I just read your article Finding Your Career Passion. I’m at the beginning of the process to find a new career and after a few years of mindless administrative work I want to make a move into the green career field; I want a career that I am both passionate about and that has a future. My college degree is in business management. Any help and direction you can offer will be appreciated.
The Career Doctor responds:
I’m pleased to let a guest green-career expert handle your question. Carol McClelland PhD (pictured) is the author of Green Careers For Dummies and the founder and executive director of Green Career Central a full-service online resource center dedicated to providing career guidance coaching and resources to clarify the ever-evolving world of green career possibilities for professionals students and career counselors.
The green economy has an extremely wide range of opportunities from environmental science natural resource management smart grid information technology (IT) green building transportation smart grid manufacturing and hospitality. Based on my research as I wrote Green Careers For Dummies I discovered more than 50 industries and sectors making concerted efforts to make their business practices products and services greener cleaner and more sustainable. (If you are a visual person you might want to check out the Green Economy Map I created after writing the book. The numbers included in the center of the map correspond to the chapters in the book that profile the various industries and sectors that make up the green economy.)
That’s the good news. Opportunities are available or will be available in nearly every sector of the economy.
The not-so-comfortable news is that having endless opportunities can lead to feelings of overwhelm confusion and frustration. What career direction do you choose? How do you decide where to start looking for your green career?
The key to making progress is to connect with what you are passionate about. Now my guess is that if you’ve been working for several years in a mindless administrative job you may not be in touch with your passions and interests. You may have had to squash them in order to make it through the day!
So the first step in identifying your career direction is to spend some time discovering or rediscovering your interests. The feeling you have when you are excited about something is an important feeling to be able to recognize when it happens. Every time you feel that feeling notice WHAT you are drawn to and intrigued by. Record these discoveries in one place – a journal a Word doc whatever works for you.
When you begin to wake up to your passions and interests then return to the Finding Your Career Passion article which has a number of questions to trigger you to think about different parts of your life. There are also three chapters in Green Careers For Dummies that walk you through a process to identify your green focus.
Don’t hyper focus on one or two interests right away. Give yourself some time to explore the green arena. Allow your excitement and enthusiasm to guide you to new topics and opportunities.
When you have a healthy list of interests take a look at your entire list to see what themes and trends you see. When you see clusters of interests explore that industry to see where you can apply your skills experience and education.