Unemployed MBA Searches for a Green Job

Networking remains the key to finding a job, even a green one. (Photo: fizkes/Shutterstock)

Although the unemployment news has improved, slightly, there are still millions of Americans out-of-work. The unemployed range from those seeking entry-level positions to Americans with an impressive list of credentials. One of these credentialed unemployed Americans is Kevin Chenoweth. In 1993, Chenoweth received an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. In April 2009, Chenoweth found himself suddenly unemployed.

Chenoweth now blogs about his career pursuits for the Wall Street Journal. Yesterday’s entry focused on the steps Chenoweth has taken to help land a green job.

“The first action I’ve taken is to start attending local conferences. Already, I have volunteered for the citywide Green Festival last month. I also attended the annual Colorado Renewable Energy Society, where I heard guest speakers, attended seminars on smart grids and other emerging trends, toured solar homes, and visited the National Renewable Energy Lab.” Source: Wall Street Journal

Chenoweth is networking, he’s expanding his knowledge of clean energy through online courses, and he is working on rebranding himself so that he can get a ticket on the green jobs train.

One of the problems that Chenoweth notes is that many of the meetings that will help you network require membership into an association. When you are dealing with unemployment, the last thing you want to do is join a pricey membership organization.

Peter Beadle, founder of GreenJobs.com, has a solution for this. “If you say you’re up where we are in the Bay Area, Northern California. My advice is join the Northern California Solar Energy Association, so that’s a chapter of the American Solar Energy Association. But it’s much lower key. It’s much cheaper to join.” Source: GreenBiz.com

So you can still gain the benefits of joining a member organization, connect with other industry professionals in your local area, but you save fees because you are joining a local chapter as opposed to a national organization.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about unemployed Americans going back to college to gain skills in an eco-friendly field. Community colleges across the nation have seen an upswing in enrollment in environmental certificate and degree programs. Green building, energy efficiency, weatherization, and solar tech programs are all seeing a surge in applications.