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 lead on the delivery of conservation work for Scottish bumblebees, particularly the rare Great Yellow bumblebees. I run ID and survey training workshops for volunteers, do site visits for farms and crofts who want to enhance their land for bees, and occasionally do consultancy work for major land holders. I’m mostly home-based over the autumn and winter, and outside in the summer visiting the Scottish Highlands and Islands, including trips to the Outer Hebrides and Orkney.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I love meeting people and sharing my passion for bumblebees and all of nature. I enjoy travelling to new places and exploring the islands particularly. My organisation is a fantastically supportive team and I feel valued, knowing my work is purposeful and fulfilling.
There are very few dislikes, and they are mostly irritations rather than dislikes. I’m often so busy in the summer that I have a tendency to burn out and I know from experience that I need to factor in down time after a long trip. I enjoy the flexible work patterns, but it is sometimes hard to switch off. I am very much outposted up in the Highlands and I don’t see my team in person very often, so it’s a good thing that I am very much self-motivated, but occasionally I miss a bit of office chat.
What inspired you into this career?
I love nature and after a university degree that was heavily biased towards research, I wanted to find something more practical. I volunteered and trained for a year before my first paid contract, which was on a very remote island in Orkney. It was a sink or swim moment – fortunately I swam, and never looked back.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
The challenges have mostly been in my own confidence. There is a lot of competition for jobs in the conservation sector and they aren’t particularly well paid.
What education/training did you have?
BSc (Hons) Behavioural Biology, followed by practical training – e.g., chainsaw, tractor, stock management, then more technical and management skills as I progressed. GIS is a very useful skill.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Don’t give up! Follow the opportunities as they come and don’t be too tied into a long-term plan. It’s great to have aspirations but don’t miss out on interesting experiences just because they don’t meet your criteria 100%.