By APARAJITA BANERJEE
Over the years, Leaders in Energy has been a conduit to connect employers with job seekers, suppliers with the emerging demands of the market, innovators with investors, and thought leaders with an action network. Each year Leaders in Energy organizes a series of events and workshops to help people explore different options to build a career in the green economy and to assist them in tailoring their expertise to the requirements of the rapidly evolving sector.
The first session of the Green Career Momentum Series was held on April 19th, 2018 at The McCormick Group, Arlington VA. The session was planned in such a way to help enable working professionals to attend it during lunch hour (12 pm to 1 pm) both in-person or virtually. Janine Finnell, Executive Director of Leaders in Energy, introduced the work of Leaders in Energy, a global action network for clean energy and sustainability, focused primarily on sustainable communities, green economy, and promoting multigenerational leadership. Beth Offenbacker, Ph.D. spoke about the specific goals of the 2018 Green Career Momentum series to create a network of professionals with similar career goals who can support each other to achieve individual aspirations.
Chery Bedard, Principal at The McCormick Group, has several decades of experience in recruiting specialized talent to match the requirements of clients. Talent acquisition for a rapidly evolving sector like clean energy technology may not follow the established patterns of other sectors. Technologies are always changing, and new products are being launched very often. Job seekers who are motivated to adapt and learn quickly will be in demand.
Due to uncertainty about future needs, the most common approach in the recruitment process for positions in these industries is to find candidates that are smart, practical problem-solvers, and sensitive and kind to other humans. Candidates also need to know their value, know what they can offer, and be able to make the connection between their unique selling points and the needs of the industry. Job seekers with these competencies should market their problem-solving skills. Often people with great skills assume that every other person has similar talents, and therefore they undersell their capabilities. While in the job market, candidates should concentrate on how they are communicating their positive traits and values.
Bedard also discussed how resumes can be an important tool and should be formatted so that relevant information is conveyed very quickly and precisely to the recruiter to grab their attention while going through thousands of resumes every day.
The Green Career Momentum series will examine different parts of the green economy, drawing attention to the changing marketplace and new skill set requirements. To successfully land a job, Offenbacker suggested any job search process needs to begin with a proper plan or strategy in place, dividing it into different stages and putting time and effort into each step.
The group completed an exercise where each participant worked on a series of questions to help them start their job search process, identify the companies they want to work with and the opportunities in each company. The exercise also helped to identify core competencies and skills, align them with the marketplace, and establish arguments with concrete examples from past experiences.