To all you new Ecologists out there struggling to find your place in this world, listen up as I have a few tips that could help further your search.
With the current climate the way it is, cursed by the lingering plague that I shall not name, the world has evolved into an even more competitive place than back in the ‘normal days’, albeit at a lot slower pace. Although it seems like the world has almost stopped turning, young students are still graduating, seasoned Environmentalists are still battling and the earth is still growing. I would like to take this space to call attention to the Graduating Ecologists and Environmentalists out there to give hope and tips on how to ensure your place in this ever-vying market.
The importance of Ecologists is becoming more and more prevalent as we (as humans) continue our growth of infrastructure and industrialisation. The call for young Ecologists, with fresh minds ready to mould to the shape of bats, birds and mice are continually increasing, although to be a suitable candidate for these calls is a different story. In order to be considered these days much more is needed than a humble BSc. There is no doubt the world is in rapid decline – we are currently living through a mass extinction and not even the most experienced experts can predict what the universe will throw at us next with sincere conviction – but one thing we can do is adapt our ‘sapien ways and try to prevent more chaos.
If you’re an aspiring Ecologist, you will have to drive to the ass-end of nowhere to conduct species surveys
First of all, if you haven’t already, please get a drivers license – this is probably the most important factor when trying to join an Environmental career path. If you’re an aspiring Ecologist, you will have to drive to the ass-end of nowhere to conduct species surveys, you will have to work unsociable hours and you will need a vehicle. Enough said about that – just do it.
Secondly, start doing some volunteering, even if it’s just for a few hours a week. Get yourself out there, show your face and get stuck in. If anything, these positions will be fun and you’ll be out in nature doing what you love best. They are also likely to be an in for seasonal work, which could eventually lead to permanent employment.
Next top tip, start working towards a Species License, the sooner you have one of these, the more likely you will bag yourself a permanent Ecologist role. Employers are thirsty for Ecologists who already possess these licenses, or are working towards them, particularly bats and Great Crested Newts! If you want to stand out to employers, this is a great way to start.
Another nugget of advice would be to start working towards a CIEEM membership – this membership is gold dust to employers. It can take a long time to achieve a full membership, or to even qualify for one, but if you can show you’re working towards this, it will be massively respected.
Lastly, employers want people who are passionate. You can have all the experience in the world and still struggle to find a permanent placement, however if you have passion for this topic and can convey that through a CV, phone calls, interviews, you will immediately stand out.
So, get your licences, work your way towards relevant memberships, join your local bat/mammal group, download apps that you can track invasive species, reach out to other Ecologists and grow your network, familiarise yourself with wildlife legislation, get that CSCS card and most importantly send me your CV so I can help you throughout your journey 😉
All jokes aside, this is an important field and this is a highly competitive market. It really is unfortunate that Ecologists, and other Environmental positions alike, require so much extra-curricular participation that not everyone can afford, or have the time to be involved in.
For those that do not have the means to obtain a Species License or a CIEEM membership, ensure you are doing other less time consuming/expensive activities such as, with apps on your phone and educating yourself on legislation. Without us Environmentalists the world would blow, so keep plugging!