Thinking of a career in conservation? As we grow older, we can all attest to feeling some pressure to choose one career path or another. Today, more than ever you can be almost anything you want to be in this world. Not only are we living in an era of diversity and inclusivity in the job market, there are also more job options than ever before.
A career in conservation is one of the career journeys one can embark on. The conservation sector is predicated on the protection and preservation of earth’s natural resources, for this and future generations. While a passion for safeguarding our environment is good grounds to start on, it can be difficult to figure out what exact line of work to pursue, or how to get your foot in the door.
As the field grows so does the need for a diverse range of skills and disciplines. Although it is encouraged, one does not necessarily need to study a conservation related program to land a job, there are many types of conservation jobs. A professional conservation job consists of a wide range of disciplines depending on specific areas of specialization such as environmental education specialists, biologists, ecologists, forestry, agriculture, botanists, and other related disciplines. A “professional conservationist” can work in any field depending on their education background and discipline.
As you consider a career in conservation there are a few things that you should have in mind.
Be passionate about it
A significant portion of jobs on offer in the conservation industry are based in remote areas, especially the African bush. Being based near or near a national park can be very frustrating if you do not love what you do. The reason you should decide to work in conservation is because you genuinely want to dedicate yourself to protecting and conserving our natural resources, you are at a significant advantage if you enjoy being in nature for prolonged periods of time. If you do, you will have one of the most fulfilling and rewarding careers available
Familiarize yourself with your environment
With the job market expanding, you will need to know what jobs available and what role are suits you best. Take note of the requirements. This will give you a good idea of what type of skills and experiences you will need to acquire over time and will help you propel your career. Start by familiarizing yourself with the jobs available by visiting sites such as the Conservation Careers Zambia website https://cczambia.com/ to understand the job market.
Being passionate alone will not make you a conservationist, acquire experience through volunteering, applying for internships and reading more about the particular field you are interested in or qualified for. You need experiences and skills to support your passion, loving what you do alone is not good enough. One of the best times to get voluntary experiences is when you are still studying.
Get an education
Your qualifications will depend on the career you choose. Read the education requirements for jobs you are interested in; this will give you an understanding of what you should study for you to get that job you’re aiming. We are living in a fast moving world and new trends keep coming and evolving. It is important for you to keep abreast of the latest skills and be up to date with the happenings around the world in that particular field. Always be teachable and eager to learn.
Find a Mentor
This cannot be over-emphasized. Find someone who has walked the path before you this will help you understand your field better and also help in developing your skills and knowledge. Mentors help you stay focused and on track in your career through advice, skills, personal development, and networking.
If you think this sounds interesting and you would enjoy working outdoors or working with natural resources, then you should consider a career in conservation.
You can learn more about conservation careers by following the Conservation Careers fair Facebook and Instagram page. Also join us for the upcoming Conservation Careers Fair 2021 which will be a virtual event.