Nature's Life and Work Lessons | Print |
Written by Barbara Parks   

What does nature have to teach you about your life? About your work?

 

If you have not recently (or ever) walked through a deep woods with tall trees towering above you, ambled through a field thick with bluestem prairie grass, or hiked a nature trail with stunning views around every turn, you must go. Soon.

 

Nature's valuable lessons are not available to us in any other form but direct experience. Lessons not available on the Internet, in an e-book, a webinar, or a blog. Nor will you experience it attending a "Finding Your True Lifework" seminar. I've learned this first-hand.

My most recent foray into nature took me on a short, 2-mile hike through the Wisconsin Blue Hills. The trail was clearly marked, but not well-developed (looked like no one had recently walked the trail.) The hike was an adventure of nature's surprises. Especially the fresh bear scat discovered halfway through the trail!

 

What did my direct experience with the natural world tell me? I was inspired to reach out beyond the familiar edges of a well-worn trail, to see what's there to see, to refrain from naming it wild wasteland.

And more: to see what's there before knowing what it is or naming it. What does this feel like? What more does this have to tell me? What if I make that choice? What if I took a risk? What if that really were possible?

 

Questions that spawn more questions: Who would have that information? Where can I find out more about that?

And even: What would I be willing to do to protect this natural world? How does my work support natural systems?

 

Lots to learn. If you can't hike a nature trail soon (for whatever reason), watch a public TV nature show. Borrow a nature video from the library. Or just stop and take a few moments to go there in your mind.

 
This is a Great Time | Print |
Written by Barbara Parks   

My career and employment counselor colleagues say this is the worst job market since the mid-90s. News sources report there are ten qualified candidates for every job opening. Hard facts make it sound like this is the worst of times. . .


It’s certainly not the time to wait for Washington to "roll out" green jobs. Or wait for U.S. corporations to stanch the flow of greed and focus on their human capital. This is not the time to wait for business, in general, to “turn around.”


But this is a great time to explore green career opportunities in environmental industries, market sectors, and social justice fields.


And you can do any of the following:


This is a great time to remember who you are and why you’re here.

Ask yourself: What purposeful work do I really want to do? How do I want to contribute to a sustainable future? Give yourself the gift of one hour to jot down anything, uncensored, that comes to mind. You can do a reality check after the hour’s over.


This is a great time to think in terms of possibility.

Who says you’re not skilled enough? Who says you’re too old…or too young?


This is a great time to “dream up” new job titles.

New green career tracks continue to emerge daily. Many work opportunities being created in green fields and industries don’t even have a title. . . yet. You’ll not find them in the usual job listings! Write your own job title and job description that describes the kind of work you want to do. Go in search of the employer who’s looking for you.


This is a great time to study for a certificate.

Sometimes a credential needed is only a certificate away. Technical, non-technical, or social justice jobs in the green economy require a varying array of qualifications. Many prospective employers are looking for a specific combination of skills, strengths, education, and experience. But some hiring managers will consider a broader base of transferable skills, strengths, experience, and “chemistry” over a specific degree or credential.


This is a great time to explore entrepreneurship.

Spend some time exploring the possibility of creating your own career track as an independent consultant or business owner. Green entrepreneurs are changing the face of business and society with innovative solutions to today's problems. Join the ranks.


This is a great time to join the green tribe.

Get out and become part of a growing community of people who are working for a more sustainable and just world and empowering themselves through pro-active job search strategies.


This is a great time to make conscious choices about life/work balance.

How’s your personal sustainability index? Polls indicate that slightly more than half of all U.S. workers are dissatisfied with their jobs. Stress levels are rising in the workplace. Be sure to make life and work decisions that support your personal health and sustainability.

 

[copyright 2011, Green Career Tracks]

 
What Do You Care About? | Print |
Written by Barbara Parks   

What do you care strongly enough about to take action on your values about sustainability? Maybe you're just realizing that you have more of a part to play in saving the planet than you previously thought. Perhaps you're already taking steps to act on your sustainability values in your current work. Or maybe you're ready to put all effort into creating a sustainable career plan -- even though you have no idea what that might be or look like.

Some jobseekers today are choosing to include a sustainability values statement in their resume profile as a way to communicate their enthusiasm and commitment to working for change. They've learned that employers in environmental industries or market sectors are most interested in individuals who present values that support their companies' efforts to practice sustainable policies and procedures.

Here's a few values statements my clients have used to expand and personalize their qualifications profiles or summaries:

Committed to helping human consciousness recover a sense of kinship and relationshp to the web of life.

Committed to work on public policy that supports a healthy environment and fair distribution of resources.

Collaborating to manifest a world in which compassion, sustainability, authenticity, sharing and love are guiding principles.

Committed to integrating environmental stewardship and developemt to meet the needs of economically/environmentally challenged communities.

Working towards a world in which all life is nourished and every individual has what they need to prosper.

When you write a values statement based on what you care about and what you're willing to work for, you've created the first step towards a career track that honors your unique contribution -- and makes you more attractive to a prospective employer.

 


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Testimonials

“"Barbara Parks was helpful as a role model. . . she works with the values and patterns of Earth, nature, health, etc. She offered us ways to help and take care of the planet and told us about the many opportunities to find careers that help the environment and support a healthier society. I can now say, after everything I learned from her, that I will be more aware of the green careers available when I want to find a job in the future.”"

Minneapolis, MN & San Anselmo, CA | 612.822.0288 | barbara@greencareertracks.com | ©2010 Green Career Tracks