Phoebe Barker who came on our Catalyst Bootcamp in 2018 has written us this blog about her green career journey so far.

“I’m Phoebe, and I work as the Information and Communication Coordinator for CPRE Avon and Bristol. I’m based in Gloucestershire but commute to Bristol often for work and volunteering. I love walking in nature and getting out in my local countryside and want a career in the third sector.”

Can you tell us a bit about your current job role?

My role at CPRE is quite dynamic. I get to be the main point of communication between our members, supporting those who are interested in protecting their countryside. I get to be creative in my role as I am in charge of our website, newsletters, social media, and comms materials. I am also in charge of event organisation, sorting venues, and promotion.

woman with brown hairDescribe your first experiences in your new green career.

I really like my role as I work with a really small team, and it’s nice not having loads of people to report to. I’ve also never worked for a company that was so understanding and accommodating for my different needs and abilities, it was really refreshing.

What skills or qualifications do you believe were crucial in securing your position?

I was quite lucky to have heard about the job vacancy through volunteering for Traci as the Digital Communications and Project Coordinator for Catalyse Change. My skills in content creation which I had gained through working in various jobs throughout my time at university definitely helped, and I had even more work to show having volunteered for Catalyse Change. Also I have an A-Level in Environmental Science and had won an award for my Dissertation which definitely put me over the edge as it showed I had prior knowledge in the area and was a good written communicator. 

What inspired or motivated you to choose a green career path?

I think I decided I wanted to work in the environmental sector when I started studying Environmental Science at A Level. I was really interested in conservation and wildlife and I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about it. It really helped foster a passion for the environment and this has continuously motivated me throughout my professional and educational endeavours. 

How did you navigate the job search process specifically for green careers?

There are a lot of really great websites out there that promote green or meaningful jobs, some of my favourite are: Environmentjob; Escape the City; and Guardian Jobs

In what ways do you see your role contributing to environmental sustainability or conservation efforts?

At CPRE Avon and Bristol I get to be the voice on the ground helping people to connect to their green spaces. At present, I’m organising an event to inspire people to come together and create a community group to foster a local renewable energy scheme. 

group of young womenAre there mentorship or networking opportunities that played a significant role in your career development?

Attending the Catalyse Change Bootcamp in 2018 was really a turning point for me – I found being surrounded by like minded people really inspiring and I felt less alone in my drive to work environmentally. I kept in touch with one or two of the professionals that spoke at the bootcamp and have since met with them to get their advice on what career path I should take. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to give you 20 minutes of their time, so don’t be afraid to ask.

What advice would you give to other young women aspiring to pursue careers in the environmental sector?

Don’t give up on your job search – you’ll have 100 no’s before you get a yes. And also really take advantage of networks and mentoring opportunities – making yourself known in the space is key; jobs will pop up and someone will think of you and recommend you for the role.

Would you like to join our Catalyst Summit and Mentoring programme this year? Email info@catalysechange.com