Employer advice from Bonneville Environmental Foundation


Bonneville Environmental Foundation

Today’s employer advice is from Chaun MacQueen, Senior Director of the CE – Clean Energy. Bright Futures. program at Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

Q: Tell us about your organization.

BEF has been working on the forefront of environmental sustainability at the nexus of climate, water and energy for over 23 years. We envision a thriving world where everyone has access to clean water and renewable energy. With our partners—across all sectors of society—we’re creating solutions that restore balance between people, nature, and business.

Q: What advice would you give to people in midlife who want to transition to a green job?

This depends on the position you are going for. No matter what professional background you have, critical skills like project management, communication, creative problem solving and critical thinking, collaboration and any financial, legal, governance or policy skills are transferable—of course with the requisite additional training for the sustainability/green sector. Additionally, if you want to switch from the private corporate sector to the nonprofit sector, you will need to learn the regulations governing the nonprofit sector as you move into a mission-impact focus on transformational outcomes, rather than discrete transactions. The unique aspect of an organization like BEF is that we found a way to advance carbon, energy and water outcomes through both transactional and transformational partnerships with customers, funding partners, stakeholders, and community beneficiaries.

Q: What are the skills that you believe will be required most in the short-medium term in your industry?

  • The ability to work effectively in a cross-sector, multidisciplinary manner is key to advancing green/sustainability outcomes at scale.
  • Excelling at relationship development, coalition building, collaboration and partnerships is critical to success in a sector where systemic change and transformational outcomes for people and planet are urgently needed.
  • The ability to look at challenges and see the opportunities hidden within will help forge novel solutions with collaborators.
  • The ability to apply your expertise in a sector or organization structured entirely differently from how you are accustomed will hopefully be equally (if not more) rewarding than challenging.

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