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.
Each day is very different and is a mixture of desk-based and fieldwork. In terms of fieldwork, we travel widely and have the lucky position of being able to visit some very beautiful natural sites. I am growing a specialism in botany and am very interested in aquatic ecology, so recent field work opportunities have included condition monitoring of fenland aquatic plants. Part of the desk-based element of my role is to write up my survey findings.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I love the variety of project work and the places I get to visit through work. I also like that there is both a mixture of academic and practical understanding required. It feels satisfying being able to use my degrees and to find that many of the principles and knowledge I acquired at school and university are helping me in my job now. I dislike some of the anti-social hours we occasionally have to work, if for example we are conducting a bat survey at night.
What inspired you into this career?
I have wanted to be an ecologist since my early teens when we moved to the countryside. My family took me to lots of country events and I gained some work experience in the field quite early on, which by chance really interested me.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
As with every step up in life, it requires a greater degree of time management and inevitably can be more stressful, however our capacity to grow and adapt is remarkable. Finding that first job can be quite hard and I think you need to be prepared to widen the net of places and roles you would consider. The role I am in today didn’t initially appeal but I am very happy in it now.
What education/training did you have?
I studied an Undergraduate Degree in Biology and then a Masters in Ecology and Conservation. Since beginning work, I have undertaken a wide range of technical training funded by my employer and am a Full Member of the Charted Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Someone once advised me that work experience is a bit like dating! Try on a few roles to help you work out which role best fits you. But otherwise, I found it helpful to look at job adverts early on to work out what employers were looking for and then chose modules and gained work experience to help me grow in these areas. Many of the best voluntary positions I benefited from were found via the Wildlife Trust and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), so I would recommend looking on their websites for opportunities.