For the first time in my climate career, I'm on the job market. It's terrifying.
Mostly it's terrifying because when I read news stories like this, I reflexively tense up and shut down — what my partner calls "turtling" — and have to consciously set aside the feelings of anxiety and self-doubt to remind myself I've got a lot to offer and I don't have to do it all myself.
I've got a lot to offer and I don't have to do it all myself.
I'm quickly realizing that finding a job is more a process of learning about yourself than it is about sending resumes. Especially a job in climate.
This weekend I went to a climate happy hour sponsored by Terra.do, which was truly wonderful. There were 6 or 8 of us, very low key, just talking (and in my case, oversharing) about what it's like to be alive and in the world right now and the process of getting to a place where you're willing to engage in ways to change the system to something that's better for everyone. For some people, that's a years-long process. For all of us, it requires a lot of introspection and being kind to yourself along the way.
A useful way to think about this, from Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
Not surprisingly, there was a wide range of folks at the happy hour. Climate jobs are for everyone. Younger folks are increasingly likely to outright reject job offers from employers who don't take climate seriously. Some cities, like Minneapolis where I live, have resources that actively prioritize opportunities for people of color to engage in all the overlapping reasons to fight for intersectional justice that climate work brings. A few job boards, like Brown Girl Green and Work on Climate, make it easy to find roles that fit the whole of you as a person.
If I could offer just one piece of advice that I've learned so far on this job hunt, it's that if you feel this fire inside you to work in climate — you've got to follow it. In the worst worst case scenario, you can make any job into a climate job by advocating internally for systemic change in your workplace.
It's scary to start on this journey — part starting over, part rediscovering yourself — but you will find your people and feel so much better about yourself. Work for Good has a nice roundup of resources available for any stage of your climate career search.
After working almost entirely remote jobs for the past 10+ years, I am finding huge enthusiasm in the thought of having in-person colleagues to do this work shoulder-to-shoulder with for basically the first time in my climate career. If that thought excites you too, go for it.
Where are you on your climate career journey? (And do you have any job openings???) Drop me a note: [email protected] !