The Professional Voices blog allows people within the industry to share their thoughts on a particular topic. Today, we hear from Albana Istrefi, from Ruillion, who has some recruitment tips for you. I have also added a few points in here and there - we both hope you find the information helpful.
"Working as part of the Environmental team at Rullion means that I get to speak to Environmental and Ecology professionals daily. I get to learn a great deal about biodiversity, re-wilding and how that effects the UK, as well as why Ecology and Environmental assessments are so important for any development/infrastructure projects. I am passionate about environmental and ecological rights and aspire to create communities with like-minded professionals where we can discuss and raise awareness about environmental issues.
My colleagues and I have hosted events in the past with an environmental focus, our most recent one being ‘Women leading the fight against climate change’. These conferences are a great place to network with other professionals in the Environmental/Ecology field and it’s very refreshing to have open discussions."
Top ten tips for Ecologists
Do some research into the projects that are happening now and see what you would like to specialise in. When you’re starting out it’s always good to get some experience assisting with surveys, so map out which companies and projects you would like to work for.
If you haven’t already, join LinkedIn groups! Whether you do seasonal contract work or are looking for a permanent position, Ecology and Environmental groups are a great place to meet fellow Ecologists/ share ideas, and to find new roles. Our Rullion Environmental Community is a great place to start as we post new Ecology jobs (contract and permanent weekly).
Make your profile visible on LinkedIn so that recruiters can find you. Being active on LinkedIn is extremely useful and keep an eye out for advertisements.
Keep your CV short and precise. Always list your licenses and qualifications on the first page.
Invest time in your training, especially for the purpose of getting protected species licenses, this will give you great opportunities during the survey season.
Know your options if you have thought about switching from permanent to contract. Before you make the switch, speak to your recruitment consultant about the pros and cons, and identify opportunities beforehand. Discuss the options of setting up a limited company or speak to an accountant, your recruitment consultant will be able to guide you in making the most suitable choice for you.
Leave your job search vague in terms of location, especially if you are looking to subcontract/ do field work. There will be interesting opportunities across the UK so keep an open mind.
If you do contract work and find a seasonal project you like, think about what you can improve on. For example, if you usually do bat surveys, consider getting a tree climbing qualification so that you can do aerial tree bat inspections. This will make your experience more versatile and with this qualification you’ll be able to do surveys any time of the year.
Work on different projects, make your skills versatile. If you are an expert on a certain species, consider working with policymakers and influencing decision-making.
Attend events and give talks, this is a great way to raise your profile and improve your presentation skills. It’s also a guaranteed way to show that you are passionate about your work. Additionally, it will give you an opportunity to network with other professionals.
Key attributes to strive for
Be passionate about your field of work and show a positive attitude!
Accumulate hours of volunteering and show a strong work ethic - ecology can be a difficult career to get into.
Demonstrate resilience and adaptability - enable a positive approach to work
Nurture patience and try to incorporate the above attributes into every single day. Patience is very important when you start a new role and strive to be successful in that role.
Acknowledge good and bad days and build on your experiences - take note of your successes and when you feel fulfilled in your role.
Remember, you, as an ecologist, are making a valuable contribution to the world.
Lastly, be kind to yourself - there are so many benefits to taking time out, being aware of your wellbeing, and looking after your mind and body.
A little bit about the authors
Albana joined Rullion in May 2019 and currently produces content and is building a community with candidates and clients by offering the chance to be engaged in dialogue with like-minded fellow professionals in the Environmental and Ecology sector. In addition to this, Albana organises industry-related events and helps with opportunities in the Environmental sector.