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 work with local environmental Non-Governmental-Organisations (NGOs) and governments in the UK Overseas Territories to help protect their key sites for biodiversity from development threats, while also working with them to help strengthen their development policies to ensure key areas are better protected from development.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I love that I am working every day to save wildlife. This job is desk-based and not always exciting day to day but can have huge wins for nature, such as stopping a new port development from destroying pristine coral reef and seagrass habitats which support critically endangered sea turtles, to implementing new policies which safeguard key habitats and important areas from urban sprawl or unsustainable tourism practices. I dislike that it’s desk-based, I miss working outdoors!
What inspired you into this career?
I have always wanted to work for a conservation charity and to feel that I am making a difference every day to save wildlife, no matter how small.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
I worked as an ecological consultant for 5.5 years, the majority of them for a major engineering consultancy. I found that my ability to protect nature was always limited by the legally binding policies we have in the UK and how willing a client was to do better. Sometimes my best wasn’t enough and I couldn’t stop clients doing only the bare minimum for planning permission, to the detriment of the environment. I found this frustrating and often felt that I was assisting unsustainable development, so I looked to move into the conservation industry. I found I was able to transfer my knowledge and I now fight for the other side.
What education/training did you have?
BSc International Wildlife Biology at the University of South Wales.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
You’ll get there eventually! People used to say ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know’ which I never liked because sounds like you’re getting a job based on a lucky contact, not on merit, but that’s not the case. If you demonstrate to people that you’re hard working, take initiative, genuinely care and are a good person to be around, they’ll either want to work with you, or will do their best to get you a job. Every job I got was from someone I met who thought I was great and recommended me.