• Marie

Job search and self-confidence / Part 2

Looking for a job involves strategizing your search while managing your positive energy: a "no" does not mean you do not deserve the job. However the hunt for a position in the sustainability field is somehow a different work.

First, you need to be proactive and send a proper amount of unsolicited applications before getting a response (if you are lucky enough to get one): compared to admin/accounting/IT jobs, the number of available positions is quite limited and surely well-kept by their owners.

Then, you need to jump on the opportunities as soon as they pop on job platforms. However, the game becomes quickly interesting: the concept of sustainability is often mixed up with various other fields (sustainable investments, ESG Risk Management software developer...) and you need to ensure you wear the right cap(s) to proceed and apply.

Fun fact, sustainability practices and assignments (e.g. reporting, GHG inventory, strategy) are often attached to another better-recognized function, for instance marketing, sales or finance, and often it is considered a small share of the overall job rather than being a position on its own. And it sometimes feels like questionning the company's purpose or understanding of the concepts.

Are you using a search engine? the choice of keywords is critical, and yet the replies you will get can be absolutely random. For example, if you type:

- Environment, you'll end up either with any company that promotes a "nice work environment"

(this one also work with "Climate"), and/or any IT-related vacancy.

- Sustainable, you'll pre-select companies that "aim for long-term business sustainability", i.e. pretty much all of them obviously.

- Climate change, CSR, ESG, Quality Management... you risk to engage in a filtering process of the vacancies to ensure that the position's content is relevant and/or does not play a role in the company's green washing strategy.

You have found the right vacancy? Congratulations! It is now time to submit your application.

Do you enjoy online platforms to proceed? I personally don't, though I fully understand how easier it is to filter a large amount of applications. But one thing that can be highly bothering is when the HR structure does not include "environment/sustainability/CSR" as a field of studies or professional experience: you do not have a box to tick and need to figure out what is the closest you can pick (and no one really likes to pick the "other" option), which often goes towards "life science", "engineering" or "humanities" (which I feel I am all and nothing at the same time).

But hey, as I mentioned in my previous post, I am not here to complain either (or yet). While job search is taking time and energy, OUTSIDE THE BOX allows me to be creative and positively critical.

Sustainability peeps, what would you add to the above? Any constructive advice to share with newly-graduates?

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