What do you need to get a job related to sustainability?

The job market is highly competitive and complex, with seemingly endless job openings. This can pose challenges for young professionals looking to work in areas related to sustainability.

The professional durability industry is booming, which has its pros and cons. In particular, the fact that it is not fully trained can create confusing standards for applicants. However, there are indications of green skills or types of additional experience that might help serious applicants.

The advantage of the vagueness that prevails in the field is that candidates can create new industry standards. Job descriptions and expectations are changing as new professionals enter the field, so the market, while competitive, remains malleable.

Not only is it changing, but the industry is also changing faster than fossil fuel industries like coal and oil. Jobs related to solar panel manufacturing and electric vehicle engineering are becoming much more common than openings in coal mining. This trend has been on the rise for years and is only expected to continue as regulations around the world attempt to reduce and completely phase out fossil fuels.

The field of professional sustainability can extend to any industry

The perception of how many jobs might have a sustainable angle outside of scientists and social organizations is also changing. The United Nations divides sustainable development into three pillars: economic, social and environmental.

This accentuates the scope of sustainable jobs. The LinkedIn Global Green Skills 2022 report highlighted the most prevalent and demanding areas of the green movement. It also revealed industries that lack environmental development.

Employers typically seek skills in areas as diverse as pollution prevention, sustainability research, and environmental policy. These skills can be used in many industries, including sustainable fashion and sustainable landscaping, to name just two. Each of them has subsections. Sustainable fashion, for example, can also focus on environmental policy and environmental auditing.

However, education in this regard continues to lag behind and in a world that is developing faster than ever, educators will need to teach new skills related to sustainability. How are future politicians supposed to advocate for green policies or how are civil engineers going to develop environmentally focused plans if they don’t learn these skills in school?

Even applying for jobs not directly related to sustainability could have a sustainable outlook.

Professionals often forget that they can provide employers with suggestions on how they can modify job expectations to achieve a sustainable approach.

Entering the realm of sustainability is often an ethical choice as climate change worsens and nations seek to mitigate its effects. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a hot topic as companies without a clear sustainability goal recognize their impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity and global temperatures. Pressure from companies to engage in environmentally-focused CSR is forcing other industries to follow suit.

With corporate greenwashing, countless organizations attempt to mislead consumers for profit or manipulate potential employees by promoting unrealized green initiatives. As we move into a profession of sustainability, the responsibility can be ours to shift the industry mindset towards positive global impacts.

We can discuss with employers how participating in honest and green initiatives to create professional sustainability in any field could benefit your reputation. And we can point out that failing to act now will hurt businesses in the long run if they end up destroying their reputation in the eyes of their customers or being called out for false marketing about their products and services.

Understanding your career goals and priorities is essential before entering any field. However, people motivated by sustainability could be motivated by more than pay and harness the potential to create global impacts even in regular 9-to-5 jobs.

By Jane Marsh. Articles in English

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