Mena Impact Academy

Green Horizons: A Roadmap to Building a Rewarding Career in Sustainability

Companies are now urged to embed sustainability in their business models, embracing the era of ‘stakeholder capitalism,’ where businesses prioritize People, Planet, and Profit. The MENA (Middle East North Africa) region, with recent events like COP27 in Egypt, COP28 upcoming in the UAE, is witnessing a surge in sustainability investments and a nationwide commitment to net-zero. 

This surge creates vast opportunities for green jobs. The UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment recently announced plans to create 200,000 jobs on the path to achieving net-zero by 2050. Opportunities abound not only in the UAE but across the Middle East, making now the ideal moment to embark on a career in sustainability. But where to start? How to navigate this space and find the best opportunity for yourself? Below is our advice.

1- Get Ready by Educating Yourself:

To seize the best opportunities, preparation is key. Learn about sustainability comprehensively—from climate change to stakeholder capitalism, impact measurement, and sustainability frameworks. Acquire these skills through traditional routes like universities or opt for lifelong learning via online courses, books, articles, and mentorship. The sustainability space is dynamic, requiring a commitment to constant learning and unlearning.

2- Choose Your Path and Know Your Why:

Sustainability is vast. Determine if you want to be a Chief Sustainability Officer or specialize in areas like circular economy and GHG emissions measurement. Understand your purpose—what drives you down this path. Sustainability professionals often have compelling personal stories; choose a path that aligns closely with your values and aspirations.

3- Join the Sustainability Ecosystem:

Whether you’re in the Middle East or planning to move, understanding the sustainability ecosystem is crucial. Identify key actors, players, and stay updated on news. Know the governmental organizations leading climate action, follow NGOs, stay informed about ongoing initiatives and startups in your field. Leverage social media to build connections and stay active in this space.

4- Be Clear on Your Expectations:

Define your expectations—whether you aim for a role in a large corporation, an NGO, or aspire to become an entrepreneur. Clarity prevents directionless efforts. For instance, if your goal is to work in a sustainability team in a mid-size company, identify your dream companies, read their sustainability reports, and reach out to employees on LinkedIn. Create opportunities; don’t solely rely on job postings.

5- Don’t Give Up!

The sustainability field offers endless opportunities, but finding the right ones aligned with your values can be challenging. Be patient, seek mentoring from inspiring figures in the field, build your network, and persevere. A career in sustainability is enriching and fulfilling, bringing purpose to your life. Embrace the journey and don’t lose sight of your goals.

Remember, at Mena Impact Academy, we offer a course tailored for those shifting careers to sustainability—’Managing Corporate Sustainability.’ This course equips you with knowledge, tools, and the mindset needed for your new journey, helping you stand out in the crowd. Learn more here.

Scroll to Top