Are you studying, or looking for your first professional opportunity in Ecological Restoration?
1. Decalogue of suggestions to enter the professional Ecological Restoration sector:
Join the Society for Ecological Restoration. Fees for students are affordable, and job offers may interest you (often outside Europe, but this may be a great opportunity to get professional expertise and enjoy an enriching experience).
- Find an active NGO involved in ER, and collaborate with them. Volunteering is a great first step towards professionalization, and it shows your commitment with ER. Individual volunteering (e.g., for your municipality) is also a way to start building a professional portfolio to show your skills and motivation.
- Join Twitter, follow SERE and SER, and follow institutions and private companies involved in ER.
- Join LinkedIn, keep an attractive and dynamic profile, highlight your ER interests and habilities, and look for job offers.
- Make a list of companies involved in ER (using Google and social networks as LinkedIn or Twitter). Do not hesitate to send them your CV with a motivation letter. You may define the geographic scope of your search (Europe, USA, Australia…), considering that the private sector may be more developed in e.g., the USA and Australia than in some European countries. Companies are often open to interesting proposals and motivated people.
- Search for grants, scholarships, jobs on the internet. Some platforms are specialised in environmental jobs and grants as well.
- Do not lose the opportunity to keep a professional agenda: keep record of any professional contact you have had, that may help some time to get a job or provide a specific service, once you’ll develop your professional career. Let them know your interests and motivation, in case any opportunity arises now or in the future. Attend professional seminars, trainings and workshops and talk to the speakers. Here, the events we organise from SERE.
- Getting involved in research is better than nothing: It is an opportunity to learn and meet people, even if you do not want to pursue an academic career. Just keep in mind this is often temporary, and take advantage of what may help you build a professional career. Consider also potential bridges to the professional sector (as many researchers may collaborate regularly with ER practitioners), including academic practices and internships in public and private companies.
- Consider that getting a job is a probabilistic process: the more links, the more activities you are involved, the more people you meet, the higher the probability of being in the right place at the right time.
- If you wait and see, probably nothing will happen. Make sure you engage in any of the previous activities.
And let us know if these tips have worked for you, or if you know of other tips!
2. Other useful references for entering the Ecological Restoration profession
Where can ecology take you? – Your guide to a career in ecology, 2019- British Ecological Society & CIEEM.
Finding Work After Graduating – Liam Barker, 2020. CIEEM Blog.
Early career advice for budding environmentalists, 5 videos with personal stories – NatureScotland, 2021
Destination 2030: Young people’s vision for European Biodiversity Policy – GYBN Europe, 2022 – Restoration Policy Brief (pdf)