Breaking into the environment sector

31st January 2012

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  • Skills ,
  • Guidance ,
  • Qualifications ,
  • CPD



IEMA has joined forces with the Guardian to share advice on how to move into an environmental role.

In live webchat, students, graduates and individuals considering a change of career were able to ask a panel of recruiters, consultants and experienced environmental professionals what they could do to successfully launch an environmental career.

IEMA’s director of membership strategy and development, Claire Lea, was joined by Jonathan Ward from environmental education charity Change Agents UK, Sarahjane Widdowson from consultancy AEA and Andy Cartland from recruitment firm Acre Resources among others, in sharing advice and top tips on useful qualifications, gaining relevant experience and how to stand out from the crowd.

The Q&A session covered the value of a masters’ degree in an increasingly competitive job market, how employers often welcome career changers as bringing valuable transferable skills, the importance of soft skills such as communication and the benefit of joining a professional body like IEMA in presenting networking and career opportunities.

The variety of potential roles was also highlighted with questions raised about opportunities in waste management, corporate social responsibility and geographical information systems, for instance.

The two-hour online session, generated more than 200 comments all of which remain available online for anyone looking for good advice on how to progress their career.

IEMA student members that participated in the Q&A said it had been an interesting and helpful session.

"It's been exciting reading comments and responses made,” said one. While another said: “All my questions were answered and I networked with some really experienced people.”
Reflecting on the session, IEMA’s Claire Lea said: “One thing that really stood out was the quality of the talent that is out there. They have volunteered and done internships, which is fantastic, but what we have found with our recent award winning graduates is that networking and staying up to date on legislative and policy and technologies have really helped. For example, using the IEMA Linkedin group and regional networks, along with the information and resource in the environmentalist are some of the many ways to do this.”


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