Break Into The Green Building Industry!

CaaNNxKUcAEcxnNThis Thursday the Emerging Green Builders kicked off 2016 with our first event, a speaker session on starting your career in the green building industry.

Our speakers were Andy Schonberger (@BuildSmartAndy) of Cisco Systems, and Jim Lord (@Jim__Lord) of EcoVert – two guys with extensive experience in the green building field.


Here’s a list of the top 4 take aways from the event!

  1. Be patient.One of the things that I really enjoy was the fact that neither speaker got to be where they are today by just graduating with a degree and landing a great job.  Don’t expect things to come easy, but also don’t get discouraged just because you don’t start off exactly where you want to be. Also, be flexible and open to new things.
  2. Be involved in your industry. This should be super easy for anyone in the sustainability/green building community because there are a ton of volunteer opportunities, conferences, and committees out there to join. Also, from my experience, everyone is super nice and open, so there’s no need to be shy.
  3. NETWORK. NETWORK. NETWORK. But, as Jim Lord said, “be genuinely interested in people”.  Instead of just looking for job opportunities, try to make real connections.  One of the greatest tips I heard was, “if you don’t have what that person needs, but know someone who does, help get connect them”.  I think a lot of students just focus on where we can get jobs and that’s about it, but selfish networking is not effective for creating long-term connections.
  4. Any job can be a sustainability job. “You can add the sustainability piece to any job. It’s that passion and bringing that passion to your work,” is another great piece of advice.  This is something that I also heard at the UofT Sustainability Conference earlier this month, when Bob Willard discussed how sustainability changes, surprisingly enough, are not always a top-down order but instead come from the initiative of regular “middle” employees, just because they had the passion and drive to see it through.

CaaSxz-VAAAdHbYOverall, it was a great event with wonderful and engaging speakers. I was happy that many young people from the green building field came out to enjoy it.  I met young professionals and students from a variety of focuses like construction, renewable energy, interior design, and urban planning, just to name a few.

If you’re interested in learning more about EGBs click here!  Our next event will be a mentor mixer in May, details tba!