Sep 6, 2010
01:35 PM

From Pink Slip to Green Career

Eucalyptus hosted a presentation for all of our readers who want their greenbacks to come from a green job at Eulipia restaurant in downtown San Jose last week.

In addition to promising a personally rewarding career path, the green sector is one of the few job markets that is actually expanding, as Green Tech Academy founder Heidi Livingston Eisips explained at the networking event.

"Green jobs are up consistently over the last four years, growing 24% since 2005," she said.

Eispis encouraged audience members to see the pink slip as a chance to transform their careers into something even better.

"There's a great deal of momentum and passion that people feel in pursuing [green jobs]," she said.

Eispis should know, as she made the transition to a greener career a little over three years ago. After working in marketing for high-tech companies including Hewlett-Packard and Sun for years, Eispis started her own consulting company, Korala . Korala has helped big businesses, non-profits, and government organizations enhance their sustainability while improving their marketing strategies as well.

She also founded the Green Tech Academy , which helps professionals make their way into the green sector using the skills they already have. The Green Tech Academy runs Saturday trainings which provide the industry knowledge necessary to enter the green sector. They also offer educational referrals, and a good chance to network.

"Know that what you know already matters," quipped Eispis, who has seen plenty of people of all vocational backgrounds apply their experience to the green tech sector.

For those who need to do some soul-searching before job-searching, Ingrid Stabb offered a sample of the insights from her book The Career Within You. Stabb chairs the Career Development Committee of the Yale School of Management, and also writes about careers for a trade journal. The Career Within You uses the Enneagram personality model to match people's natural habits and outlooks with the jobs that fit them.

Stabb explained the nine personality types, and then guessed that most of the Eucalyptus community would fall under either perfectionist or adventurer. That is, people who love to improve on everything and hold themselves to high standards (including sustainability standards), or people who naturally like to wear many hats and constantly seek something new (including new careers).

For any type of person, the growing green economy has something to offer-- whether it's a better selection of sustainable products, information for a healthier lifestyle, or a challenging new job at a green-tech start-up.

"No matter where you come from philosophically, there is something for you in going green," said Eisips.

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