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How to navigate times of transition in the environment industry

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Just a short post today, something fairly close to my heart that I wanted to talk a bit about – that is navigating times of transition. These can be when we’re in between jobs, making big decisions or managing competing priorities in work and life. Although often uncomfortable and isolating, times of transition are times of growth, of uplevel and ultimately where the magic happens.

Transitional times are hard but formative.

I totally get it – when things are up in the air and you have no idea what’s going on or where you’ll be next, it can be hard to share where you’re at and make plans with people. Especially when people won’t stop asking you – so where to next!?

How to navigate times of transition in the environmental industry | #itsawildlife

With short-term contracts, remote placements, scarce opportunities that compliment other aspects of your life and challenging conditions at work being characteristic of many of our experiences within the environmental and natural resource management sector, times of transition certainly seem more common in this industry than many others. And that’s what I want to highlight today.

Even though I felt I was always being asked what was next when I didn’t have a concrete plan, I’m getting more and more comfortable with conceding that I don’t know. And its ok no to know. I used to hate being asked but after going through some heavy shifts and speaking with many other people who experience them as well, I see that if you can accept and embrace these periods, then the people around you can too!

So, today we have three tips for navigating these times of change and transition:

  • Put yourself first

Allow yourself the space to embrace the change and uncertainty before you open yourself up to questions and comments from the people around you. If you ever needed an excuse to put yourself first – this is your invitation! Taking the time to get clear with yourself about what you want is so valuable – and a great way to do this is by creating space to journal your thoughts.

  • Keep your options open

Apply far and wide. Try not to close yourself off to opportunities by narrowing your scope or limiting your options. Ask around your network and see if anyone has ideas that could pave that next step.

  • Look for intermediate opportunities

It doesn’t have to be what you want to do for the rest of your life – but filling those periods of unemployment between contracts is a great way to distract yourself from any negative feels and keep positive vibes with either growth opportunities for your career (like courses, training programs and short-term volunteer placements) or fun bucket list items like checking out local treasures, overseas travel or extracurricular activities you love or have always wanted to try.

By filling these periods with things that grow and excite you, and giving yourself the space and time to nurture yourself through the changes – you will emerge from them as a stronger person.

Thank you for reading to the end – let us know whether you’ve found this article helpful or if you have any other suggestions on ways you create stability for yourself around short-term contracts in the ecology space. So reach out and let us know!

Always remember, #itsawildlife is here to give all you wildlife science and conservation professionals the stability and certainty you need to succeed. We provide the tools, resources, and support you in all your contracts – short and long – and have published countless interviews with other wildlifers – professionals in the industry at all stages of their careers – who also provide contact details so you can reach out and build your network. At #itsawildlife we are creating a safe and supportive community, allowing you to feel inspired to pursue new opportunities and connect and build meaningful relationships with other wildlifers. All the best!


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