Take those first steps towards a sustainability career

Are you looking to integrate sustainability into your career? Your chances to do so are much higher if you leverage your current skills, rather than trying to land that job as CSR manager by taking some sustainability courses. This was the conclusion of a fun-filled interactive event at Nyenrode Business University. The workshop was expertly led by Annick Schmeddes, founder of sustainable career agency Sustainable Talent.


Five steps for sustainable career success

To create a sustainable role for yourself within or outside of your current organization, you’ll have to make a few fundamental choices. Key questions to ask yourself:

  1. Focus: How do you define sustainability? Which sustainability topics interest you most? What is the problem you’d like to solve?
  2. Research: What’s happening on those topics? What visions prevail? What is your vision on those topics? Which companies should really take this up? Can you start by doing something within your current organization?
  3. Pitch: How will you use your knowledge, expertise, and experience to solve the problem?
  4. Network: How can you leverage and expand your network to meet relevant people?
  5. Grow: How will you keep learning once you’ve landed that role?


The wisdom of the crowd for your sustainable career

The beauty of getting a group of people together in a room all working on these steps is that they also have great wisdom to offer each other. Here are some of the tips that were shared by the workshop participants:

  • Start from where you are
  • Make it personal: what is the world you want to create?
  • Take time to do your homework: what is it you really want? what can you offer?
  • Do the research: be curious about industries, companies, people
  • Resilience is key: don’t give up!
  • Don’t wait for the right moment: create it yourself
  • Start with something small; many small things can add up to something bigger


Interested to learn more? Check out the Sustainable Talent website for more tips, workshops, and services. Or read the blog on a similar workshop in 2016.

Written by Marjolein Baghuis (@mbaghuis) for Change in Context and the Nyenrode Alumni website. To read about interesting people, book reviews and other posts about sustainability, change, and communications please subscribe to this blog in the right-hand column.


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