During our recent live Webinar on Conservation Careers – where are the jobs and how do you write a covering letter – we had a number of fantastic questions. We wanted to respond to everybody who took the time to ask a question. In thinking about how to do that, we thought we could cover the questions in a couple of blogs. This is part 2 of that series. You can read part 1 here. We hope you find it useful!
Q. I’m currently halfway through my PhD in wildlife conservation, but would love to move away from the world of university academia/tenure track and pursue a career in ‘on the ground’ conservation roles, i.e. warden, ranger, field tech. etc. However, I was told recently by a co-worker that I’ll be at a disadvantage applying for these jobs as I may be ‘over-qualified’, and they won’t consider me. This has left me quite concerned. I’d really value any inputs you all have about this? Thank you!
Our Answer: Fear not! We work with lots of PhD folk and we believe the ‘over qualified’ comment is unhelpful and does not represent a true picture of opportunities in our sector. Your skills base is likely to be the strongest key to your future employment. Are we allowed to say here that your co-worker is, in our view, talking rubbish… [we don’t accept any liability – Editor]. Please ask them to research growth mindset and solutions focused support.
Q. The specialism discussion has brought me to another point. I haven’t really found mine yet. I’ve struggled to narrow it down as I’m worried about becoming too specialised! E.g. lots of jobs I’ve noticed are interested in bat and crested newt licences. I’m willing to take specialist training, but I don’t want to become so specialised that I miss out on other opportunities because I’ve put a lot of eggs into one basket. Does this make sense?
Our Answer: We see your point and would suggest starting with one thing, get that under your belt and see what unfolds for you in the future. The key thing is starting to acquire one specialism or area of interest.
Q. If you don’t have a particular license the employer is looking for, e.g. chainsaw, should you address this or suggest that you’d be willing to acquire one?
Our Answer: Both really, depending on time scales. If you have the resources to start the training towards the license, that’s great. Being aware of what the training requires, who you get the training from and who ultimately gives the license all show that you have researched it and understand what’s involved. Showing willingness to acquire the necessary licenses is always a good plan.
If you missed this webinar, don’t worry! You can watch it here.
Our next webinar will be on 8th June, 12 noon. We look forward to seeing you there!