Read What Color Is Your Parachute? Online

Authors: Carol Christen,Jean M. Blomquist,Richard N. Bolles

Tags: #Juvenile Nonfiction, #Business & Economics, #Careers, #School & Education, #Non-Fiction

What Color Is Your Parachute? (39 page)

BOOK: What Color Is Your Parachute?
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Successful job hunters ask for help. Once you know what kind of work you’re looking for, get out your address book, contact all the people in your Blackberry, send out a tweet, post a notice on your Facebook wall, or send out a message through MySpace. Call everyone you know. Tell them what work you want and ask whether they know someone who does that work. If you know where you want to work, ask them whether they know someone who works at that place. Ask your parents, relatives, friends, friends’ parents, teachers, people you know at your place of worship, and current or former coworkers for suggestions of other people you might contact. Follow up on every lead you are given.

The most effective—and least used—job-search strategy is to meet at least twelve people who either do exactly the work you want to do or are employed in the same industry. Ask them to notify you if they hear of job openings that fit what you’re looking for. These twelve people then become twelve sets of eyes and ears helping you with your job search.

·  ·  ·

By avoiding these top ten mistakes, you will become a successful job hunter. When you need a quick review of job-search basics, come back to this list. Knowing what not to do—and even more important, knowing what to do—will put you way ahead of less determined job hunters.


Tracking Emerging Career Trends


Change is happening so fast in the economic marketplace that if you want to keep your career on a certain track, you’ll have to keep learning how to develop your career. You’ll need to keep your skills sharpened and keep exploring careers, especially those in emerging fields.

Once you are out of school and employed, you can’t expect your employer to plan your advancement for you. Your career is under your command. Recruiters and executive coaches suggest that their clients write a new resume each New Year’s Day, whether they are job hunting or not. In truth, most people probably spend more time filing their nails than building a strategy to get and keep jobs they like. Although
updating your resume at least annually is a good idea, it’s not much of a strategy for advancement. Keeping track of the new jobs that interest you and trends emerging in your own field is a much better use of your time. Talking with your mentors and colleagues and attending
professional functions are good ways to track industry changes as well. With the rapid change in the skills needed in the workforce, you may find your next career move is into a job that has only just morphed into reality.

One trend is the emergence and growth of “green jobs” and the greening of jobs in general. Green jobs or greening jobs are happening in nearly every type of industry and business. Even in the United States, where expensive consumer items have long been considered disposable, there is a growing awareness of finite resources and the need to conserve them. If, like many, you long to do something good for the world while earning a living, you may find your parachute is green!

According to a White House task force, they are jobs that provide products and services that use renewable energy resources, reduce pollution, conserve energy and natural resources, and reconstitute waste.

Despite what you may have heard, the number of green jobs is still steadily growing. There is an incredible variety of green jobs and careers. Green jobs are found in virtually all industries and career areas. Green jobs are found in all states. Some green jobs reflect new and emerging occupations; others reflect jobs that have been around for decades. Some are green-collar jobs—meaning they are skilled trade jobs that require many skills but don’t usually require a college degree. Some may require little or no training. Some others require a master’s or doctoral degree. People with all different levels of skills can find green jobs.

What fields are associated with green jobs? Here are a few:

• Clean and renewable energy
• Energy efficiency
• Environmental protection and preservation
• Green building and sustainable design
• Organic and recycled (ecofriendly) products
• Sustainable business practices, including clean tech

What types of occupations can lead to green jobs? The majority of green jobs fall into one of seven basic career clusters (pathways):

  1. Engineering and mechanical careers
  2. Environmental health/safety and regulatory careers
3. Green building,
sustainable design, and energy efficiency careers
  4. Green business and enterprising careers
  5. Natural and land resource management careers
  6. Natural sciences and physical geography careers
  7. Sustainable and organic agriculture careers

And, jobs that aren’t “green” to start with can be greened, if you know how and have an employer willing to let you try.

There is a growing amount of information about green jobs, both in print and on the Web. Some resources are listed at the end of this chapter.

Sustainable Careers

You may be familiar with the words “sustainable” and “
sustainability.” You will certainly hear them more in the coming years. When we call something sustainable, this means it can easily be maintained and renewed over time. The term is also used to refer to the use of natural resources without depleting them or destroying the ecology. The concept of sustainability has many implications for your work life.

To learn the size of your ecological footprint, take the quiz at:


There is no standard criteria. To be considered sustainable or green, here are some basic criteria:

• Complies with all environmental regulations
• Conserves energy and water
• Prevents pollution
• Reduces, reuses, and recycles
• Uses renewable energy
• Responsibly measures, controls, and reduces the organization’s carbon footprint
Jim Cassio, a workforce consultant who specializes in analyzing the green industry, created this list with Rona Fried, PhD, owner of
, using data from recruiting site Green Dream Jobs (
). Here are the top green job titles they found.
• Account Executive/Sales Manager
• Administrative Assistant
• Business/Data Analyst
• Community Crew Leader/Conservation Association Supervisor
• Electrical/Design Engineer
• Environmental Educator/Naturalist
• Executive Director, Nonprofit
• Green Architect
• Green Building Project Manager
• Marketing Manager/Coordinator
• Operations Manager
• Professor (various academic fields)
• Project Leader/Manager
• Research Analyst/Manager
• Sales/Business Development Associate or Manager
• Solar Process Engineer/Process Integration Engineer
• Sustainability Analyst/Consultant
• Sustainability Program Director/
• Trainer, Training Specialist, or Training Coordinator
• Wind Energy Engineer
BOOK: What Color Is Your Parachute?
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