What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
£30,001 – £40,000
Please describe the work that you do.
I coordinate and deliver casework advice to stakeholders for offshore wind and other marine renewable energy development proposals in Scottish waters. I provide advice on the natural heritage interests and consider the potential environmental impacts arising from proposed marine developments. My work is a balance between helping to tackle the climate emergency, whilst also conserving our marine biodiversity.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I like working across a variety of different marine renewable projects and building long-term and effective relationships with stakeholders. I am a goal-oriented person, so I enjoy having varied tasks to work on and complete. My role utilises my knowledge and passion for the marine environment, whilst challenging me to learn more about the policy world – continuous learning is important to me. Also, my work is mostly desk-based with the occasional site visit or conference. I prefer this, but people who like fieldwork and working outdoors may not.
What inspired you into this career?
I grew up in a land-locked county in England and always found our seas to be mysterious. I went on to study Marine Biology at university and developed a passion for combatting climate change also. My subsequent jobs were not in the marine conservation field, but they did provide me with a variety of soft skills and allowed me to travel to remote places where I could explore and expand my appreciation for nature. My current role in the nature sector allows me to use my knowledge of the marine environment and help tackle climate change on a national scale.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
During and immediately after university, I struggled to find well paid, entry-level work within the marine conservation or nature sector. I instead applied for a variety of jobs in different sectors (e.g., admin/fundraising for charities), which allowed me to develop my transferrable soft-skills and make me more attractive to future employers.
What education/training did you have?
I studied Marine Biology at university through an integrated Masters programme, that combined both an undergraduate and Masters degree in one. After working in different sectors for a brief while, I was then successful in applying for a graduate / project placement at NatureScot, which provided an entry-level pathway into the nature sector. I then moved onto a trainee and developmental role in the Marine Energy team at NatureScot, before moving into my current Marine Sustainability Adviser role.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Look at developing transferrable soft-skills, such as: stakeholder engagement, public speaking, report writing, project management and organisation. Going into other sectors or adjacent roles will help you develop these skills and put you at a competitive edge when applying for a nature-based role in the future. Research organisations/companies that have true entry-level/training roles either for school leavers or graduates (e.g., various apprenticeships, grad schemes, etc).