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The Green Obsidian

environmental justice May 19, 2022

This article is dedicated to Sierra Taliaferro, an outstanding environmental and social justice advocate. She has spent the past few months gathering stories from various Black environmental leaders and compiled them into a Facebook page called "The Green Obsidian". We admire her passion for raising awareness towards underrepresented conservation leaders and wanted to shed light on the inspiring work she does. The following pages are written by Sierra and linked directly to "The Green Obsidian". 

Sierra's Inspiration

"Back in 2018, I was thinking of shifting gears and considering exploring other career path options within environmental conservation. And although I saw some potential opportunities, I seemed to run into the same issue where there weren’t too many black people being represented, especially in mainstream media, in those roles and I found that frustrating.

There are a significant number of Black people that have contributed to the...

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During Your Job Search, Mindset is Everything

If you feel like the career search is one of the most stressful times you’ve ever experienced, you’re not alone. Whether you’ve suddenly become unemployed and are racing against your savings running out, or you don’t want your crappy 9-to-5 finding out that you’ve been poking around LinkedIn from 5-to-9, there’s a general sense of fear and uncertainty that looms over the job hunt. 

It is a monumental challenge to stay positive during this period of not knowing. How you manage your mindset, however, is one of the most important factors in getting you through this time and landing your dream job. Defeatist attitudes stemming from pessimistic thoughts can be a hidden factor that’s keeping you from securing your next role.

Don’t Let the Rejections Get You Down

The first lesson every job seeker has to learn is how to overcome rejection. It can be heart-wrenching to apply for a job at your dream company, painstakingly edit your resume,...

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How to Effectively Network in the Post-COVID Age

networking virtual Mar 31, 2022

By: Neha Bhalla 

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 drastically transformed the entire job search process — networking included. Many career seekers express their frustration with me that virtual networking is not as easy as in-person networking.  The reality is that virtual networking is not going away for a long time, if ever; however, it can actually be easier with the right mindset and methods.

Virtual Specific Benefits

Global Availability: Unlike in-person networking, virtual has no bounds. If you’re considering moving to a new location, you can start meeting people before you land a job. 

Convenience: It can be nearly impossible to get a busy person to meet you out for coffee. 15 minutes on a Zoom call, however, is a much smaller ask. Many students don’t have cars so they can skip maneuvering the bus schedule for an hour for a 20-minute meeting. Plus, while you still have to look prepared, you don’t have to put as much effort into...

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Guidelines for Immigrants Looking to Get an Environmental Job in the USA

By: Abby Celentano

Job searching is hard, and moving from another country to the US in pursuit of a career  is even harder. However, it can be done! We interviewed two different people who successfully landed an environmental job in the States. Here are some helpful insights they have to make your transition as smooth as possible. 

Networking abroad

Our two interviewees, Fatima and Pratika, both agree that it’s crucial to build your network at the beginning of your career. Before you embark on the big move, network with environmental professionals in the United States. In our technology-centered society, we have many resources to communicate with people overseas. Use this to your advantage when connecting with potential employers for a potential job. Research companies of interest and reach out to them through social media or email.

Fatima, who moved from India to the US attests to the effectiveness of networking. Her best advice to people thinking of doing the same...

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Environmental Justice Careers Guide: Where Climate Change Meets Social Justice

By: Neha Bhalla

Interested in working in environmental justice, but not sure where to start? 

As climate change worsens, the harm that comes with it is not evenly distributed. Ongoing environmental issues, such as air and water pollution, tend to affect individuals from underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds the most. More than half of individuals who live in hazardous environmental zones are people of color. Moreover, individuals who are disadvantaged in terms of wealth or race tend to have more difficulty recuperating from climate disasters. 

This inequality has created the need to fight for environmental justice, “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies,” as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. 

If you are looking to make an impact in the...

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5 Unexpected Environmental Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

covid interviews Nov 15, 2021

By: Neha Bhalla

It’s no secret that the past 18 months have caused an  upheaval in the hiring process, from Zoom interviews to increased turnover. With that, the questions that recruiters are asking have changed too.

In the environmental industry especially, recruiters not only care about your technical skills, but also your reaction to COVID-19, your personal opinions on climate change, and how much you value diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); so don’t get caught off guard if you get asked a situational question about how to handle a workplace conflict or how COVID has affected your perspective on work-life balance. 

Here are some questions you might get about COVID or DEI at your next interview: 

 

  1. Would you be willing to work in person for this role?

There are a few variations on this type of logistical question that you might receive, depending on if the company is working remotely, in person, or adopting a hybrid system. Answer this...

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How To Fill a Policy & Regulation Gap on Your Resume

 Co-authored by Neha Bhalla

Your technical skills are on point; you can collect field data using mobile equipment, use GIS to map out sampling locations, and communicate the need for sustainable practices. Between labs, internships, and classes, you have all the skills of an environmental scientist — well, almost all the skills. 

One of the most common issues entry-level environmental professionals face is a knowledge gap related to policy and regulations. The reality is that no matter what sector of the environmental field you are in — clean energy, waste management, or Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) — understanding the various and ever-changing rules and regulations is key to being successful in most environmental jobs, especially consulting and management positions. 

Which Regulations Do You Need To Know?

The regulations that you need to be familiar with vary depending on which field you’re in, and to a large extent, your...

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How to Get An Environmental Job Without a Degree

 Co-authored by Neha Bhalla

Looking to enter the environmental field, but don’t have an environmental degree? Or maybe you don’t have a degree at all. Even though your path into sustainability might look different, you can still do your part to save the planet!

 There are many valid reasons why someone might want to pursue a career without getting a degree first. They may feel it’s too late in their career to go back to school, they may not be able to afford it, or they simply may not have an affinity for academia. Regardless of your reasoning, in this article, we will cover what you need to know to break into the environmental field.

If you have any degree at all — whether you studied computer science, marketing, or even film — those skills can almost definitely help our planet. A relatively seamless way to transition into the environmental field is to apply for roles that you were already applying to before, but at environmental...

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Everything You Need To Know About Environmental Consulting

Co-authored by Neha Bhalla

Not sure which environmental field is right for you? Have you considered environmental consulting? We’ve researched everything you need to know! Read on to see if it’s right for you.

What is environmental consulting?

Although environmental consultants (ECs) can fill many roles, their general job function is to ensure that their clients abide by all environmental regulations. This includes a broad range of services, such as compliance testing, sampling, technical tasks, report research, and writing. Consultants can work in various industries, focusing on waste management, pollution control, environmental policy, etc. 

What are the benefits of being an environmental consultant?

Environmental consulting is a great way to explore many different sectors within the environmental field, pursue freelance opportunities, and gain a lot of transferable skills. ECs can often have more flexible hours than others, and depending on the type of work...

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The 5 Highest Paying Environmental Jobs and How to Get Them

Whether you are a student thinking about entering the environmental field or a career changer hoping to land their dream job, salary is an important factor when you commence your job search. 

 

When I went back to school for biology after having a potential high salary management position, I told myself and others I didn’t  care about money. In hindsight, I was afraid to want money (and not get it) let alone say it out loud. Don’t be shamed into thinking having financial goals somehow negates your caring for the environment.

 

If you’re faring enough to put your financial goals front and center, here are some careers you might want to look into. Note: these aren’t entry-level, you’re going to have to make a plan and stick to it to land in one of these rewarding careers.

 

  1. Environmental Lawyers

 

Median Annual Salary: $126,930

 

What They Do: Environmental Lawyers often work for advocacy groups, NGOs, energy...

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