Skills

 

When asked why they want to work in sustainability, most of my career coaching clients say “to make a difference.”  Some word it as “to have positive impact,” “to create a future for our children,” “to save the planet,” or even simply, “to give back.” As values-based practitioners it’s important for us to “walk the talk” in our personal, as well as professional lives.

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Net Impact London and I hosted a workshop with a group of sustainability professionals to delve into the questions that every job seeker has: how can you figure out what a potential employer is looking for? And how can you communicate your competitive advantage as a potential employee?

Today, I’m sharing key outcomes of our discussion to help you drill down on the common skills, attitudes and values practitioners share to help you land your own dream sustainability job.

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Good news! As sustainability becomes more and more embedded into core business, the competencies required to achieve success have shifted to more commercially based skills, making it easier to break in if you can prove your transferable skill set. Hiring managers want to know that you understand the business first and foremost – that you have commercial, collaboration, and innovation skills. Having worked with more than 3,000 sustainability practitioners over the past 10 years, here are the top five competencies I see as crucial in evaluating CR and sustainability talent.

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A big part of my day is spent advising people with established skill sets and extensive experience on how to transition out of their safe, stable roles and into something that aligns more closely with their personal ethics.

Corporate responsibility and sustainability are invigorating spaces to work in. New, constantly evolving, varied, dynamic, game-changing, planet-saving and respectably remunerated. It’s the place to be for people who want to live their values without swapping their Birkin for Birkenstocks (OK, well, maybe not an actual Birkin, but you know what I mean).

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So, you’ve found a posting for your dream job. It looks amazing, you love the company already, it’s in your city, and you think you can do it well. What next?

In last month’s post — What not to do when writing your CV, Part 1: Me, Me, Me  — I explained why your CV should be all about the market: appealing to the market, meeting the market’s needs, using the market’s language, communicating what the market wants to hear. In this month’s post, I’m going to help you take a deep, analytical dive into the job description to figure out what the market really wants and tailor your CV to nail it.

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