January 21st, 2010

6 Steps to How I Landed My Dream Job in Renewable Energy

BOSTON -

Do you see the guy on the right? This is what I’ll be doing in a couple weeks! 3 months ago I wrote about the 7 things I learned from losing my dream job in renewable energy, and the 7 values that were driving my job search. I guess I like the number 7.

Losing the job wasn’t really that bad, it was a great experience and showed me how to manage a transition so it will be easier in the future. I started the blog to explore what was happening in the industry in Boston and as of last week I will be working with Boston area renewable energy company. I’m really stoked, I think they have one of the best business models in the clean energy industry hands down. I wanted to walk through the 6 steps that I took to get the job:

1) Reading

I read a ton. Here are the main things that you need to get out of reading. One, understanding all the acronyms of the industry. Two, knowing what is happening with current companies and industry developments. These two pieces of information will help you to search for companies and also talk with current professionals. If you need to do some reading check out the Clean Tech Guide 101 – Renewable Energy Part 1:Technology Overview and the Clean Tech Guide 101 – Renewable Energy Part 2: Top Reading Material

2) Training

I was lucky to work at company that provided renewable energy training so I received it as part of my training. If you’re not this lucky, training will help to set you apart from the crowd. Here are the major things you need to be looking for in each industry. Green Building is all about LEED certification for professionals. For Solar, you’ll need to take a IREC ISPQ approved training courses. For energy efficiency, you need to look for Building Performance Institute (BPI) training. For Geothermal, you want to get an IGSHPA accreditation.

3) Hands-on Experience

Getting hand on experience is a huge bonus and will help to set you apart from the crowd because it shows your serious, and means the company will have to training you less. If you have no current contacts to do this, read these two posts. The Secret Weapon to Finding a Job Installing Solar Systems and 9 Places to Find a Job in Renewable Energy

4) Started a Blog

I started a blog to use as a platform to explore what was happening the clean tech industry in Boston. At first, it started as a personal blog, but its evolved into much more. Starting a blog gives you a press pass, or student pass, and allows you to talk with anyone and reach out to them with a good excuse. It’s for your blog after all. More importantly, starting a blog on a certain subject will make you more credible, it shows your a self-starter and it will set you apart in the crowd.

5) Got My Foot In The Door

I used the blog to research and get in contact with numerous companies I was interested in working for by sending them an email saying that I was interested in interviewing them for my blog. Here is an example I did of an interview with Job Abe from Nexamp.

6) I stated What I Wanted

After I talked with Jon, I followed up with him a month later and said I’d be interested in connecting again because I’m looking for a position in the renewable energy industry and wanted to know if you had any advice or resource for me. Through our conversation I found a company that was hiring. This is the key, during the interveiw I stated exactly what I wanted to do with the company. I said that I wanted to get more hands on experience installing systems before moving onto business development to help grow the company. The logic was simple, I would be better at selling if I really understood the systems.

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Chris Williams

About Chris Williams

Chris Williams is the editor of Green Light Distrikt and Chief Marketing Officer at HeatSpring . He has experience in business development, prototyping and new venture research with a focus on geothermal heat pumps, solar thermal and solar photovoltaic technologies. Chris is an IGSHPA accredited geothermal installer and NABCEP certified solar installer. Chris is focused on solving customer facing issues in the creation and adoption of clean energy technologies and products. Chris has installed over 300kW of solar and tens of geothermal systems. He's invented the PV Pal , developed many trainings at HeatSpring, publishes the NABCEP Study Guide , the Hitchhikers Guide to Cleantech and has done due diligence research for Urgent VC . Feel free to connect with him @topherwiliams , on Linkedin , or through email about new ventures, collaborating, writing, research or whatever is on your mind.

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  • http://onalarkdesign.com/ Emily Worth

    Hey Chris!
    I like your steps. I think they apply for any job search. Part of my research process for jobs has involved podcasts, you should check out the Sustainable Supply Chain Management podcast. I started listening to it because I'm interested in logistics and supply chain, and it's a great combination of green and business. Also, have you already written about geothermal heat? What do you think about it? Congrats on the new job!

  • http://onalarkdesign.com/ Emily Worth

    Hey Chris!
    I like your steps. I think they apply for any job search. Part of my research process for jobs has involved podcasts, you should check out the Sustainable Supply Chain Management podcast. I started listening to it because I'm interested in logistics and supply chain, and it's a great combination of green and business. Also, have you already written about geothermal heat? What do you think about it? Congrats on the new job!

  • Adam_ohio8787

    If you need someone to proofread your articles in the future, let me know.

  • http://www.thegreenlightdistrikt.com Chris Williams

    Adam,

    Thanks for the offering. To be honest, I’d really need proof reading on anything I write, so I wouldn’t want to burden you!

    Chris