by Paige Miller
Just because you aren’t in graduate school doesn’t mean that you can’t get many of the perks that come with it. The Bay Area has a slew of opportunities to enhance your career without formally taking on an advanced degree. Build lasting professional relationships and expand your professional network. Get involved with one of the many environmental professional development organizations in the Bay Area. Some of our favorites include:
- The Women’s Environmental Network (shameless plug!)
- Young Professionals In Energy
- Women in Cleantech and Sustainability
- Young Nonprofit Professionals Network
- Women of Wind Energy
If you already have a job, look around you; take a break from eating at your desk and ask a colleague out to lunch. Select a few of your favorite organizations and become a member to keep updated on insider events and information. Find a cause that you care about and volunteer (GRID Alternatives has a stellar volunteer program, for starters).
Increase your earning potential and stand out in the job market.
You don’t always need graduate degree to build your resume and gain new expertise. Alternatives range from getting a professional certificate from a program like UC Berkeley Extension or Presidio Graduate School, to getting your LEED professional credential. Before you pay for these on your own, consider asking your employer if they will pay for you.Gain leadership experience and build your resume by joining the board of a local organization or by taking an active role with a local committee or club.
Soak up new knowledge!
In addition to gaining new knowledge by pursuing a professional certificate, you can learn a lot by attending local events, conferences, and talks about issues you care about. Two of our go-to organizations for this are the Commonwealth Club andSPUR. Read! Ask a respected colleague or mentor to recommend a book. Or better yet, join the Women’s Environmental NetworkGreen Reads book club to keep you reading at least one environment-related book each month.Audit a class at one of the Bay Area’s leading universities, or take a free class through Coursera.
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