Todays post is the third of four posts this month by guest author Carol McClelland on green careers. Carol will also appear live on our blog on March 18th to answer your questions about green careers. Stay tuned!!

Discovering your green niche or green focus is the first step in understanding where your skills fit in the green economy. Now your goal is to understand as much as you can about your target green industry (or green industries if you’ve got a couple of potential green career ideas).
Although you are excited about your idea, keep in mind that you’ve identified your green niche based on what you currently know about the green economy. Unless you’ve already done extensive research on your target industry, it’s likely that your choice of niche has been based on a combination of your knowledge, assumptions, hopes, and fears.
To make a solid assessment of your green niche idea, you’ll need to spend some time understanding your target industry. Use online research and networking to piece together your assessment of your target green industry.

(1) How is the industry organized? Is the industry categorized by different product categories or by different parts of a process?

(2) What opportunities is the industry facing? Where is the industry heading?

(3) What challenges are showing up for the industry? What are possible red flags?

(4) How are companies in this industry structured? What departments does the typical company have?
As you develop your overall picture of the green industry, explore where someone with your skills and interests is likely to be needed. How can you use your unique combination of skills, interests, education, and experience to make a contribution in your target industry?
Keep an open mind as you do your research. Don’t push or rush your process. You need to invest the time to get inside the industry to determine how to position yourself in your job search. Your knowledge will pay off when you begin building your resume and doing your interviews. You will stand out from the other applicants with your depth of knowledge.
While you are in research mode, be sure to do some due diligence to:
·         Verify that your picture of your target green career is accurate.

·         Confirm that your target green career is a good fit for you and your life.

Beware: If you leap into your job search before deepening what you know about your target industry, you may sabotage your journey by targeting a career that’s not possible or not a good fit for you.
In my next post, I’ll give you tips to use as you reach out to your contacts to learn more about your target industry.