Job seekers, chin up! You are not alone. You have company, but you’ll need to have some tenacity because Q1 2009 will not provide you with many easy opportunities. If you are keen on getting a job in renewable energy and you don’t have any experience or situational awareness…. then you had better start getting some or else the 300 former Optisolar employees will get your gig. Optisolar‘s struggle to find additional financing is not unique. In the Bay Area companies that received funding with the expectation of raising another round in late ’08 early ’09 will continue to slash their burn rate by going through the painful process of off loading expensive and experienced workers that they painstakingly researched, hired and trained in previous months.
So, put yourself in a hiring manager’s position, should he hire you if you don’t know the difference between an inverter and a module? Wouldn’t it be best to hire an employee with some connections and a rolodex? What to do? Well, get on the networking train – check out our calendar, figure out where you can go meet folks, and learn. Bay area folks, The Young Professionals in Energy have a great networking event coming up on the 4th of February, it should be on our events calendar already.
The bottom line is you would do well to invest time going to classes, networking events and volunteering to get some practical experience. You can do all three at the same time if you are efficient. In the Bay area there are two great organizations that I have gotten involved in – the California CleanTech Open and Grid Alternatives. If you have some solid work experience join the mentor team at CCTO and work with some great entrepreneurs and grow and learn with a them. PG&E gives free classes, check them out and see if your schedule allows.
I caught up with Erica Mackie, founder of Grid Alternatives yesterday, and they need your help. The video below will give you a good idea about who they are and the impact they have on their community. Take a class with them and volunteer to install solar panels on low income homes. If you want to have more impact with them, then apply to be the Bay Area Regional Director – they are looking for a leader with P&L experience and a strong desire to have a social and an environmental difference.