What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
£25,001 – £30,000
Please describe the work that you do
I assess complaints brought to us to determine whether there is an indication that a public body may have failed to comply with environmental law, and if so, make recommendations on what steps we should take to address them. This involves stakeholder engagement with those bringing the complaints and the relevant public bodies, studying environmental law, gathering information, working closely with teams across the organisation to make the assessment and making decisions on the best way forward in line with my organisation’s policies.
Prior to this role I was a Policy Officer for CIEEM where I was responsible for delivering CIEEM’s policy ambitions and helping to expand the organisation’s policy activities.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I most like the investigative/problem solving nature of my role where you look at all the evidence given to you to figure out whether there has been a breach of environmental law or not. It allows me to learn about lots of new topics from across the environmental sphere and to really dig into an issue. I also love being able to work with, and learn from, a network of people who are experts in their fields.
The aspect of the role I find most difficult is that we aren’t always able to solve the problem that we see and having to prioritise. But I think it’s important to focus on the impact you can have in those priority areas.
What inspired you into this career?
Most of my conservation biology undergraduate degree was focused on field work and studying individual taxa/habitats, but we did a small module on environmental law and policies and how they have shaped the environment we have in the UK today. I was really excited to think there are careers that could help shape those laws to improve biodiversity on a large scale!
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
I have been very lucky to have gotten an internship with CIEEM straight from university which then progressed into a permanent role. While at CIEEM I made sure to keep pushing myself to engage in higher level policy engagement and was supported to do so. This then opened the door for working at the Office for Environmental Protection. So I would say I really can’t complain so far!
In general, I would say there are relatively few roles around for policy/law related work as it tends to be one or two people within NGO organisations, so movement around the sector can be challenging.
What education/training did you have?
I have an undergraduate degree in conservation biology, a master’s degree in applied ecology (studied while at CIEEM) and attend regular webinar and training days on project management, advocacy, volunteer management, communication and topic-specific issues. These are generally one-day courses offered by relevant bodies but I have also done a short course at the Open University.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Maintain your network of contacts as you complete placements, internships etc. by reaching out and showing genuine interest in their work/lives. It still seems to be a very small sector where lots of people know each other, and they may be able to help you when it comes to finding your way in – but its always better to have a genuine connection!