As the impact of climate change becomes more evident, there is an urgent need for individuals, brands and organisations to find newer scalable solutions to tackle the problem. But how can an individual without a degree in sustainable development or environmental science work in climate?
Over the past couple of months we’ve hosted multiple experts on our podcast The Voice of Gen-C to decode everything from how consumer brands can embed sustainability into their DNA, to how individuals can be a part of the Climate movement. What follows are their thoughts on what it takes to work in climate and how to make it happen.
Who can work in Climate Action?
You. Your neighbour. Your cousin. Your uncle. Your professor. Anyone and everyone.
Climate action is not just a job for scientists or environmentalists. It's a critical issue that affects every sector of our society.
“So we’re transforming every single sector that we can imagine. Energy, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, construction, even horizontals like finance. So we would need all kinds of people with all kinds of skills to come in.” – Anshuman Bapna, Co-founder Terra.do, an online community which helps professionals to transition to climate jobs.
Whether you're a marketer, a project manager, a lawyer, or an engineer, there are opportunities to use your skills and expertise to make a difference in the fight against climate change.
How can early professionals find green jobs?
“All of us have such different pathways for how we entered the field of climate and sustainability and there are millions of those pathways for all Gen-Cs out there to do so. There is no one answer” – Anirudh Gupta, Co-founder Climes.
Anyone currently working towards sustainability will agree with Anirudh. Let’s take the example of our team at Climes – Out of twenty odd Climers only one has a traditional degree in environmental science.
Mansi Shah is working to solve climate change by enabling brand and consumer behaviour change. Here are 2 approaches she’s shared with us for early professionals to transition to a climate job:
This route is for individuals who find value in learning through universities and want to work on policy, research or a top-down approach to sustainability.
- Understand what the companies you want to work with are looking for – educational qualification, hard skill sets, experience, etc. A quick desktop research and chat with their current employees should help with this
- Find the degree programme which specifically fits the bill. For shortlisted courses, speak with alums, current batch, professors to understand the true ROI of the course.
This approach is right for people who don’t believe in traditional forms of education, or those who can’t afford advanced courses or for those who want to work with younger companies.
- Focus on your skills - Double down on your existing skill sets to become a pro at it, whether it is writing, programming, data analysis, research.
- Find companies who share your values - Against animal-cruelty, care of underprivileged, women empowerment, etc. Find companies whose mission and passion for the cause is similar to your interests.
- Leverage your skills to grow the company - Figure out how you can use your skill sets to help accelerate the company's growth which will in turn lead to larger impact creation.
Regardless of which approach you choose, one thing is key to your success - Networking. Building a strong network is key to finding opportunities in the sustainability field. Attend events and conferences, join professional organisations, and connect with individuals who are working in the field. Consider joining online communities such as LinkedIn groups to connect with other professionals and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.
What kind of companies are hiring for sustainability led profiles?
Almost any company. Every sector, brand, department is thinking of sustainability. The increased awareness about sustainability in consumer minds have resulted in them demanding it from brands. In order for brands to retain their customer base they need to start acting on sustainability today.
Pratham Mitthal, Founder of Master's Union, an alternative business school, shares insights into how even traditional companies like J K Cement are looking for climate as a skill set in their potential hire.
"Climate has become its own skill, like the way you had accounting, finance and marketing" - Pratham Mittal, Founder Master's Union
And it's becoming increasingly sought after by companies in all industries.
As a matter of fact - We're hiring! We're looking for a Growth Marketing Intern who is passionate about the planet, technology and marketing. Find the JD here. To apply write to email@example.com with the Subject Line - "Let's make the planet cool again".