Written by: Kelly Park, Communications Manager and Ana Garza, Podcast Host
Wanting to protect the environment is a common thread of why people are working in the green economy. What is the story behind your career choices, how did you get your job, can my job make a positive impact. These questions are answered when we sit down with passionate individuals on In the Green Chair Podcast. In the Green Chair is available wherever you listen to podcasts.
“A recurring theme across the episodes is that people who are working in the green economy are driven by their passion. Sustainability is a core value that influences their career path and the work that they do.” Said Ana Garza, host of In the Green Chair.
There is an intentionality with green careers. We have heard this shared passion of wanting to make a positive difference in conversations we’ve had with guests this season. Here’s what our guests have shared:
Tim Nash, Sustainable Financial Advisor
Season 2, Episode 2
“The economic system had been completely ignoring social and environmental issues, looking only at profit. And that’s what started me on this journey. From there, a bunch of different smaller experiences confirmed I was on the right path.” – Tim Nash
Tim’s career was shaped by finding the gap between his interests in economics and sustainability, and then striving to fill that by educating people about sustainable investing. When Tim started his business there wasn’t a focus on impact investments, social finance or ESGs like there is today.
“That’s what propelled me – I saw this gap where people had this view that sustainable investments were going to underperform, where everything that I was learning about sustainability is that this is the future and that the returns can be as good, if not a little bit better. And that’s when I came back to Canada and started my business and went on this mission to educate people about how they can align their portfolio with their values.”
Tim has set aside big long-term career goals for himself, because he is passionate about the positive impact he wants to have on his community.
Alanna Mitchell, Journalist and Author
Season 2, Episode 4
“It was a question of spiritual salvation. I couldn’t continue to do what I was doing at The Globe because I knew that the real story was climate. I knew that, I could see the science, I was reading the science, I was reporting on it. It was inevitable.” – Alanna Mitchell
Alanna had a full-time position with benefits and a good salary, but she did not feel fulfilled in the work that she was doing. She felt that she could make a bigger impact and be more intentional in writing about climate science, which she cares about deeply.
Dr. Lindsay McCunn, Environmental Psychologist
Season 2, Episode 5
“Try to think about the type of day-to-day you’d like to have once you graduate…try to think 5 or 7 years ahead and how do I want to be spending my days? What kind of schedule do I want? What kind of people do I want to be interacting with? What kind of resources and literature do I want coming into my brain? And then work backwards to think how do I get there.” – Dr. Lindsay McCunn.
Passion is demonstrated by being intentional about the choices you make in your career, whether that’s through what you study or the jobs you apply for. Dr. McCunn highlights the importance of taking the time to know your skills and interests, and how that may direct your future.
“It’s important to know yourself.”
Cheeying Ho, Executive Director
Season 2, Episode 6
“I don’t know if I would say I sought out to be an executive director, but it was more the organization that I really wanted to be involved in and to lead the development of it. What I really enjoy about the executive director role is organizational development, so being able to shape where the organization goes.” – Cheeying Ho
Cheeying demonstrates her passion for sustainability in her work by having a clear vision for how she wants to lead the Whistler Centre for Sustainability. For Cheeying, her focus is not on the status of being the Executive Director, but rather on leading by example.
Eugene Kung, Environmental Lawyer
Season 2, Episode 7
“There wasn’t a pathway that I mapped out and was following, but rather I was following my own passions, following my interests, and being open to learning as opportunities came along.” – Eugene Kung
Eugene took time off after his undergraduate degree to explore his interests and passions. He did not rush into his career, but took time to reflect and chose his opportunities mindfully. This demonstrates that you do not have to be passionate about one thing throughout your life and have one specific career, but instead your interests and passions will continue to surface and change throughout your life. It is important to be open-minded and allow the opportunity for new passions to come.
Pursuing a career in the green economy allows you to align your personal values with your income. But, no matter what job you end up doing, you can make a positive impact in areas of your life. Knowing how other people ended up in their careers helps us to see ourselves in similar roles or may help us to pursue a different path. There’s no specific road to success. Understanding how your passions could line up with a career that supports those beliefs may be the right career path for you.
About In the Green Chair: Learn about green careers from inspiring people whose jobs help the planet. Each episode features a different guest who sits down in the green chair to tell us about their journey, passions and career.
Created by Relay Education, a Canadian charity, which delivers interactive programming about renewable energy, green careers, conservation and climate change. Hosted by Ana Garza.