Seek Work Worth Living
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...
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?
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...
This week, I am responding to a question I received through LinkedIn: “What differentiates a great CEO from ordinary people? Why only a few people get promoted and become a senior executive?”
First of all, these are great questions and a good observation to make as you enter the workforce. It is true, not many people rise to the levels of senior management and even less to the top positions like CEO or Executive Director. I think it is important for people in environmental careers to have an idea where they see themselves in the future and even toward the end of their careers. When we do the visioning exercise in coaching, people are often leery of writing anything specific for an end career goal which is understandable. However, you can easily set yourself up to be labeled a field person when you'd rather be progressing and gaining leadership experience, just as it is easy to be pulled in to management when you'd rather be working closely with your...
Anytime you go through a transition in life emotions and challenges come with them. Major life transitions include parent's divorcing, moving out of your parent's house, moving long-distances, family deaths, and graduating from college, and entering the wonderful world of taking care of yourself an adult. In any of these cases staying finding ways to stay positive makes a huge difference in your stress levels at that time. In the case of graduating with your degree and then turning to the job search momentum is a key factor in staying positive. That said, the best thing you can as a student is to start gaining momentum before you graduate. Most students face one or more of these three issues after graduation from an environmental or sustainability program,
1 - they do not know what types of jobs are available to them and therefore waste a lot of time trying to blunder through the masses of information while needing a job
2 - they feel under-qualified for even the...
As a student, you’re understandably focused on grades and trudging through classes your not even sure why you have to take them. The problem is that your university might also only be concerned with your grades and not your post-graduation success.
The number one thing that people looking for their first environmental career tell me is that they don’t feel qualified to work, even in the entry-level jobs they are applying to. It's also very common for recent grads to turn to coaching after the pressure to get a job increases or they’ve gotten a job only to discover it isn’t going to lead to their dream career and there is a lot more paper pushing than they had expected. The best thing you can do for yourself while you are still in school and to make sure to protect the investment you’ve made in time, energy, and money to get that degree is to start figuring things out now!
Here are five simple things you can do before you graduate to...
Networking! You love it or you hate it but I would guess since you’re reading this that you lead more towards that second one.
You can learn more about Creative Networking and how to put it to use in this webinar. In this article, we’re focusing on 5 truths about networking that once you realize them you can start improving right away.
Picture a banker, a baker, a pet shop owner, and an engineer. You could create a particular avatar for each one. Now picture an environmental engineer. Did the picture change?
The reason for this is not stereotyping; it’s a reality that there are commonalities among the professions. Each of the persons in these professions got there because of a core set of values that they each have in common. These values then show outwardly.
The same is valid for environmental professionals. Environmental professionals’ values include things like a love of the outdoors, caring for animals, or caring about animal use as it pertains to sustainability, meeting new people, exploring, etc.
There is more to your brand than just your general appearance. It is also your character, how you represent yourself, how you treat others, which all make up your reputation. This is the part that you want to be sure to take part in developing for these three reasons: