How to build a rewarding career as an environmental consultant

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Top tips and forward thinking insight for the environment consultancy jobs market

In a recent keynote presentation to Cranfield University students, Alison Carter, editor of the ENDS Report, Waste Planning and Mineral Planning, shared her expertise on connecting knowledge with a rewarding career in the green economy.

She noted that environmental consultants were responding to the growth seen across certain sectors of the industry by demanding more specific skillsets. She spoke in detail about these developments and what it now takes to become a successful environmental consultant.

Some of this broadening depth of consultants’ skills can be attributed to the National Planning Policy Framework’s focus on determining what vital resources were needed during the stages of project planning.

“It is not just about technical skills and abilities anymore,” said Carter.

“Environmental consultants need to be able communicate on a multidisciplinary level, they need to have good people skills, come up with creative and analytical ideas and be able to work to tight, high-pressure deadlines.”

Carter also offers the following advice to those applying for environmental consultancy roles:

  • Don’t expect the perfect role at first. Be open to suggestions and look at all types of jobs. Check what projects are being given funding - those are a good place to start.
  • Think about the skills you possess. How can you relate them to a job role? Employers want to see practical examples of your abilities; they want to know how you are good at working within tight budgets and evidence of your client management and communication skills.
  • Do your research. Before an interview, learn about the organisation’s values and think about the skills they will be looking for. Researching a company will also tell you a great deal on whether or not a company will be a good fit for you. Utilise sites like Glassdoor to get a unique perspective into a company from employees and ex-employees themselves.
  • Come prepared to your interview. Think about the kinds of questions the interviewer may ask you based on the job description and your CV. And think of your own questions to ask at the end of your interview - this demonstrates that you are interested in understanding or learning a bit more about your potential new workplace.
  • Update your social media profile. Many recruiters and employers are tech savvy and often utilise the powers of Google to do a little background research on candidates. Make sure your LinkedIn page is up to date and make use of the skills and endorsement features made available to you. Use your social media presence to put yourself in the best light.

Have a look at this video for more insider knowledge from Alison Carter on what’s happening in the green jobs market.

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