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Are There Bright #Green Jobs to be Found in this Dull Gray #Economy?


Guest Post by Dan Smolen, Managing Principal, The Green Suits, LLC. This article is cross-posted on LinkedIn.

We are sure some reading this post will be immediately taken aback by its provocative title. Seriously…how could one characterize an [American] economy with 5.5 percent unemployment—down from recessionary highs of over 10 percent in 2009—as dull gray?

It’s true. Over the past several months, the economy posted some truly impressive month-after-month six-figure job gains. In February 2014 alone, the economy added 295,000 new jobs. And that is indeed substantial.

Yet, as we scratch beneath the glossy veneer we expose a not-so-rosy economic picture:

  • In March 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added only 126,000 new jobs—that’s about half of forecast
  • Earning power continues to lag pre-recession levels. AARP reported this week that nearly half of mid-careerists gaining employment after a downsizing accepted compensation in a new job that is below what they earned before the pink slip. Meantime, Millennials—soon to be the biggest cohort in the job market—continue to struggle connecting with first jobs or full-time employment
  • And the true unemployment rate—which factors in people who dropped out of the market entirely—is likely north of 10 percent. In some specialized career tracks and regions of the country, it could actually be north of 20 percent.

Those of us in green business certainly weather the storm more than talent in other spaces. And perhaps the biggest challenge for us is this: even well trained, experienced, and credentialed talent are not guaranteed a fast-track into the New Green Economy. Absent relevant training, accreditation, and work-experience, one’s transition into clean energy, cleantech, sustainability, and the greater good may be stormy, at best.

Yet, despite the challenges we believe there are things one can do—and do immediately—to create or find a bright green job in this dull gray economy. On April 16, 2015, we will address Leaders in Energy Research, Communications, Policies & Analysis (LERCPA) and provide 10 actionable strategies that can lead one to a successful career turn. The event takes place from 6-8 pm at the offices of LEVICK, located at 1900 M Street NW, Washington D.C. The venue is a quick walk from METRO stations on the Orange/Blue/Silver lines (Farragut West) and also the Red line (Farragut North).

If you interested in a bright green career and reside in the DC area, then we urge you to sign up for this terrific HAPPY HOUR event, right away. USE THIS LINK to sign up. Space is limited.

And here is more great news! We will provide a limited number of copies of our book, Tailoring the Green Suit: Empowering Yourself for an Executive Career in the New Green Economy, to sign for our event-paying attendees. While we wrote the book in the throes of the 2009 recession, our readers still report that the insight provided in its pages remains timeless…and entirely actionable.

If you are not in the DC area, then no worries. We urge you to connect up with LERCPA on LinkedIn. This is a great group, generating a lot of excitement across the U.S. and the globe among leaders in our green business space. And we are pleased to be working with them to help talent build the New Green Economy.

Despite the dull gray economy that remains we know this: our best days lie ahead.

Happy Easter and Passover to all who celebrate.

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