Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Wearin of the GREEN!

As we continue to be barraged with more and more negative news about the economy and the financial markets I have seen a marked uptick in the number of unsolicited resumes being e-mailed to me from a wide variety of professionals at all levels of experience. These are, for the most part, valuable people who are being displaced from their companies for a litany of reasons from company downsizings to mergers, acquisitions and take overs to just plain "closing of the doors". As we all know in our hearts, this is just another business cycle rolling through the time line. The 3 to 5 year pendulum swing never stops but right now there are mitigating factors in play that make it seem a bit more daunting than past market flucuations. The unhealthy mortgage market has created a major ripple effecting all levels of the economy. Businesses are feeling the pinch of tight money leading them to more conservative spending and fat cutting practices. With a presidential election upon us, an unpopular and expensive war in full swing and the dollar sinking against foreign currency, it feels like we are in a deeper hole than any of the downturns in distant memory.

So where is the good news? There always has to be good news, right? Even in the face of disaster the tipping point has to be upon us. What will the catalyst be that leads us back to prosperity? Is it John, Hillary, or Barack? Is it the Feds bailing out troubled investment banks and the people caught up in the big mortgage squeeze?

Certainly any or all of these might help but I feel that the answer may lie with the fact that the price of oil is over $100 a barrel. That's right.....THAT'S GOOD NEWS! Finally the pure economics of going "Green" makes sense. All you have to do is pick up any trade journal or business magazine or even the local newspaper to read about the impact and importance of "green" initiatives on Wall Street and our society as a whole. "Green" is now a growth industry and out of current tough times will come opportunities for those who are agile enough to react accordingly! Companies who contribute to the new "green" infrastructure are growing despite the sagging economy. Smart venture capitalists are investing millions into companies that are involved with alternative power and related products and services. And, people who understand how to create, build and sell alternative energy technologies as well as those who are skilled at saving money by reducing the consumption of energy and materials are being sought for career opportunities at an unprecedented rate.

No longer is the "green" discussion one that takes place only on St. Patrick's day or in hushed tones behind closed doors for fear of being chastised by nay sayers. It's become a public discussion at the highest levels of business and government and it's finally profitable, fashionable and reasonable to focus on saving money by being good stewards of the earth. Perhaps those tree hugging nut jobs of yesteryear will become the heroes of the new economy where creative approaches to saving energy and reducing waste are lauded by the employers who must improve profits to guarantee a sustainable future.

So, how do you get into the "green" business? My suggestion is that no matter who you are, a pre-career student figuring out what to learn to get ahead, a mid-career professional who is trying to reshape your career or a long time veteran looking for an expansion of your horizons, you need to immerse yourself into the "green" world. Stop ignoring the facts surrounding the "Global Warming" argument and realize that now is the time to make it your business to become conversant in the technology by studying and absorbing as much as you possibly can about the exploding market and the opportunities associated with the "green" revolution. Figure out how your current domain of expertise dovetails into "green" issues and technologies and seek out experts who you can network with and learn from who speak the language and understand the related challenges and obstacles . Subscribe to blogs, feeds and e-newsletters that discuss the state of the art of "green" technologies. Attend "green" trade shows and pay special attention to exhibiting companies who offer interesting solutions that resonate with you and connect in some way to your professional expertise.

In the solar industry the implementation of advanced, high yield, automated manufacturing processes is essential in the building of competitively priced products and solutions. Anyone who has had success in automating processes similar to those involved in the solar space should pay close attention, connecting past experiences to similar solar product processes and applying that knowledge to this hot area of manufacturing.

As I move forward in the expansion of my search practice I will continue to provide clients with world class talent who will make a major, positive impact on exceptional, forward thinking companies. If you are in the "green" space or would like to be, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for Reading
Live Long and Prosper................. and think GREEN!