Finding a job in Natural Resources is not an easy task, whether you are a new college graduate, a skilled professional suddenly displaced, or just a person who always wanted to work in an environmental field. I know how difficult, and downright discouraging the job hunt can be.
Here's a personal story. I know it's true because it's ours.
In 1997, Bill (my spouse) could see that he was going to need a new job. Since I was the one who had the time and the computer knowledge, I started the job hunt via the Internet (and concurrently created the Cyber-Sierra Natural Resources Jobs web site). The original Internet hunt produced one significant job interview, and local contacts produced another. Given our options, Bill chose the local job which meant we did not have to relocate. That particular opportunity was a 2-year conservation position funded by a grant which involved both of us on a contract. When that contract was not re-funded in 1999, we knew we had to look for new jobs. Bill decided he should look for a new career and encouraged me to focus on web work.
Finding a new job was not an easy task for a 56 year-old guy whose field is logging systems forestry.....not in today's politically correct environment. Locally, there were absolutely no job opportunities in Bill's resource specialty. In fact, the county in which we lived had a recurring 20 percent unemployment rate. It was obvious he had to widen the job search loop beyond the local level, and we would probably move to a new area. Not too surprisingly I used the Cyber-Sierra Natural Resources Jobs web site for Bill's job search. I have more practice job-hunting via the internet than most people, but the techniques are the same - find the most likely posting locations, bookmark them and watch them like a hungry hawk looking for a meal. The key to any successful job hunt is persistence and diligence.
And when I say "watching" the most likely posting places, I mean I checked out practically every single possible location where a job vacancy might be hiding, just like I recommend to you. I looked for places that had current jobs in the right natural resource groupings. Once I did that, I ended up with a personal list of "most likely" bookmarks which I checked daily, and weekly. Job vacancies have short deadlines, and I didn't want to miss a good opportunity for Bill by being too late. Anything interesting I passed on to him (having typed up his resumes for umpteen years, I had a pretty good idea of the kind of jobs he wanted).
NOTE: If you are new to online job searches:
- Read The Dirty Dozen Online Job Search Mistakes
- Commit time to the search.
- Be persistent and consistent.
- Learn how to organize your 'Favorites' or 'Bookmarks'
- Set a schedule for checking site for new job announcements
- Weed through the various job sites regularly
- Sign up for various discussion lists in your resources specialty
- Commit some more time to the search.
Sifting through the job vacancies over a period of several weeks produced several possibilities and one great job opportunity for Bill: this time in a federal forestry occupation. Bill reviewed the vacancies and decided to put in for the federal agency position. Since he had prior government service we again used the Internet to refresh our memories about federal re-hire rights, requested federal records and updated his resume using excellent online information.
Bill's resume ranked out extremely high (thanks to our wisdom in utilizing the online information...) and he was interviewed, then offered the job. Even though we had to move, Bill now has a great forestry job (and we moved to a terrific location.) Not too shabby for a 56 year old guy..... so don't complain to me about being too old, too young, too anything......
After Bill acquired his new job, I was able to "move" my modest Internet business to our new county (all I need is a phone and local call access). Thanks to the Internet (and Cyber-Sierra's Natural Resources Job Search), Bill has a new job that he really likes, doing the work that he loves. I am also doing the work I love (building conservation and natural resources information web sites) and life goes on.
As webmaster for NRJobs I get a number of letters from visitors. Most are thanking me for creating the site (thanks folks, it's nice to be appreciated). But a few letters are from folks wondering if they will ever find that resources job. I want to encourage all of you out there hunting for that elusive job in natural resource occupations: You can find and get that job. They do exist. It can be done!
Get started on your job search and don't quit until you find the one you want. It won't fall in your lap, but you can click your way to success! YOU CAN DO IT !!!
Regards and best wishes,