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

empleos sostenibilidad apreton de manos

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

The professional sustainability industry is booming, which has its pros and cons. In particular, not being fully educated can create perplexing patterns for candidates. However, there are some pointers as to which green skills or types of additional experience can help serious candidates.

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

Not only is it evolving, but the industry is also changing faster than fossil fuel industries such as coal and oil. Jobs related to solar panel manufacturing and electric vehicle engineering are becoming much more common than coal mine jobs. This trend has been increasing for years and is only expected to continue as regulations around the world try to contain and completely eliminate fossil fuels.

The field of professional sustainability can span any industry

The perception of how many jobs could have a sustainable angle outside of scientists and social organizations is also evolving. 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 Report 2022 highlighted the most prevalent and demanding fields of the green movement. It also revealed industries that lack environmental development.

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

However, education in this regard remains behind schedule and in a world that is developing faster than ever before, educators will need to teach new skills related to sustainability. How are future politicians supposed to advocate green policies or how are civil engineers going to build environment-friendly plans if these skills aren’t taught in school?

Even applying for jobs that are not directly related to sustainability can have a sustainable perspective.

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

Entering the field of sustainability is often an ethical choice as climate change becomes more severe and nations seek to mitigate its effects. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a hot topic as companies without a clear sustainable focus recognize its impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity and global temperatures. Pressure instilled by companies involved in environmentally focused CSR creates responsibility for other industries to follow suit.

With corporate greenwashing, countless organizations try to trick consumers to make a profit or manipulate potential employees by promoting unrealized green initiatives. As we enter a sustainability profession, 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 can benefit your reputation. And we can emphasize that not acting now will hurt companies in the long run if they end up destroying their reputation in the eyes of their customers or being accused of falsely marketing their products and services.

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

By Jane Marsh. Article in English

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