EVENTS & INSIGHTS / INSIGHT

5 Tips For Making a Job Change Into Sustainability or CSR

by Shannon Houde

In today’s economic climate, more and more job changers (laid off investment bankers, lawyers, consumer marketers, etc.) are trying to steer their career to the fast-growing sustainability and green markets. Although there are more jobs than ever, there is also more competition, even for candidates with sustainability experience. But what if you don’t have an obvious track record of relevant accomplishments and knowledge?  Not to worry. If you do it right you too can break into this exciting field.

Here are some tips to make sure you do a career transition right, and realistically.

1. A job search can take up to 6 months, even if you AREN’T making a career change. 

DON'T MISS OUT
ON MORE FREE TIPS

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up

Career paths don’t change overnight, so it’s important to plan ahead, say organised and keep momentum.  Make sure you have a well-articulated vision of your ideal role and start by identifying your biggest challenges in making this career change.  Next you should create a detailed action plan that breaks down each week between now and 6 months from now. Then try to address one item per week for six weeks – Who will you call each week?  What research will you do?  Who will you call again to follow up?

2. You can change, just not everything at once, right now.

The most successful career changers focus on one thing at a time – role, sector, or type of company, but not all three! My client Nicole wanted to leave her job as a corporate lawyer to pursue a more fulfilling career with a non-profit. She had a lot of great skills, but with no non-profit experience it was important for her to aim for a role that would make sense with her background. So we designed a job-search strategy that kept her focus in the legal field – we translated her legal case skills into project management and her client skills into partnership management to appeal to the non-profit side.  She joined networks linked to the NGO sector to show her commitment and highlighted all the volunteering she ever did.  After a few months she got the job of community investment manager at a leading law firm!

3. Taking a step back in your career doesn’t help your chances.

Buying something on sale doesn’t mean it is a good value, and taking a step back in your career doesn’t open doors for you.  You need to aim for roles that are at your level and still would show career progression.  Otherwise, you look desperate and insecure.  Devaluing yourself in the market will set you back because you won’t get the calls for interviews and then you will wonder why they didn’t want someone with all of your education or experience (unrelated as it may be) for half the price.

Think about it this way: If you were the hiring manager, would you want to manage someone with an MBA and 7 years’ experience if you were just looking for a Bachelors and 3 years?  Probably not.  Why?  Because that overqualified candidate probably will get bored and leave, or will want to get promoted to their job.

4. If you cast your net too wide you’ll catch fewer fish.

Yes you need to keep your options open, but not at the cost of having a strategic and focused job role and sector target.  You need to decide exactly what you are selling and to whom. Narrowing down the types of roles is vital for telling a consistent “story” in your CV, LinkedIn profile, and networking.  If you are looking for too many types of things no one will know how to help you.  Find your clear focus of one type of role in one sector first and then spread the word concisely to all of your networks.

5. Calling your “friends” has never been so important.

You must get the word out.  I know you probably hate the word “networking”.  But just like dating you only need one fish to take the bait–or employer in this case.  Making a career change means you have to get more creative and be more determined about building your network.  You never know who may know someone else who may be hiring – it is about your web of connections.  Ask everyone you know if they have one, just one, other person they can put you in touch with. Go through your LinkedIn contacts and go to “See All Connections” to see who else you can link to at your dream organisations. Then connect with them and ask them for coffee.

This article originally appeared on Acre

comments

You may also like...

Book Launch! Good Work: How to Build a Career that makes a Difference in the World

Joel Makower interviews Good Work author, Shannon Houde, about the evolving impact economy and how to shape a career that makes a difference. DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up

By Shannon Houde
purpose
How to find your place in the purpose economy

We’re all looking for a little more purpose in our lives Even more so with the uncertainty that currently swirls around us on a daily basis. In fact, a strong desire to make a difference within their professional lives is one of the key reasons that two thirds of women say they want to substantially shake up their career in 2021. The great news is that there’s rarely been a better time to find your place within the burgeoning ‘purpose economy.’ A

By Shannon Houde
10 biggest sustainability & social impact trends going into 2021

In so many ways 2020 was a seismic year for sustainability and social impact. From a global pandemic, to raging wildfires, and the changing face of both work and wellbeing, the last 12 months will have a legacy that lasts far beyond Covid-19. Here are 10 trends that came out of 2020 that all sustainability / CSR professionals need to know about.   DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up The threat of climate change

By Shannon Houde
Webinar: Reset Your Compass and Navigate Through Uncertainty with Clarity and Confidence

OnPurpose 2020 Shannon was delighted to speak at OnPurpose 2020. You can view her Reset Your Compass and Navigate Through Uncertainty with Clarify and Confidence session by clicking the video below. If you’d like some help gaining clarity, you can book a 30 minute trial session here to discuss your challenges and objectives in more detail. DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up

By Shannon Houde

NEED SOME SUPPORT?

Book a 30-minute trial session with Shannon

BOOK A TRIAL