Looking to pursue your passion in conservation? Here is a short list of secrets to help improve your conservation career job search.
- Be open to exploration
Think globally, act locally! Start by being open to exploring opportunities in different places with different people. Join volunteer groups on Facebook and various other social media sites. Seek out groups within your local community and beyond. These groups often interact with similar interest groups, which provides many networking opportunities. Working with these groups can also serve as a way to gain experience in the field; access resources and knowledge about topics dealing with your specific areas of interest; and cultivate your passion for conservation.
- Take on educational opportunities with diversified career interests
Careers in conservation require an array of skills. Education in conservation is not limited to science and technology-related fields. Conservation organizations need business people, mathematicians, educators, engineers, marketing professionals, lawyers, politicians, eco-journalists, etc. Consider taking a course or two outside of the “STEM” fields to broaden your perspective on where a career in conservation can take you.
- Create opportunities for yourself!
Take advantage of any trainings or conferences available to expand your knowledge of your particular area(s) of interest. Also, you may want to consider blogging. You can blog about nature, your experiences, and share information about what you’ve done (volunteer work, trainings you’ve attended, educational experiences, etc.) Blogging creates opportunities for you to network with peers and engage in interest-based conversations. It also gives potential employers a way to get to know you and your career interests in a less-traditional format.
- Work for free or get paid to work?
Here’s where you’ll have to be willing to be flexible and honest about pursuing a particular job or internship (especially if it is unpaid). While a paid internship certainly has its advantages, sometimes the experience is worth more than a paycheck. Experience speaks volumes in the conservation world. Employers want to know that you’ve had some transferable work experience. So, when starting out in this field, the opportunity to gain real work experience in the field may be worth the sacrifice!
- Stay inspired and motivated!
The best way to get inspired or stay inspired is to feed those desires with content on a regular basis. You can do this by staying connected with locals or friends on social media who share similar interests. Get involved in leisure activities related to your conservation interests and stay up to date with topics in the conservation field to share knowledge among your peer groups. You can also stay inspired by reading, listening to podcasts and watching videos related to your areas of interests. TED Talks are known to drive inspiration and creativity. Click here to explore TED Talks on conservation.
For more information on finding opportunities in conservation, check out the list of Conservation Volunteering Opportunities by Conservation Scientist and Science Communicator Dr. James Borrell. You can also check out the following articles for more inspiration and secrets to the conservation job search.