Green jobs, sometimes referred to as "green collar jobs" are defined as work in agricultural, manufacturing, research and development (R&D), administrative, and service activities that contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality. There is a growing need for employees who can support sustainable business practices, and every sector will be affected as employers look for ways to be more environmentally responsible.
But how exactly can you find out about green jobs and how your current skills may be able to help an organization with a corporate mission to be more environmentally responsible? AOL recently spoke to Carol McClelland, founder of Green Career Central and author of 'Green Career for Dummies,' to learn how Green Career Central can help people uncover green job leads.
Q. What is Green Career Central?
A. Green Career Central is an online coaching and resource center dedicated to providing career guidance, coaching, and resources to clarify the ever-evolving world of green career possibilities for professionals. In addition to helping people identify the best way to leverage their skills, passions, and experience in the new economy, Green Career Central supports members by using proactive job search strategies to find the job that matches their goal. Career and work-force development professionals also rely on Green Career Central for updates about the emerging green/clean/sustainable economy and for resources they can share with their clients.
Q. What was the inspiration for Green Career Central?
A. When the movie 'An Inconvenient Truth' came out, the focus was on changing our personal habits to reduce our impact on the planet. Although that was a good start point, I realized we needed much more than a shift in personal choices. We needed a work force of professionals with scientific, technical, operations, and management expertise to rethink, redesign, and restructure how we live, how we play, and how business is done. Smart innovation and implementation was going to be critical to creating a sustainable world. Although I don't have the background to work on the front lines of innovation, I am well suited to help people identify their place within this new emerging green world and become active in the field they are best suited to work in.
Q. What did you do before Green Career Central?
A. I've been helping people change career change and left the corporate world. For the most part I've worked with people who wanted to make a difference. They wanted their work to be meaningful and match their lifestyle, values, and interests. Over the years I've worked with some amazing clients as they transformed their lives to do what they love to do. It's a powerful journey to take and an amazing journey to witness in another person. My clients became so powerful in their clarity that they moved beyond the internal blocks they thought existed to make their dream a reality.since 1991 when I made a
Q. What's your favorite feature on Green Career Central?
A. My favorite feature is the Green Economy Map. This simple diagram gives people an instant sense of the sectors that make up the green economy. As I watch people interact with this map at conferences I see how quickly they are drawn to the areas of the map that match their skills and interests. Knowing where they fit in the green economy helps them focus their research and job search activities. For our clients we provide a version of the Green Economy Map that is linked to in depth profiles of each industry. Our clients use these profiles to understand their career options, deepen their knowledge of their target industry, and find key resources to take their research and job search to the next level.
Q. What's on the horizon for Green Career Central?
A. In the last couple of months we've added several new one- and two-month online coaching programs to help people identify their green niche, target their job search, and research their green career idea. We are working on a few more coaching programs around green networking and how to communicate your value through your introduction, resume, and LinkedIn profile. The great thing about these online coaching programs is that they consist of a series of short tasks the job seeker can do in 30 minutes or less. When the job seeker posts their work to our online coaching system, we are able to reply with insights, support, clarifying questions, and more direction if needed. I've seen clients have life-changing insights as a result of these online coaching programs.
We are also launching our first job search boot camp in December 2010 to help people shift from a passive process of applying to online job listings to a very proactive, strategic job search that puts them back in charge. The boot camp will combine a virtual kick off event and two months of online coaching followup. We are excited about offering this support to our clients.
Q. Can you share a success story about someone who landed their job using Green Career Central?
A. Just recently we heard from a client who leveraged his past experience in the utility industry and hi-tech marketing and landed a job with a major utility marketing sustainability/efficiency programs within a particular industry sector. He's ecstatic!
After trying to find a green job on his own for some time, he became a member of Green Career Central. He dove in with dedication; attending our teleclasses, using the resources on our Resource Center to clarify his career focus, participating in our online forum, researching his target industry, and strengthening his networking skills.
In my conversation with him he mentioned that having access to Green Career Central helped him to stay motivated throughout his job search. His efforts to land his dream green job paid off!