Today’s employer advice is from Meredith Hendricks, Executive Director of The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.
Q: Tell us about your organization.
The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County conserves natural resources, agricultural land and open spaces for the benefit of present and future generations.
We envision a future with conserved lands throughout the county that engage and nourish both human and more-than-human lives. These conserved lands include productive family farms and ranches that succeed from generation to generation, healthy habitat to sustain and harbor wildlife and plants, and beautiful trails and open spaces that provide recreational gateways accessible to all.
What We Do
Since 1985, The Land Trust has worked with willing landowners, public and private grant agencies and other community organizations to protect, restore and manage open space, wildlife habitat and agricultural land in Santa Barbara County by:
- Acquiring land and conservation easements through negotiation with willing private property owners, through charitable donation and purchase.
- Creating conservation plans, restoration projects and incentives for landowners. Raising private donations and grants from government, foundations and corporations to support land conservation.
- Promoting the preservation, stewardship and restoration of wildlife habitat and watershed resources on the land we protect.
- Educating both children and adults about ecology, agriculture and conservation through programs and events at Land Trust preserves. To date, The Land Trust has protected over 27,000 acres of land and has completed or is underway on close to twenty habitat restoration, open space and trail projects.
Q: What advice would you give to people in midlife who want to transition to a green job?
There are three basic buckets for green jobs—for-profit roles, non-profit roles, and government roles. Each of these three areas is quite distinct and it is worth being clear with yourself which one suits your needs, skills and personality best. For-profit roles, including as a consultant, can be more lucrative and profit-centered with a more corporate vibe. Non-profit roles may allow for more nimbleness and connection to a mission/community but tend to pay less and offer less stability. Government jobs tend to have better benefits and stability, sometimes at the cost of speed and action. There is no point in doing a midlife career change into a type of green job you will not be happy or productive in. Match yourself to the bucket that best suits you, and you will increase your satisfaction with the career change.
Q: What are the skills that you believe will be required most in the short-medium term in your industry?
I work in the non-profit conservation sector. The most needed skills are project management, communication, fiscal management and proposal writing.