Seek Work Worth Living
Co-authored by Neha Bhalla
Take a deep breath - you’ve made it through 2020. I hope you had a relaxing holiday season, no matter how you celebrated it, and here’s hoping for a lockdown-free, mask-off 2021!
As the new year starts, here is what you need to know to reinvigorate your job search!
Half of the job-search-battle is your mindset, and after a difficult job market in 2020, it’s easy to feel frustrated or defeated. However, if you’re going into interviews thinking “I’m unqualified for this job” or “I don’t want to be here,” you might as well not show up. Confidence and enthusiasm are everything; acting down-in-the-dumps during an interview or blasé about a job is a massive red flag for a hiring manager.
If you do find yourself saying “I’m unqualified for the types of jobs I want,” there are plenty of ways to become qualified - whether...
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...
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...
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...
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:
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?
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...
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: