It was a normal Monday morning in the office. I flipped on my computer and started a quick review of my Outlook inbox to check off ‘hot list’ items for the day, soon discovering that I had a number of LinkedIn messages from over the weekend inquiring about informational interviews. While reviewing these, I had an epiphany. I realized that for the past few years, I have received a steady stream of requests for informational interviews, resume submissions, “my niece is looking for an internship,” and other types of requests…all under the theme of passionate, motivated individuals who were looking to transition to a career in the environmental sector. The individuals ranged from current college students to mid-career professionals to entrepreneurs ready to launch a new product that could transform the world as we know it. I was inspired by the fact that there was a growing demand to align one’s job with one’s passion for impact and I wanted to do whatever I could to help these folks along their journey. Yet, I had already committed to mentor four college students under the UCLA ONE mentorship program and I had signed on to advise two amazing women-owned environmental companies (one in Lagos, Nigeria called Recycle Points and one here in Los Angeles called Pulp Pantry). And, I had to prioritize my own company that was racing toward its 10th year with a full roster of exciting projects and clients (with team members who deserved my time, attention, and gratitude).
At first, my approach was to schedule one informational interview a week. I felt that this would be a great way to respond to the increased demand for information about how to crack into the industry and it would also allow for me to continue to spread out my time across my other obligations. However, I quickly realized that one call a week would mean that I would book up my interview schedule for months in advance and it wouldn’t truly address the issue at hand: that these individuals are looking for resources, tips, and guidance NOW.
Thus, I decided to turn to LinkedIn…and, why I probably directed you to read this instead of asking you to schedule a call with me months from now. I want to be helpful and mindful of your time (and mine). I have curated this list of tips and resources to help you find the way that works best for you to build your network, meet helpful individuals, and start to map out the path forward for your rewarding career in the environmental industry. If you have additional resources, please add them in the comments section so that we can help each other out. We are in this together. We have one Earth. The more of us who work toward solutions, the better!
Additionally, I’d like to encourage you to join me and my team at the Women In Green Forum. I founded the Forum nine years ago with the goal of bringing the environmental community together to celebrate women’s leadership, and it has grown to be the largest event of its kind. It is a fantastic place to network with pioneers in the field. We have also developed a robust Youth Leadership Program, which includes a student scholarship and mentorship program. I encourage you to check it out, apply for a scholarship (if you’re a student), and join us there! You can find links to learn more about the Forum and the Youth Leadership Program below. All are welcome!
My Top 3 Pro Tips:
Strengthen Your Online Persona – make sure your LinkedIn profile and all other public social media profiles are representing you in the best possible way. That means – professional photo, profile devoid of typos, and posts that are aligned with your professional persona.
Strengthen Your Professional Network – add everyone you meet on LinkedIn and build out your professional network of contacts at all levels (from the administrative assistant to the CEO). Treat everyone with respect and appreciation. In 2018, your network is as good as gold.
Get Out There! – your next boss, next job, next coworker is not going to come knocking on your door. You have to go to where the action is and attend networking events, local environmental task force meetings, and environmental club meetups. Be an active participant in shaping the world. You can also sign on for the next Climate Reality Leadership Corps training and become part of a global community.
My Career Path:
Video Interview- From UCLA to Davos: Jaime Nack’s Journey as an Ecopreneur – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGohfnq06bs
Interview with UCLA Magazine – http://magazine.ucla.edu/depts/style/sustained-effort/
Three Squares Inc.:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/threesquaresinc
Twitter – https://twitter.com/threesquaresinc
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/threesquaresinc/
Jaime’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaimenack/
Women In Green Forum:
Website – http://www.womeningreenforum.com
Youth Leadership Program – http://womeningreenforum.com/youth-leaders
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2486443
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WomenInGreenForum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/WomenGreenForum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/womeningreenforum/
LinkedIn! You can search jobs and internships. You can also join environmental groups (check out the 50 groups that are listed on my profile for ideas).
The Muse – job search advice – https://www.themuse.com/
Idealist – https://www.idealist.org/
Sustainability Leads – http://sustainabilityleads.com/jobs/
State Government, City Government, and Environmental Government Agencies (all have job listings)
Ports (most major sea ports and airports have environmental divisions)
LA Green Jobs/USGBC-LA – https://usgbc-la.org/all-jobs/
Networking – Get out there! Go to local events and meetups to build your network:
Green Drinks (most major cities have a chapter)
Green Business Networking (Los Angeles) – https://greenbusinessnetworking.org/
This post was originally posted on LinkedIn.