5 Tips for Launching a Green Career

Are you passionate about the environment? Do you want to work on climate change or try to create sustainable buildings? Maybe you hope to work in national forests or affect government policy on environmental issues. There are plenty of opportunities for green-oriented jobs. Keep reading for more on careers that can be good for both you and the planet, whether you are changing careers or just finishing high school.

1. Consider Your Focus

You should start thinking broadly about what kind of career you’d like to have. With a few years of school ahead of you or a career change, you’ll have time to learn more and decide, but it can help if you at least have a general idea about the direction you’ll pursue.

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Maybe you’d like to work in science, or perhaps you want to write about the environment. You may want to pursue education or become an entrepreneur, founding sustainable companies. Start doing research as early as possible.

2. Plan for School

If you already have a degree, you may not need to go back to school. It depends on how different your new career is from your old one and whether your skills will transfer or if you need further education. If you don’t have a degree, it will be much easier to break into most fields with one, and in most cases, it will be necessary.

If you are worried about money, keep in mind that there are grants, scholarships and loans available. You can shop for a low interest rate on private loans to make sure that you get the best deal available for you.

3. Start Now

You should start as soon as possible to learn about the issues and get involved. There is probably a community group near you that you can join. This can also help you get started networking and meeting other people who have the same interests and ambitions as you as well as professionals who may be well on their way in their careers.

You can learn a lot through volunteer work about the issues that you are most passionate about and what types of jobs you enjoy doing most.

4. Networking and Internships

If you are a student, talk to your professors, your advisor and the career center at your school about your ambitions and what career paths might be right for you. Whether you are a student or a career changer, see if you can set up informational interviews with people doing the types of jobs that interest you.

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5. Stay Balanced

Doing environmental work or another job that you feel passionately about does not mean that you have to throw your entire being into it. It’s still important to maintain a work-life balance, perhaps doubly so when you work for a nonprofit or in another field that tends to attract people who are as interested in the issues they are working on as in what they are being paid.

Be sure to carve out time for friends, family and hobbies so that you don’t burn out while trying to save the world.