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Navigating the Sustainability Career 🌱
Doing what we do best for the environment and us
"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it." – Robert Swan
Have you ever considered a career in green jobs?
With the ever-growing concern about the environment and sustainability, the field has gained popularity more than ever. However, one question remains: how do we know if it’s a suitable prospect for us?
We invite Salma Nurulhuda, one of our Project Leaders who has special concerns about the environment and sustainability, to talk about it!
What can we learn about green jobs, and how do we make them work?
Hi, Salma here.
Let’s talk about green jobs.
I like to think of it as an optimistic lens to view the climate crisis issue. Because honestly, I am getting tired of feeling anxious about the state of the world we live in today. Seeing the rate of destruction caused by our current economic system, it feels like a nightmare to be working for some random companies that are destroying the earth and worsening social inequality.
It has become my personal mission to help create solutions instead of being part of the problem. Fortunately, we can carve a pathway towards a sustainable future through our day-to-day jobs by choosing to work in the sustainability space.
Green jobs cover a wide sector in the sustainability space. From the obvious ones like renewable energy projects, all the way to transitioning each element of any business-as-usual practices towards a greener economy.
All in all, green jobs are the solution to constructing a better world. As a plus, they could also provide us with a sense of fulfilment knowing that what we do matters.
But like many, if not all, undergraduate students, it is hard for me to choose a career pathway. At one point, I felt like I was standing at a crossroad between choosing to pursue jobs that align with my academic field of study that is environment-related, or following the practical business-related skills I acquire from organizations and internships.
Then it dawns on me, what if I don’t have to choose? What if I can pursue both?
Merging the two—environment and business—opens up a whole new opportunity for me. I could provide consultancy for green businesses or social enterprises, do environmental research for companies, or map possible sites for renewable energy projects. I could apply my environmental knowledge in any area. The possibilities are endless and all of them are exciting.
I illustrated this from my side, but it can be applied to anyone pursuing any field. The good news is, you aren't necessarily required to have an environment-related degree.
We can apply sustainability in any area of our current system, or get the gears turning towards a regenerative and distributive economy. Because in order to create such systemic change, we need the full spectrum of expertise from all industries.
“Wherever you’re at now, there’s a place for you in sustainability. Your focus will need to be articulating the core skills you have to bring to the table, and coupling them with your knowledge in ESG.”
– Sharmila Singh, Founder of New Lens Consulting, Sustainability Consultant, and Career Coach.
Here’s a helpful chart from Deanna Pratt that could be a guide when considering career options in the sustainability space:
Be on the lookout for any opportunity in the wide-ranging sustainability space, don’t be afraid to try and see which ones suit you best.
Creating systemic change that enhances human lives while also preserving the environment can feel like an impossible task, but if each of us is focusing on what we can do best in our jobs, we might have a shot at saving ourselves from the impact of climate change.
I know navigating a career pathway is nowhere near an easy task. I, for one, am still in the process of figuring out my own. We’ll get there in time.
See you at another time!