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4 Skills to Help You Get Ahead in Your Environmental Career

The best way to get an advantage in the job search, after networking, is to bring something special to the table. Of course, every job and industry are different but there are a few skills that are important to all industries that can serve you well no matter where you work.

The key is to choose one, or one at a time, and focus on building that skill. Often for entry-level positions, the applicants all have just a basic knowledge of any one of these. Being able to show that you have a passion for one of them, are really great at it, and have something to show for it can pay off big time.

So, how do you choose? For that, we turn to Key #2 of the Environmental Career Coach’s 3 Keys to landing your dream job. Key #2 is Knowledge, Experience, and Interest. Combining the three of these over time should develop into a passion. Start with interest. Which of the 4 cross-cutting skills is interesting to you? If they all are, or none are, then you can look at the job...

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5 Tips for Time Management for Environmental Job Seekers

Time management is important for your job search because job search activities are usually low on our priorities list until something critical happens. Purposefully making time to research, learn something new, or submit applications is extremely important and not best left for when you are in a hurry. Not to mention, managing your time wisely will be a key factor in how successful you will be in the job when you get it!

For us environmental enthusiasts, we also have to balance our love and call for being outdoors. Who wants to stay in and apply for jobs when you can go out and explore?

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Make a list of priorities. How urgent is your job search on this list or how big of a leap are you intending to make? Urgent and large leaps require extra available time.
  2. Pair your social and environmental activities with things that are aligned with your job search. Find networking events that incorporate kayaking, hiking, or coastal cleanups. Routinely volunteer...
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3 Ways to Keep your Job Search Expectations in Check for When you Start to Lose Your Confidence

You had it! For one shining moment you were so sure the next position you applied for was yours! Then you didn’t get that one. Ok, that wasn’t “the one” but this next one this is it! I’m perfect, this is so right for me. And then you don’t get that one either. This can put you head first into a downward spiral very fast. You must have systems in place to intercede and keep you on track. How do you keep carrying that confidence, courage, and momentum forward when you keep getting punched in the guts?

“You can’t fail if you don’t quit” - Grant Cardone, Be Obsessed or Be Average

There is a huge drop out rate for STEM careers. Especially for women. It’s still a male-dominated industry and it’s tough to balance life and work in a STEM or environmental position. There are many reasons people leave before they reach their full potential in these roles. One reason is that it’s hard to get the exact job you want...

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Missed the EcoLeaders Twitter Chats? Here’s how to catch up.

career advice event Mar 20, 2019

On March 12th I participated in my first Twitter chat. I thought it was great to be able to ask or answer questions from your couch without all the prep time that's involved with being on camera. It's also great that the chat will remain out there under the #EcoCareers2019 hashtag. There are two big downsides, however, 1) is that the tweets are quickly get lost in the noise of the other billions of tweets and 2) many people don’t have a Twitter account to access the info.

So here’s how you can still check out what’s going down and a little recap if you’d prefer to stay here or if you don’t use Twitter.

The hosts of the Nations Wildlife Federation’s Annual EcoCareers Conference wanted a way to allow people to continue to ask questions from some of the presenters. To do that, they scheduled 4 weeks of 1-hour twitter chats with a different presenter each week (you can still catch the other 2 live).

I was set to go on the first week and here are the...

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Who Should You Accept as a Connection on LinkedIn?

linkedin networking Mar 15, 2019

Here is a question recently received from a participant in the coaching program: LinkedIn, who should you accept as a connection and who might you not want to connect with?

Here's my response:

LinkedIn is unlike most other social media platforms that it is intended to be a place for professionals to connect and share work-related information. The typical things one might post on Facebook like the massive plate of nachos you carefully crafted at 2 am, the cute pics of your dog, and random drama are not acceptable in this space.

That said, there are still people who don’t get that and those are the people you certainly don’t want to be connected with, as their likes and personal interest can end up in your news feed.

When you’re in job search mode, you should be using LinkedIn with purpose. Taking advantage of their job search tools and networking opportunities. 

Who you connect with is ultimately your call. Just know that who you connect with has a direct...

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Self-Reliance: A Clear Indicator of How Successful You Will Be in Your Job Search and Career

No one wants to hire someone who isn’t capable of getting the job done or who needs their hand held all day. Although this is generally true in any market, it is particularly evident in the environmental industry. Environmental jobs come with hefty responsibility. It isn’t ok to drop the ball or wait for someone else to pick up after you because the environmental - habitat, conservation, or other - mission is at stake. Field days are hard to reschedule, scientific data can’t be recouped if it was missed or messed up, and sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Environmental jobs require people who can improvise and think on their feet.

 

There are three key characteristics wrapped up in self-reliance including:

  1. Resourcefulness - the ability to find a way around obstacles and create or find solutions
  2. Reliability - the ability to show up and follow through when expected
  3. Resilience - the ability to bounce back when things do not go your way or...
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NWF EcoLeaders 2019

events Mar 01, 2019

Last Thursday, February 28th, I had the pleasure of presenting at National Wildlife Federation's EcoLeaders Virtual Summit. I co-lead a session called "Helping Your Students Navigate Their Careers in a Sea of Options". Many of the presentations will be made available later in March. Check the EcoLeaders website for that. 

You can grab the link below to the presentation that I gave focusing on the following topics: 

  • What is the role of the advisor?
  • What does having a career plan mean?
  • What does navigating that plan mean?
  • Tips for counselors

Presentation Download

EcoLeaders is hosting follow up Twitter Chats throughout March. You can catch mine, at 3:00 March 12th. See below for more details.

From 3 pm to 3:30 pm EDT, March 12th through 15th, we will be hosting Twitter “AMA-style” Chats with four of the esteemed EcoCareers guest speakers and panelists. Join @NWFEcoLeaders using the #EcoCareers2019 hashtag to join the conversation with each of the...

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The Time Will be Right When the Time is Right: How to Handle Missed Opportunities

career advice mindset Feb 27, 2019

I have only hyperventilated once in my life. Up until then, I thought panic attacks only happened to extreme worriers and overly-dramatic types. I was just about to graduate and had been working in a temp position at an environmental agency and I had a shot for a permanent job. I had applied to hundreds of jobs in the past but something was telling me this was the one I needed and on the morning of the interview - I went to the wrong location. When I realized I might be late and blow my chance at the job that is when I learned how very real hyperventilating is. 

 

A couple of things led to this extreme reaction - 1) I had convinced myself that I needed this job, 2) it truly felt like the universe wanted me to get this job, and 3) from what I knew about interviews if you were late you were out.  So I started to panic.

 

Eight years later, I experienced a different panic. I needed out of this job that I had been convinced I needed so badly before. Over the...

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Cover Letters: Why Is Something This Simple So Impossible?

cover letter Feb 20, 2019

Honestly, I didn’t use to think cover letters warranted paying much attention to but after receiving so many questions and working on a few with coachees, I now see that there is too much info out there and none of it entirely related to environmental industries. Here is an overview of my advice.

 

Cover letters are basically simple, so for starters let’s keep it that way. They consist of a business letter format with three paragraphs of content:

Start with “Dear hiring managers,” unless there was a person’s name in the submit to information.

Paragraph 1 - Focus on thanking them for the chance to apply and why you applied. If someone referred you, include them, and their title here (the person reading it may not know who they are).

Paragraph 2 - Why should they choose you? If you’re applying to a research position with the Nature Conservancy along with 200 other people, what makes you the best choice. Seriously, would you hire you?

Paragraph...

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The Unfortunate Truth About Indecision

Are you the type of person who is constantly going back and forth when trying to make a decision? Especially when it comes to spending money or making long term choices? Do you second guess decisions or purchases after you’ve made them? I am here to tell you the flip-flopper affliction is not going to get better on its own and it can be very self-defeating in your job search.

 

The job search is all about making decisions. Big decisions that will affect every aspect of your future. How much money you’ll make, who you’ll spend most of your time with, and how satisfied you’ll be in life in general. The key is that its the little choices you make now that will ultimately affect those larger decisions. Which companies should you apply to? What training should you take? Where should you spend your time networking?

 

If you can’t seem to nail any of these down, take a look in the mirror and a look down the road. Who are you? What is important to...

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