New Energy for Your Life, Your Career, and the World
Have you noticed the volume of news about energy and the climate lately? Clearly, we are at a watershed moment in history.
The constrained gas supply for Europe provides one explanation as is the crescendo of floods, drought, wildfires, and dramatic weather events—mounting evidence that the environment is changing rapidly. Ice is melting on glaciers and both poles and sea levels are rising. Average peak temperatures are predicted to climb significantly. We call this anthropogenic change—effects caused by humans.
Can humanity mitigate the damage we’ve done?
Well, we are trying! Here are just a few of the recent headlines:
- Germany invests in zero-emission hydrogen from Canada
- California bans internal combustion cars by 2035
- US invests $370 billion in environment
- VC/PE investors deliver Christmas for climate-tech
- Rethinking aviation fuel to lower emissions
However you personally feel about climate change, one undeniable effect is the enormous number of executive roles this wave of investment will deliver.
Even before these headlines, growth in executive positions related to energy and the environment was a robust 3% p.a., generating approximately 2,000 new executive positions or job changes in the last year*. About 850 of these were in the US (+2% YOY) and the balance, 1,150 or so, were in the UK, EU, and Middle East (+4%).
We are not only talking about engineering roles, either. There are educational, communication, marketing, financial, project management, and many other non-technical executive roles now in this sector—clearly slated to boom over the coming years. Within the area of energy and environment-related positions, LinkedIn lists these as the most important subjects:
- Environmental Awareness
- Environmental Compliance
- Environmental Policy
- Environmental Consulting
- Environmental Science
- Environmental Management Systems
Finance (+15%), recruiting (+13%), analytical skills (+8%), and process improvement (+8%) come out on top in terms of the generic skills most in demand within the burgeoning growth of environment-related executive positions.
Geographically, it is rare to see New York in second place, but these cities constitute the top hiring locations for energy and environment-related executives:
Well, this list will change significantly given the investment surge cited above, but even so, looking at the companies with the highest hiring action in the past 12 months shows how widespread the demand is:
- Arcadis (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Department for Environment, Food, Rural Affairs (London, England)
- Wood (Aberdeen, Scotland)
- ICF (Fairfax, Virginia)
- Brown & Caldwell (Walnut Creek, California)
- CDM Smith (Boston, Massachusetts)
Is investment in the environment likely to be just a fad, something that will subside quickly and fade? In other words, is transitioning into this industry a good, long-term career strategy?
In our opinion, the scope of the issues at hand far exceeds humanity’s response so far. The Economist (August 30, 2022) reports that the G20 countries’ environmental ministers met at the end of August to review progress toward their emission reduction goals ahead of the November COP27, and have already acknowledged in their last meeting that we collectively are not doing nearly enough to meet the goal of keeping global temperatures well below 2º C above pre-industrial levels.
What more can we do?
Well, frankly, yes. There is more we collectively can do, including geo-engineering. So you can expect these subjects to gain currency in the near future—among many others:
- Carbon sequestration to remove CO2 from the air;
- Cloud seeding to cool the planet; and
- Hydrogen to replace petroleum
Each of these subjects and many others will attract enormous amounts of investment as the world leans in to mitigate impending disaster.
Perhaps it is time you considered riding this wave and changing industries to gain new energy for your life and career.
The Barrett Group can help with your career transition as we have been helping executives reroute and manage their careers now for more than 30 years. Give us a call.
Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group
In this particular article, “executives” will generally refer to the Vice President, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Information Officer, Managing Partner, General Counsel, Head, and President titles. Unless otherwise noted, the data in this Chairman’s Blog will largely come from LinkedIn and represents a snapshot of the market as it was at the time of the research. “YOY” refers to growth in the number of executives over the last 12 months.