Finding a Career in Climate Tech
Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Even Natalie Lavery was unfamiliar with the term "climate tech" in the early stages of her job hunt. “I was job searching during the middle of the pandemic and came across a LinkedIn post for a ClimateTech recruiter position. I was confused as to what that even meant so I clicked on it and I discovered Climate People." Now she’s their marketing lead.
Climate People is a recruiting firm dedicated to decarbonizing the global economy by placing talent into ClimateTech careers, an exploding sector of industry that refers to hardware and software technologies that aim to combat the climate crisis. Natalie says “I viewed my career in marketing on one side and my environmental passion on the other side and never saw how those two parallels could overlap.”
She says many of the candidates Climate People works with have a similar mindset: they “don’t even know that climate jobs exist, or maybe they are interested in working on climate, but they don’t know how to put their skillset into words that would reflect that; they don’t know that there’s a data job for them or a marketing job for them in the climate space.”
Our conversation with Natalie left us with three takeaways as to why working on climate is for everyone, beyond the obvious angle of safeguarding livable conditions for future generations:
1. Job seekers don’t have to sacrifice high pay or desirable benefits to play a role in solving the climate crisis.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about working on something rewarding is that doing so comes with a sacrifice; a cut of salary, not the desired benefits,” Natalie observes. “There’s well paying salaries, there’s benefits, there’s rewarding work, there’s remote work, there’s everything that these job seekers want, in the climate space.”
2. Ambitious candidates can trust that working on climate will allow them to play a role in building the future of their chosen industry.
“Climate spans every sector of the global economy from the built environment, to transportation, to food and agriculture, the list goes on,” says Natalie. Jobs that support climate solutions are also jobs that are building the future of these industries.
She adds, “If you think about the problems that ClimateTech startups are solving in terms of the growth trajectory companies will have, climate change is not going away...these technologies are building the future to address that. This sector of industry will 100% be necessary going forward so there’s a strong product market fit for these ClimateTech startups.” Plus, “climate startups are an exciting opportunity [for candidates] to get their foot in the door early [at an organization], which means that they have the opportunity to make a lasting impact.”
Natalie says, “look at the Inflation Reduction Act that just passed- $37 billion were poured into climate solutions. There’s so much money coming from venture capitalists, coming from the government, coming from every different stage, so lots of money, lots of opportunity, and strong job security.”
3. Working in climate can fight eco-anxiety and fuel climate optimism.
“When an issue is really big and daunting and scary, like climate change, in our minds it becomes this doom and gloom thing that haunts us and actually prevents us from taking action because anything we could do feels so useless. Climate jobs are an interesting entry point to combatting that mindset. Job-seekers can now see the direct role that they can play,” Natalie comments. “Working on climate is a really tangible individual action people can take; that’s forty-plus hours a week people can funnel into working on these truly world-changing solutions.” She adds, “In order to make the change that we need to see, people have to be optimistic, and hopeful.” That’s why Natalie says it’s “exciting to see the reactions of candidates” who realize they can make a difference on climate through their work.
As for Natalie herself, her role at Climate People is deeply rewarding: “You have the realization that like, dang, we get to bring people into this sector, and the more people we have working on solutions, the better off all our futures will be.”
Inspired to transition to a career in climate tech? Check out Natalie’s tips for landing your Climate Tech Role!
To learn more about the different roles in climate tech, check out the article below!