Today’s employer advice is from Dana Gunders, Executive Director at ReFED.
Q: Tell us about your organization.
ReFED is a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the food system by advancing data-driven solutions to the problem. We leverage data and insights to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunities; mobilize and connect supporters to take targeted action; and catalyze capital to spur innovation and scale high-impact initiatives. Our goal is a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow. To learn more about our solutions to reduce food waste, please visit www.refed.com.
Q: What advice would you give to people in midlife who want to transition to a green job?
Knowing your industry is more important than knowing “sustainability” as a topic. You can take a short course to learn sustainability principles, but then your industry knowledge will help you put those principles into action. Lean into that combination of experience and knowledge to help you transition. And in fact, some of the most powerful levers in sustainability lie in non-green jobs—things like policy and finance—so consider whether you really need to transition to a new job, or if you can make a difference from where you are.
Q: What are the skills that you believe will be required most in the short-medium term in your industry?
When it comes to food waste, a detailed understanding of operations within a specific industry is critical to identifying opportunities for less food to go to waste. In food service, that might mean understanding how to evaluate production schedules. In manufacturing, it may mean understanding the reasons why bread loaves are underweight a portion of the time. Knowing how things work now and then being able to approach them with new thinking and an open mind are a perfect match for creating change.