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2,000 Hours for a Brighter Planet: The Impact of a Sustainable Job

Sun Feb 12 2023

We all want to do our part in creating a better, more sustainable future. And sure, cutting back on meat, recycling, and flying less are all great ways to make an impact. But sometimes it feels like we're just scratching the surface. If you're looking for a way to step up your sustainability game without sacrificing your comfort, here's a thought: what if you switched to a job that aligns with your values and beliefs on sustainability? Just imagine the difference you could make, putting in all your working hours towards a greener future.

Based on the average working hours for a full-time European employee, this would mean contributing approximately 2000 hours annually towards a more sustainable future. Moreover, your impact extends beyond your own contributions, as you would also be promoting the use of environmentally responsible goods and services to others. For instance, if you work for a renewable energy company, not only are you directly contributing to a cleaner energy mix, but you're also enabling others to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle by providing them access to clean energy.

So, what exactly constitutes a "sustainable job"? The term is broad and can be difficult to define. One way to determine if a job is sustainable is to assess if the company aligns with the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its vision and mission, while also ensuring that other SDGs are not compromised. The SDGs cover a wide range of sustainable development issues, for example poverty elimination (SDG 1) or responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). It's important to note that sustainable jobs can come in many forms and industries, and it's not limited to specific "sustainability-focused" job titles. A Software Developer, HR manager, Sales Representative, or any other role within a company that prioritizes and implements sustainable practices can contribute to the realization of the SDGs. You just have to start looking around!

Eventually, we have to make the switch anyway. Climate change is a real threat to our jobs and it's time to take action. It's no secret that the environment and economy go hand in hand, and with the degradation of our ecosystem, a lot of jobs are on the line. For example, according to the international labor organization (ILO), 6 million jobs will be lost in the energy sector alone by 2030. But at the same time, a sustainable energy sector is needed in order to keep the carbon emissions down, leading to 24 million new jobs by 2030. Companies across many industries will be forced to make changes, creating jobs for us around every corner. And those changes need to be implemented sooner rather than later, because the clock is ticking.

So where do you start? The journey towards a more sustainable future can seem overwhelming, but every step counts. If you're hesitant about switching jobs, consider starting by making small changes within your current company. Look for opportunities to get involved in sustainability initiatives and make a difference where you are. But when doing so, it's crucial to consider the company's values and mission. If the company's practices have a negative impact on one or more SDGs, it may be time to re-evaluate whether it aligns with your personal values and goals. By making a conscious effort to seek out ways to make a positive impact, you can play your part in creating a more sustainable future, no matter where you work.

The time for change is now. Your career decisions today will shape the world we live in tomorrow. If you're not quite ready to dive into the job search just yet, consider taking the time to explore the 17 SDGs and understand how you can make a difference through your current job or future career path. Ready to find your dream sustainable job? Browse through our platform, which features vacancies classified by the 17 SDGs to make your search easier. Join the movement towards a more sustainable future and embrace a career with purpose.

Article updated at: Fri Mar 17 2023

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