What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
3 ½ years
£20,000 – £25,000
Please describe the work that you do.
I work for one of the many local environmental record centres spread around the UK. Our main job is to collect, collate and manage information on the natural environment for our geographic area. However, it goes much further than that. Whilst I do manage the species and habitat data that we collect, we are also involved in volunteer management, community engagement, project work with a variety of partners etc.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I absolutely love the variety that my job has to offer. I like keeping busy, doing something meaningful and developing our organisation, myself as well as other people.
The biggest downside is that there is not enough time to do all the things I would like to do. And there is not enough money in conservation to employ more members of staff. Funding is also getting scarcer so more people have to compete for the very few and small funds available. A benefit of this, however, is that you need to apply for funding as a group of organisations that work towards similar goals. You get to know organisations that you might have never worked with and get to reach out to a wider audience this way as well telling people about the importance of wildlife recording and the role of local environmental records centres in wildlife conservation.
What inspired you into this career?
I’ve wanted to work in conservation from when I was little. My parents love nature as much as I do so I have spent a lot of time outside as a child and on holidays we always explored the natural diversity the different areas of the world have to offer. Being able to protect what I love is one of my biggest dreams come true.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
There is no real progression within my organisation, other than becoming the manager. However, due to the fact that our industry is highly understaffed, it means that I get to learn a lot more in a variety of areas, such as volunteer management and support, community and engagement work, project work, collecting and managing species AND habitat data, website development and much more!
Another thing I can comment on is my experience with applying for jobs before I started my current job. Jobs in conservation seem to be quite scarce and competition is quite high. I’ve had a few interviews where I came in second place, purely based on experience, which was quite frustrating.
What education/training did you have?
I have a Masters of Science in Wildlife Conservation.
I also have a Masters of Science in International Business and Management, and a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) in International Business Communication.
I’ve been doing a lot of volunteering with various conservation organisation to acquire field technique skills as well as data management skills.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Try to get as much as experience as you can through volunteering. Not only will you learn new, valuable skills, you will also make very important, meaningful connections and build relationships that might be useful for the future. Never stop developing your skills. And show people how passionate you are about the work you want to do.