Ive heard a lot in the press about job security in green-technology sectors. Is it possible to green-proof my career?


If the future is a colour it’s definitely green. Organisations of all sizes and sectors are looking to better understand and lessen their environmental impact, and individuals that can help that process will prove to be valuable staff members.

Alongside this general greening of business there is also a clean-technology revolution that is being vaunted by politicians and entrepreneurs as the possible saviour of future economies.

Business secretary Vince Cable said: “Green technology is a potential source of huge opportunity for Britain. The government is supporting development in a variety of renewable energy technologies and environmentally-friendly vehicles.”

While it’s not possible to guarantee job security in any sector, with government support the future does look bright for green industries. Anyone thinking about moving into an environmentally focused role, whether in the private or public sector, will need more than a passing interest in environmental issues.

It is a fast-moving, highly innovative sector and keeping on top of the latest trends, issues and legislation is crucial. Things to familiarise yourself with include:

• Climate change and its impacts

• Legislative and regulatory developments

• New technological innovations

• Concepts of green business and its economics.

As more organisations integrate their management systems, it is becoming easier for those with a traditional quality background to get more involved with environmental management systems such as ISO 14001, PAS 2050 and EN 16001.

If your current organisation has an environmental management system, why not speak to those in charge and learn more? You may get involved with internal assessments, and gain experience and knowledge. Or you could look into initiating a green project within your organisation, team or department, as you’ll gain a greater understanding of the real-world challenges of sustainable working through researching and writing a proposal.

Increasing your knowledge of a subject is key to moving into any new sector, as is finding what works best for you. For some people, a career break and retraining might appeal, but for others a part-time qualification or a short course at work might be more appropriate. One of the best resources is other people.

Professional online networks such as LinkedIn are a great way to talk to people already working in the green sector and to discover new opportunities.


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