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 work for the UK’s largest marine charity and manage our volunteer network and all community engagement for Scotland. This includes looking after a small team working on various marine restoration projects and providing educational opportunities, training courses, citizen science surveys, campaign work and all outreach for this region. Our volunteer network has around 420 people and part of my job is to ensure they feel supported and connected to carry out vital marine conservation.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I absolutely love connecting with people and the chance to be in a more public-facing role is brilliant for me. There are so many key areas we work across including campaigning for marine and environmental policy change, people can sometimes feel they don’t have a voice or can’t make a difference and we work hard to ensure our volunteers feel they have the tools to influence decision making. I love that my job involves working at the coast most weeks and that I can travel around Scotland and the islands. Covering a whole country, it’s a very busy job, I have nothing I dislike but at times it’s a fine balancing act.
What inspired you into this career?
I changed career after working in performing arts around 6 years ago and moved home to Scotland from London to pursue a part time MSc in Conservation and Wildlife Biology. I grew up loving the outdoors and loving to learn. I’m at home talking to people, teaching, explaining and love to see people fall in love with nature. I didn’t fully understand how to follow my passions at school but after trying a few career options I came back around the wildlife and the environment after volunteering for some years before and getting a better understanding of how it could work.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
Gaining enough credible experience to get your foot on the ladder can feel impossible at times. I found building a network and speaking to as many people as possible helped. Switching my career from an arts background to a science Masters, I felt like an outsider and had a few negative comments at times, but I knew I was more than capable.
What education/training did you have?
My undergraduate degree was in English, Journalism and Creative Writing which is really beneficial to the work I do today, writing blogs, training courses, press releases and generally having a good way with words in public engagement gives a solid foundation. From there I trained for a Diploma in Performing Arts before volunteering extensively for charities and collecting biodiversity data before gaining my MSc from Edinburgh Napier in Conservation and Wildlife Biology. I took many night classes, online courses and one day opportunities to really broaden my horizons.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
The pool is not as small as you think, make strong connections with people and use social media especially LinkedIn to find your network. Say yes to opportunities that aren’t necessarily in the exact area you dream to work in initially, as they can provide some brilliant learning experiences and unexpected connections. It’s not always the quickest way that toy can get somewhere but rather what you learn along the way – keep on going!