the industry.

3) Engage in Your Local Green Community

To locate job openings, your most promising strategy is to connect with others in your community who share your interests, values, and causes.

Leverage the following strategies to strengthen your green connections in your area.

• Remember to keep your passion in mind as you look for opportunities to get involved.
• Volunteer with a local non-profit or team that’s helping your community go green.
• Take a class in sustainability to strengthen your knowledge while connecting with others in your area.
• Meet in person by participating in green networking groups such as Green Drinks and EcoTuesday
• Connect with people virtually on Facebook, LinkedIn groups, NetImpact, and JustMeans.

As you meet people who are well connected and/or know something about your target industries, connect with them on LinkedIn, get together for a conversation, and keep in touch by sharing resources that match their needs.

4) State Your Job Search Goals with Clarity, Confidence, and Conviction

The key to impressing potential employers and networking contacts is being able to talk about your career goals as powerfully as possible. Review your recent networking and interviewing experiences and then ask yourself the following questions:

• Am I able to state my employment goals clearly and concisely in one or two sentences?
• Do I state my employment goals with confidence and enthusiasm?
• Does my sense of conviction and passion come through as I talk about my employment goals?

When you answer these questions with a series of emphatic “yes” responses, your readiness to be hired shines out to the world.

If you aren’t able to answer yes to these questions, focus your efforts on clarifying your goal, finding ways to feel enthusiastic about your goal, and expressing your passion as you talk about your employment goal. Being connected to your goal in this way ignites your energy. Your contacts, colleagues, and potential employers will feel your excitement and be drawn to find out more about you.

Pulling It All Together

Taking these four points in order will help you build a strong, sustainable foundation for your future green career. The green economy is going to evolve in ways we can’t predict at this moment. Think of it as a journey that will have its ups and downs as you strive to reach your goal destination.

If you need a job now, I recommend you focus on an interim position that taps the skills you’ve used in previous jobs. If possible, choose an interim job that helps you move one step closer to your green career goal. Then when your target green industry opens up, you’ll be ready to act on the opportunity.

Author's Bio: 

Green Career Expert, Carol McClelland, PhD, is the author of Green Careers For Dummies and founder and executive director of Green Career Central, an online resources center with easy-to-use resources, coaching programs, and training events to help professionals, students, and career counselors make sense of the green economy. Download your free report: Six Strategies to Find Your Green Career at www.greencareercentral.com

Additional Resources covering Green Jobs/Green Careers can be found at:

Website Directory for Green Jobs/Green Careers
Articles on Green Jobs/Green Careers
Products for Green Jobs/Green Careers
Discussion Board
Carol McClellan, the Official Guide to Green Jobs/Green Careers