Environmental Professionals Radio (EPR)

Career Curves, Environmental Policy in UK, and Working Globally with Justin Taberham

February 04, 2022 Justin Taberham Episode 52
Environmental Professionals Radio (EPR)
Career Curves, Environmental Policy in UK, and Working Globally with Justin Taberham
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome back to Environmental Professionals Radio, Connecting the Environmental Professionals Community Through Conversation, with your hosts Laura Thorne and Nic Frederick! 

On today’s episode, we talk with Justin Taberham,  Author, Editor and Consultant about Career Curves, Environmental Policy in UK and Working Globally.   Read his full bio below.

Help us continue to create great content! If you’d like to sponsor a future episode hit the support podcast button or visit www.environmentalprofessionalsradio.com/sponsor-form 

Showtimes: 

1:37  Nic & Laura's Segment

9:55  Interview with Justin Taberham Starts

14:06  Field Stories 

17:25  Career Curves

22:25  UK Environmental Policy

30:07  Books & Global Careers

 

Please be sure to ✔️subscribe, ⭐rate and ✍review. 

 

This podcast is produced by the National Association of Environmental Professions (NAEP). Check out all the NAEP has to offer at NAEP.org.

Connect with Justin Taberham at https://www.linkedin.com/in/justintaberham/ and http://www.justintaberham.com/.

Guest Bio:

Justin Taberham is an Author, Editor and Consultant, with over 30 years’ experience in the environmental publications, policy, government, trade, regulation, and green careers sectors. He started work in fisheries monitoring, then moved to strategy, lobbying, policy, consulting and finally environmental and technical books.  

His new book ‘Global Environmental Careers – the Worldwide Green Jobs Resource’ is out now and is his payback for a great green career.  He lives in London, UK.

Music Credits

Intro: Givin Me Eyes by Grace Mesa

Outro: Never Ending Soul Groove by Mattijs Muller

 

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Transcripts are auto-transcribed

[Intro]

Nic  
Hello, and welcome to EPR with your favorite environmental enthusiast, Nic and Laura.  On today's episode, Laura and I discuss tips for working while traveling. We talked to Justin Taberham about career curves, environmental policy in the UK, and working on global environmental careers. And finally, if you have two legs, you have more legs than the average human.

Laura
What?

Nic
This is a brain teaser because not everybody has two legs so automatically the average is lower. So if you have two legs, you're higher than the average.

Laura
Oh my gosh, that messes with my brain

Nic
That's a super nerdy right.  I had to.

Laura 
That's like science dad joke.

Nic  
Yeah. It's actually a dad fact. That's what that is. That's a dad fact. That's not a dad joke.

Nic
My work here is done. My work is done. Hit that music.

[NAEP Event News]

Laura 
Alright, after two years of taking the conference virtual, the NAEP conference committee and the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals are excited to welcome you to the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in Florida, May 16 through 19th 2022.  Do you can check it out at www.naep.org And we appreciate all of our sponsors. And they are what keep the show going. So if you'd like to sponsor the show, please head on over to www.environmentalprofessionalsradio.com And check out sponsor form for details. Let's get to our segment.

[Nic & Laura's Segment]

Nic 
So we know we talked to Justin today.  His interview's coming up and he was in the UK. And so we were talking across what 10 or 11 timezones during the interview. That was pretty wild.

Laura 

Yeah, wow, that's so cool. Yeah, it was, you know, I'm just getting up before breakfast and he's probably got off and had dinner.

Nic 
Yeah, he'd had dinner. I'd had lunch. It was so funny the way it worked. But it's one of those things. It's like awe of technology that we all have, you know.  That we are able to do that is just mind boggling, you know?

Laura 
Yeah, so I guess we should say I think we think our listeners are mind reader's. I'm in Hawaii.

Nic
Yeah, she's in Hawaii.

Laura
And Justin's will when we talk to me. he'll be in London.

Nic  
And I'm in stuck at home in North. Carolina, just hanging out in cold weather that I'm not used to so yeah. Everyone feel bad for me.

Laura
Poor Nic.

Laura 
Yeah, so Nic, I wanted to ask you about I am here in Hawaii and I'm here on a on a business trip. A friend of mine and I are talking about a company that I've been working on and bringing her in to work with me on it. And you know, we were like, oh, it's gonna be in Syracuse. Or we could meet her and her like, how about we just meet in Hawaii instead? And seem to be a good choice since that winter storm. I left and literally zero degrees when I got on the plane. So it's like perfect timing.

Nic
Wow, that's amazing.

Laura
Right. So long suckers. So anyway, but you know, this is what I want to do. You know, I want nothing more than to be able to work and travel, I know that you work and travel but it's kind of a little bit different as a entrepreneur and I'm booking my own travel and I have to discipline my own time and I know that you you travel for work so someone else is probably setting up your your flight times and stuff maybe but you have meeting times and day like work hours like I'm here trying to go Okay, let's get some work in before we head over to the volcano and I'll work at midnight if I have to. But I wanted to know like so a lot of people who are listening travel a lot for work or maybe want to but what are what do you find is most helpful for you to get your work done when you're in someplace like Hawaii or any other cool places you've been?

Nic 
Well, I mean, I think you have to accept that if you're going to a beautiful place. You're going to enjoy it right you have to accept it. I know I know. shocking is that is it's going to be hard in some ways. I guess it depends, right? You know, like, sometimes people ask you Well, what was it like? Well, I don't know. I went to my hotel. I went to an office meeting and I went back to my hotel and then the right and in some ways that's just the nature of it. Right. And for me personally, I like to have at least one opportunity to experience where I am. And usually you can do that for dinner, right? No matter what you need to eat and you should find a place that is kind of like the flavor of the area. What is it good to be like and it doesn't mean like when you go to Texas you have to eat Mexican food. It just means you go to Texas go to a restaurant that's local, do something like that. For me, that's very important. But like when you're doing business travel, you know that you have work that it needs to get done, and it's gonna eat into your time if you're traveling during the day. And you know, we've talked about travel tips in general, it's better to fly in the morning because those flights Don't be canceled, right? Generally they don't get canceled. So the later you fly, the more likely you are to get a delay. But it also means that you're flying during business hours, right? And it's easy to say I'll definitely work on the plane. But you don't even know I could maybe you know I've had experiences where there's a baby next to me kicking me the whole time. And you know, what do I say? Hey baby, I'm trying to work. So if you could be less of a baby, that would be great. It doesn't work. So you have to understand that you're probably going to spend some late nights you know and working in your hotel room in some ways. If you're going to a place where you don't know anyone. It's easy. You're like I'll just put on sports something or other and then just type away. Right? And you make at that time when you go into a beautiful place like Hawaii, it's a little harder. And you kind of have to force yourself to say, Okay, I'm working these hours.

Laura 
It's so funny that you said that because like the place I'm at now is this little working farm. There's my little places settled in between like a cistern and a greenhouse. It's just like, there's it's not like farming you picture with like, open fields. No, it's all very condensed or some permaculture here and stuff and it's just really magical but the owners are just so full of knowledge and go in the house and you're in there for an hour talking about everything. We've talked about everything from like Buddhism, to like the end of the world. PermaCulture, you know, and so I'm like, but the whole time like, okay, I guess there was that hour for work. But you have what I wouldn't trade it, you know?

Nic 
You got to accept it. Sometimes that's gonna happen, and you have to have a plan in place and maybe that means you work a little bit ahead of time, which is I always like to do better because that's it's like doing your homework on Friday instead of Sunday night. You know what I mean? Like it's the kind of thing you should probably should prep up a little bit before you go because you don't want to get there and be like, This is awesome. I don't want to do those reports. You know, someone will handle it, you know?

Laura 
Yeah, I think I think the biggest thing is just recognizing that everything is gonna take you three times longer,

Nic 
right? Yeah, it will. It will.

Laura 
Yeah, and you have to be able to adjust on the fly to me like even for this podcast we're recording later than usual because this farm is off the grid and they shut off the electricity between 10 o'clock and seven in the morning. So that means no Wi F,i the Wi Fi is gone. The Wi Fi is gone, because there's no electricity and those are things you don't think of you look at the listing and you're like, oh, it says they have Wi Fi. I'll be good. Perfect. Yeah, you get there and either it doesn't work. I mean, thankfully it works really well when it is on here. It may not you know, and then you have to go to plan B.

Nic 
Right. And gosh, speaking of bad Wi Fi, we didn't even mention that on cruises. Good luck with that. They do not have good Wi Fi on cruises. So yeah, definitely. Definitely a different experience for me. I thought for sure I get stuff done on the cruise and

Laura  
They also Yeah, they don't have good Wi Fi in the cruise. Well they don't want you working they want you out doing stuff, so that may that may be intentional. They also do not have good WiFi in RV parks, any of them anywhere because I've been to them all. They do not have national parks still do not even have cell service most of them so you will not be answering messages or when I went last 2020, on the road trip and we did several national parks. I would be having a conversation with people who are working with me and you know, could you do this that the other thing I'm like, Oh, I can't send it. Like we're too close to the park.

Nic 
Right, Oh, I know. I know. I'm sure you and I both had that experience where you're just running around with your phone looking for two bars. I have one bar but that's not good enough.

Laura  
Yeah. I just have to answer this person and tell her this thing is.

Nic 
Yeah. And it's funny because it's like one of those things where like you really should disconnect sometimes, you know, you really should. You should take the time to do that. It's just hard. We have that like anxiety pre built into these phones, you know, i have  to know what's going on.

Laura 
Here's your new iPhone. It comes with 90% of anxiety.

Nic 
Yeah, it does. It's just yeah, whatever you have before it's now you know up.

Laura  
Awesome well I'm gonna go listen to some more birds and go visit Miss Peabody. She's the peacock here who lets us pet her and feed her and follows us around.

Nic 
That's cool. I'm going to curl up in watch a movie. That's what I'm going to do. So great. You know what both fun, but different. So let's get to our interview.

Laura
Yeah, for sure.

[Interview with Justin Taberham Starts]

Nic

Hello, and welcome back to EPR. Today we have Justin Taberham on the show. He's the director of Taberham Consulting and has a new book, Global Environmental Careers the Worldwide Dream Jobs Resource. Welcome Justin.

Justin Taberham 
Hi there from very, very cold London.

Nic  
Hello. Yeah. So you're our first London guest. You have to do a little shout out to England here. So yeah, tell us a little bit about where you are in while you're there.

Justin Taberham
 
I'm based in central London and London in terms of environmental policy, which is my background. This is the biggest place in the UK for policy. So I mean, while we talk, you might find that I started  my career. Fieldwork was my first thing and then I slowly moved towards office management and then policy work. So because London has all the big lobbying companies I ended up being in London. So I live in central London, pretty close to the west end where all the theaters are in London. So a really good location.

Nic 
Yeah, I was about to say that's not too bad at all. So you know, Laura, and I always joke when we have international guests that we now we have a place to stay. So hopefully interview goes well and you'll let us come hang out

Justin Taberham 
On the floor.

Nic
Yeah, right.

Laura 
Between books that you have back there.

Nic 
Exactly, exactly. So you started your career in fisheries. What drew you to it?

Justin Taberham  
It's complicated one when I was probably about eight or nine my dad took me fishing and I grew up in the countryside, rural England, which was a brilliant childhood. So my grandfather went fishing with my dad. My dad took me fishing and we used to go fishing in the Norfolk Broads, which is a famous set of lakes. And I really loved the environment and I did conservation work and at my school, we did this careers talk and the careers talk said what are you studying? What do you like doing? What do you want to do? For me it sets things like we recommend you be a policeman. We recommend you be a solicitor we recommend you be an insurance officer. And I said well, not really no, I want to do something in the environment. And at that time in the mid 80s. We have things like the Chernobyl accident, we had acid rain, which was a really big problem in Northern Europe. We had all these environmental issues, we had salmon disappeared from the Thames in London. So we had lots of environmental issues. I was really into lobbying. I was really into campaigning. I thought can I do a degree which is going to be relevant to what I really want to do what my passion is. And it so happens I found out that yes, there were these new courses called Environmental degrees in the 80s. This was when environmentalism was hippie territory. Nobody, nobody studied the environment of the UK in the 80s. It was a really rare thing. And there were there were two main famous courses in the UK. One was in environmental science, and it was at a unit at a university near my parent's house that did Environmental Science focusing on meteorology, climate change, which sounded great. So I applied for that. I also applied for a more practical degree, which was Environmental Studies at that time, which was field work. It was based on conservation, fieldwork, geology, studying glaciology, things like that. And so I have these two others in place. In the end, I went for the one that was more fieldwork based, because I knew that this a university had, it had open placements for jobs, and it guaranteed a job in your third year of your degree. So I thought, how can that be? How can they actually guarantee me a job? So I ended up going to that part at Hertfordshire. So it's called University of Hertfordshire, just north of London, and that's where I did my studies. So that's what I ended up going towards the environment sector rather than being a policeman or an insurance salesman.

Nic 
Well, yeah, like I said, that's a wild departure. But I'm glad you took that journey, because that's pretty awesome. And so you've had this really interesting field career. We love asking about field stories on the show. And you once had a fish rescue at an arms dealers house near London. I can't believe I'm starting here. But so what is a fish rescue? And then oh, yeah, why on earth were you at an arms dealers house?

Justin Taberham
 
Well, what was funny was that my, my guaranteed job placement for a year when I was studying was in fisheries management. And the fisheries management team was based in London. And so we had to do anything fish related in the whole of London and around the area. And we got a phone call from this person, kind of a state manager. And he said the fish are sick, you know, we've got sick fish. So whenever you have somebody saying this sick fish, you have to go you have no choice you have to go and rescue them. So things like pollution, hot weather, the cause deoxygenation health problems disease you have to go down as a team. So we drove to the address, and we got to the gate. Just outside London, this ginormous estate and the guy had cameras everywhere. And then it had a gate house with armed guards like machine gun kind of the UK  that's a bit scary. So we said well, we're here to rescue the sick fish. And so the guy on on the the the armed guards said, Oh yeah, we're expecting you. So we drove about a mile down this sort of path. And every tree had a camera on it. And then every sort of 50 meters or so there was another armed guard. And so we got to the it was getting a bit scary and got to the main house and the wife of the arms dealer came out and said, Yeah, you know, husband's away. Sorry about all the machine guns. Can you rescue our fish? So we had to wait to go to the lake. But basically the armed guards were there all day because I think they felt we were they obviously didn't know who we were they were worried about what we were doing. In the end. It was fine. We rescued the fish and we left. But that's probably the most surreal issue we've had to sort of face apart from lots of other kind of strange things I've had to deal with. But I mean, I was doing fieldwork for six years. And so after six years, I then kind of curved my career in a different direction.

Laura
That is crazy.

Nic
Yeah. Go ahead Laura.

Laura 
Yeah. I'm just trying to think like, I think that's a great premise for a heist movie or something.

Justin Taberham 
We'll steal the fish, though. There was no house was the house was like a palatial mansion, the the arms dealer's house.  Because obviously there's good profit in arms dealing. And actually, the guy in the end, he was arrested internationally, the actual arms dealer.  So he wasn't a very nice man. I guess somebody anybody who arms deals isn't going to be very nice. And so in the end, he got arrested but at the time, you know, he's a really wealthy guy worried about the wife was worried about the fish, so we did a good thing. We rescued more fish.

Laura  
Yeah, I'm having a flashback to a drug dealer when we were someone was taking care of the fish tank. Right. And that's how they got in. So someone will have to let me know what that movie is. Someone listening put it in the comments.

Justin Taberham 

I could have picked up some good stuff before going into that house.

Laura  
So yeah, so then you mentioned that you know, you did field work for a couple of years and then now you've written books and you've done a lot of other work and especially in management stuff. So what is that like transitioning your career from, you know, in the field, how do you build those skills to become more management leadership position and did you want to do that? You know, are you forced into it that happens to people

Justin Taberham  
I mean,  in the book I discussed career curve. And I sort of explained my story in terms of how I curved my career, and the way that I always had a view to where I wanted to go, which was to sort of get better to be more well known in the field to become more of an expert. So in my mind, when I was doing field work, it was I'm loving doing field work. I could do this forever. But in reality field work, the pays really terrible. So even in the countryside of England, the pays were so bad that I couldn't actually afford a sort of mortgage on a cottage in the country. And so I started to have thoughts about this isn't realistic and I think that in the environment sector, you probably got to accept for most roles, the pay is not amazing. But it's for the passionate bit. I was really passionate about the sector. I got married to a Londoner and then I thought, okay, how do I get a more successful career? How do I proceed? So I started to get more expertise in strategy and policy work. So I got some promotions in field work. I became the team leader. Then I became the area leader for that area. And I thought, okay, I took on some projects and research in fisheries, in terms of fisheries technology. I did some projects on management plans, strategies and some legislation. So that was the way that I could carry on doing my field work, but I could make my skills more relevant to different jobs, so that when I was eventually able to move to London, I actually moved to policy and strategy work. So I made a first jump into lobbying. So my first jump was in lobbying and that was helpful because our lobbying against the organization I used to work for so I kind of have the inside line. And when I say sounds a bit there's a saying gamekeeper turned poacher. Or is it poacher turned gamekeeper? Poacher turned gamekeeper. Yeah. So I became a bit like that. So I moved to London, and I started lobbying for two years. So I have two years. Of really aggressive lobbying, which is probably the most stressful thing you could ever imagine in terms of lobbying against everyone. And so I did a lot of media work I did lobbying trying to make people be more sensitive around environmental issues, trying to get people to protect the water environment, trying to get people to promote the charities aims. After two years of that it was completely exhausting. So if you're a full on lobbyist, it's one of the more stressful roles.

So I then moved into pure environmental policy with some other things. So then I moved through my expertise with the media and lobbying into a bigger charity, which does environmental professional work. And in that role, I then curved my career again towards environmental policy, events, awards. Policy writing, rather than policies of changing and that job grew and grew. So we were doing really well. After a while. I thought, Okay, I'm in my 40s. Now, so that was when I was in my 40s You know, getting old and I thought okay, I've never worked for myself. I think I'll work for myself. So I set up a consultancy. And that consultancy, I focused on publications. I've always loved books. I've always loved publications. I've always written policy. I've written strategy. I've been in the academic sector. So my new consulting work was in book editing on the academic, environmental water management side. And so I moved again, so I kind of curved into publications from the big charity job which was involving journals, magazines and books into an academic book set things so if you can see my career, my career was curving from kind of field work towards strategy policy, toward lobbying towards publications, events and everything towards publications and other consulting so I curved and so that's led to now, when I'm sort of, I've written my own book, editing books series, I still consult with government on things like international animal trade and regulation. So I've still kept that expertise, and I still do some of that as well, but it's on my own time, which I really love.

Nic  
Yeah. And it's great to kind of map it out that way. Because when you say to someone, well, I was in fisheries and now I published books. It's almost like how, how on earth could you possibly get there? So it's really cool to see that and I think we're going to touch on a lot of that as we go. But I want to start with policy in the UK. So what are the drivers for policy? And what have you seen over the years

Justin Taberham 
in terms of UK politics until we left the EU, EU as the driver of environmental policy for a long period of time, and so you tend to get large chunks of environment related policy. So a directive comes out, which is a massive chunk. So you get one directive that largely does water management. You get one directive that does issues like sustainability, and other directives that has a main strategy looking at air quality. Each of those chunks has people lobbying. So you have the private sector lobbying. So a company like an oil company will hire lobbyists. I would be lobbying in terms of environmental management protection. And through various working groups, you would end up trying to influence directives and the directors influence UK policy. And UK policy generally is London based. And so there are working groups within Parliament there are committees in Parliament, but nowadays there are lots of these collaborative working groups. So if there's going to be a new policy discussed in the UK, a policy group would be formed. It would have representatives from professional bodies by trade associations, they would have private lobbyists from private companies, they would have civil servants to government experts, and you would all come together and you'd argue it over and you would come up with a new guidance. And eventually, rather than driving each other mad you'd actually come up with a solution the government won't follow. So I don't know whether America is is. America's probably quite similar in terms of private lobbyists have a say? But trade bodies also have a say, and lobbying charities and NGOs haven't say and so that's the way that policy is kind of worked on practically in the UK.

Nic 
Yeah, that's fascinating. Yeah. Similar, and I think that's fair to say. But I guess our pie is is how it split is kind of who has the most money almost.

Justin Taberham 

It's also Yeah, it's also true that the sector is changing fairly rapidly.  And the biggest growth areas in the global sector is renewables. But then I last proportion of people who are going to move to renewables already have the skills in the traditional industrial sector. So I think people mustn't forget that a lot of green jobs are exactly the same jobs as they did in the industrial sector, just changed to green technologies. So that's something that I think is actually really, really important is that people don't need to think well because I'm a tradesman. You know, oh, I can't be a conservation person because I'm a tradesman. Well, if you're a tradesman, your skills can be moved to the renewable sector or they can move towards different areas. I think people mustn't imagine because they haven't got a PhD. They can't work in conservation or they don't have a chance of working for a green NGO. That's absolutely nonsense. I saw that, I think, you know, there are sectors changing fairly rapidly and I think it's maturing slowly as well.

Nic  
Yeah. I mean, it's funny here in the US, like, you know, what we're seeing in the renewable sector. Offshore wind is huge as becoming huge, I should say. It's become you know, year over year that's growing exponentially compared to other sectors. Is that the same case in the UK,

Justin Taberham 
in the UK, because the Great Britain itself is an island, and the north of the island has a lot of offshore wind. So we're expanding offshore wind really, really rapidly, and then is linking across to Europe and back to the UK in terms of the power linkages. So we're doing well for offshore offshore wind. We're really bad at onshore wind because of some lobbying and people saying that the noise, which is nonsense. We're also we're developing all solar but too slowly. So our focus is become there.

Laura
Wait, you don't get sun there.

Justin Taberham
Very occasionally. Not London, but very occasionally parts of the UK have sun. So I think that I think that sector in the UK, we're growing wind well, solar not so well. Storage not so well, wave power not so well. But I think that people need to understand about their skills can be transferred to the green sector from traditional sectors. That's really important.

Nic  
Yeah, that's absolutely right. Yeah, I agree. I think that's really well said. Thank you for that. Yeah. You said, you know, in the 80s, there were really not any leaders for the environment, but I would say now, Europe has really become the leader when it comes to environmental regulations and policy and acting, updating climate change. So can you kind of walk us through, where were they and where are their leaders now, and how they've been so effective at implementing those changes.

Justin Taberham 
I think Europe was a really good formation countries to bring forward directives, these really large chunks of legislation. So Europe was successful in bringing together massive numbers of different organizations, and managing to form policy and strategy around these big chunk these big directives. Whereas I'm assuming that in the USA, things are more complex in terms of doing one strategy for one area and one strategy for another area. So it was helped by having these large chunks that were in in sectoral areas, in terms of whether we leaders in the UK, you know, we've now left Europe. There's a big concern in the UK about watering down our our environmental regulations, Europe still maintains quite a high standard of regulations. So I think that we've probably been able to lead because of the fact that we have these very big areas of policy that you can focus on, rather than 1000s of different things which sort of split your attention. So I think it's that conformity, that set of standards, which means that we've been fairly forward thinking but I think the UK Government My concern is that we'll step back now. That's my key concern now that the UK has left Europe

Nic  
And has that have you seen some of those things happen in other areas? Is that where we're, we're trending in the UK?

Justin Taberham 
I think at the moment, I think we have a government which is right wing. So I think right wing governments tend to put business first and the environment much further down the sort of view. Right, I think we're seeing this government approach rather than a long term approach. So I think that we're seeing our way through what we call Brexit, you know, where we, where we left the European Union. We're seeing our way we're not sure what's going to happen. We don't know where it's going to go. So we're in a state of flux in the UK in terms of bringing back regulation and things like green agriculture, we're yet to see how the UK might have a green agricultural sector, outside Europe. So it's a feeling your way, very early stages at the moment in the UK.

Nic  
Yeah, no, it makes a lot of sense. And, yeah, hopefully, you know, maybe we'll be able to check in with you in a year or two and we'll have a better understanding of how that's gonna go. So

Justin Taberham  
Yeah, well I might be very sad at that stage. So I might be wrong.

Nic 
I know. I know. Right? I know.

Laura 
Let's hope for really happy. But yeah, speaking of happy let's move into books. I know that's one of your Happy Places. And before we jump into your book, I want to touch on the stacks of books behind you and, you know, tell us about your collections and signatures and all that stuff.

Justin Taberham 
I've got a really, really bad problem with collecting books. So basically, I have a home office which is half filled with fishing rods on the ceiling and fish sculptures and fish hangings and fish lures and all sorts of collectible fishing gear, and the rest of the office has piles and piles and piles of books. I can't help collecting books. And I also have a website where I sell books. So somehow I managed to sell and that's great, but unfortunately, the proportion that I keep is high compared to the portion I keep for myself. So I've got a real kind of I've got a real book problem. But I need to really focus on keeping moving them on rather than keeping them hidden in my office.

Laura 
Yeah, I love that. You're kind of like the person who is a foster dog. Dad and Karen are the puppies and you're like, I can't keep all these books.

Justin Taberham 
I mean, the thing is that there's a book collector, you're supposed to say, I'm only going to collect books by one author or among again, I'm only going to collect books by a by theme or by are Yeah, I just can't stick to it. To be honest, I just I keep thinking like, I'll keep that one hour an hour better. Oh, no, but I'm going to keep that on.

Laura 
Are they books that you've read, or the books that you're keeping so that maybe somebody will read them or you just holding on to them?

Justin Taberham 

I generally collect hardcopy books that are signed first editions. So they're less readable. It's you can't really read a hardcopy that easily unless you're really strong. So these are collectible signed first edition of which I've probably got a couple of 1000 but I do have favorite subjects, obviously environmental books, signed books by David Attenborough. Who you've probably saw there in the USA.  I've got a collection of those I've got a lot of environmental books signed. So they're really what I should be collecting, rather than endless books by thriller writers that I shouldn't really be collecting or keeping. So, you know, it's a terrible, terrible obsession, but I love books. I've always loved books from being a kid. I've loved books. So the fact that I've ended up being an environmentalist, and I've curved back to being a book fan, is really you're really, really pleasing to be end up back in books is is brilliant.

Laura 
But let's let's talk about your book because you and I have been talking about your book for a couple of years, I think I know that's how we met. But we connected because I was doing environmental career coaching. I still do and you asked for me to do a little read on your book and also put in some of my best advice after doing free coaching for a couple of years. And I'm just super excited that it's out now. So tell us a little bit about it.

Justin Taberham 

This book, first began in Monterey Aquarium in California. And that was in the mid 90s Because I found a book by the Environmental careers organization. And it was about environmental careers in the USA. So this must be 95'/96'. That kind of period. And I suddenly thought the UK has nothing like this. And so this was a seed in my mind that the UK could do with a book on all different sectors and green careers. So from that point on, it was in my mind, and then after that, I thought over the years well if I get the opportunity, I'd love to have something on green careers across the world. And only through finishing work full time in the sector and setting up my own consultancy, was I free to actually do you know, to actually work on this proposal for a book, so it's been a long time in my mind, but it's probably 2016 when the publisher said well, great idea. What a brilliant idea a book about Global Environmental Careeres, because there are a lot there are lots of books about UK or American careers. There are lots of books about conservation careers, or parks careers or climate change careers, which is brilliant for those sectors. I just thought in my mind, could you bring a book together that covers the entire world? And most of the environment sector? And I thought, yes, but no. So what I've done is I've written the book based on what I could do within like three or four years. So that's the book is three or four years work. But I've also set up a website which is ENV.careers. So I've set up in the ENV.careers website is a backup for the book or if you really don't want to buy the book because it sounds too awful, you can go to the website. So, ENV.careers is a website that has additional information and if I miss sectors because I couldn't swap them in. I'm going to be developing that website to be a resource behind the book as well. And so going back to the book, Wiley, the publisher said, great idea, get on with it, and that was 2016. I've been really busy. So it's only now that the book has has come out and it's doing really well which is great. But I mean the idea is it was aiming to be practical. It was aiming to ask other people, the kind of top tips on the environment sector and if you ask enough people, you get similar ideas about top tips and people's personal profiles have commonality. One thing I found is that loads of people, me included, have started a green career in their minds from loving environment from a young age. So that can be things like conservation work, fishing. walking, countryside, holidays, enjoying being in green space. So a lot of people start their green careers from a love of the environment in various ways.

Laura 
Right, that's fantastic. And I think this is a great resource for people have touch back on something you said about it being the first global book because I know that I get contacted from people from different countries outside of the US or people in the US who want to move to other countries and they want to know, me being from the US if I can give them advice. So in writing a book about global issues how did you, because you said yes, you can and yes, you couldn't write it well in that way. What do you see are the commonalities and then what are those few things that maybe I as a career coach in the US shouldn't or couldn't touch on that couldn't put

Justin Taberham 

in the book. One obvious challenge to having a truly global environmental career and that's visas and permissions and permits. If you're fortunate to be able to get approval to work in other countries. There's nothing to stop you trying to get environmental jobs in other countries. My part of my idea about this book was to help people understand that getting a green career in Africa has similar challenges to getting a green career in the UK. So things like how do I get a job without experience? How do I get experience without a job? And things like you know, should I try and be a specialist or should I try and be a generalist, so these commonalities go across the entire global environment sector. So outside the challenges of being allowed to work internationally. there are commonalities across the world in terms of the challenges of getting a green career now are also very similar issues, fisheries management, for example. It's very similar around the world and I have lots of friends who move to some move to Oregon. My friends have moved to New Zealand doing fisheries roles. Their technology and techniques are really similar. The only difference is certifications. So some careers have certifications that you would need to do when you've got in country. So there's actually nothing to stop you having global perspective on your career. But it's really good for you as a green person to learn about other countries and what their challenges are. And also we know what careers are like in those countries as well.

Nic 
So yeah, I love that perspective. That global perspective is really neat, really interesting. And reading through your bio and your notes on the book. We both seem to like a good generalist specialist discussion, right. So I know. I'm sure there's room for both approaches when you want to work globally. But do you have like a list of advice that you would give to both groups or maybe just a list of best tips in general, for people looking to do it?

Justin Taberham 
Well, in the book, I have top tips and personal profiles from 60/70 different environmental professionals across different sectors across different countries. And there were some top tips that kept coming up all the time. And so my toppest of all top tips is probably something about stickability. Do you have the word stickability in USA.

Laura
We do now.

Justin Taberham
So, Stickability is if you want to get a green career you're going to need to have stickability which is the ability to stick at things not to quit not to give in because I have loads of people I know in the sector who it's taken them absolute two years to go from a voluntary position in Wildlife Trust or on our reserve to actually developing a proper paid green career. One of my biggest friends he started work as a volunteer working on squirrel, squirrel projects in Scotland. He was a volunteer for several years he ended up doing a part time position looking at the wild cats. So wild cats so this is not mountain lions. This is basically Wildcats, slightly bigger than your domestic cat but pretty aggressive. So he worked on wild cats. But it took him several years. And he even quit for a while to be a teaching assistant because there was no money coming in. He's now managed to get kind of a full time Project Officer role working with squirrels again. So stickability not, don't quit if you have the passion for the sector. Try your best not to quit outside the bounds of reality and paying bills. So I think the biggest thing that's come up is stickability. So that's probably the topest of all top tips. I have others do want to hear my other top list of all top tips. Yeah, okay. networking, networking and profile raising is really, really top of all the top tips as well. Things like you should immerse yourself in the sector. And I always like the idea immerse yourself in the sector. And that doesn't only mean for example, in conservation, or parks management or climate change. immersing yourself in the sector means go cross sectoral or find out about the different websites, the different newsletters, the different podcasts, the different people, the different organizations, try and join some organizations. There are there are chapters of all organizations that we all know. Go along to try the chapter of your local organization that works in the green sector. Immerse yourself immersing yourself and also keeping an open mind. So you must keep an open mind to what might crop up and that leads to networking and profile raising. So you need to kind of get to know people and people need to get to know you. So that's another kind of topic or topics. The next thing is mentoring. So if you can find a mentor, and later on, be a mentor, or find a career coach. So if you can't find a mentor in your early career, find somebody who may be able to help you. So that may be a career coach. So this means find somebody who's gone through that journey and get to know them, ask them for advice. So now that I'm really old, and I've been in the sector for 30 years, I mentor a group of people so I mentor a group of people, and they come to me and they say can you give us some advice and I also go from chatting about their challenges through to jobs I've heard about that they've not heard about through to even suggesting them to companies. So I'll say Well, come on, you know, this senior ecologist at this company, you really should talk to this person. They're really, really passionate about the sector. And that linkage is really helpful. So mentoring, being mentored or being coached is another top top tip. Would you like another top top tip?

Nic
Yeah, hit us.

Justin Taberham 
Another top top tip is carry on learning. Don't ever don't ever think because you're getting on in the sector. You're a bit tired of learning. Now you're a bit tired of going to those organization meetings because you're a bit tired a bit. So carry on learning. Obviously, CPD is a big thing in the UK. So continuing professional development, CPD is things like also think about those softer skills like applying. So if you're very young in your career, or you're at Uni, think about interview skills, applications, get some advice. There are lots of different people with advice on how to do applications and also interview skills. A lot of Unis helped me with interview skills. A lot of people have been to Skills for Life coach yourself and interview skills. So I think that this carry on learning thing you've got to carry on learning all the way through your career from young to old. That's really, really important. One problem that I have in my top tips is the whole get experience somehow. And this comes up this comes up really, really well in Africa, where people find it really hard to get work experience even volunteer experience, because nowadays people are actually paying for work experience. Let alone doing free volunteering. So I think getting experience somehow even through volunteering, even through a part time role, even through when you're really young, like I did which is conservation volunteering, chopping down, you know, non native trees and things like that. I think that volunteering is really important to help you get experience and also to make friends and to get to know people. So that's a challenge, but that's another kind of top top tip. Would you like my last toppest top tip?

Laura
We're already here. Let's hear it.

Justin Taberham
Another top tip is you don't have to be in a green organization to do good green stuff. I mean, the word green here is horrible, read, green, but we'll use the word green. So if you're a lawyer, you could be an environmental lawyer that I've got a whole chapter on environmental law in book you could be an environmental lawyer, or you could work for a company where you have a passion for the environment and you want the company to be more green. Or you might say, well, actually, in my spare time, I want to volunteer. So you don't have to work for an organization like the, you know, the Environment Agency in the UK or don't have to work for Greenpeace to do good green things. But I think that's really, really important, because people who can't develop what they wanted as a green career can do really brilliant green things through their life anyway. And so, these pearls of excitement and wisdom are my topest top tips are nothing to do with me. They are all the people out with a book. These aren't things that I've only learned but it was funny when I asked all these people from different sectors around the world, these commonalities that kept coming up all the way through their top tips and personal profiles. And that's what made the book so fascinating to actually bring together even though it was it took me five years. It was really interesting to bring everybody together.

Nic  
Yeah, that's fascinating really is thank you for that. That's great. That's absolutely great.

Laura  
All right. Well, you know, I love all those, those tips and I think it's it's so cool. I always tell people that it doesn't matter really what industry whether it's green or finance or whatever their career coaching part 90% of it is the same it's that 5 to 10% is different depending on what specific industry or niche you're trying to get into. So great tips there, Justin, appreciate that.

Justin Taberham  
We didn't talk much about generalist versus specialist. Should I give you 20 seconds on that? Or?

Nic 
Yeah. Yeah, give us 20 seconds on generalist versus specialist.

Justin Taberham 
Well, when I started my career, I wanted to work in fisheries. I wanted to only work in fisheries and I was going to work in fisheries as a fishery specialist for my entire career until I retired. When I got into fisheries, I suddenly started to look a bit more strategy at fisheries management plans and European policy and fisheries. So my mind suddenly started thinking, well, there's more to fisheries management than fieldwork. There's also fisheries technology. So I started then to think well, maybe I don't want to only be a fisheries field worker, maybe I should think about strategy. So I then curved towards fisheries strategy and fisheries management plans and fisheries legislation and technology. So I started then to think Well, the next jump into my career might be management because I got a couple of promotions. So I started to do some more management which was less field work. And then I suddenly thought, I'd like to do more environmental policy. I really like that. So my next job was environmental policy. So then I was suddenly becoming more of a generalist. So my environmental policy role was lobbying publications, events. Awards, profile raising parliamentary work, you know, legislation work, and so suddenly I become a generalist. So I don't think that I made a decision straightaway to be a generalist. I wanted to be a specialist, but I became this generalist. So I think that people get really uptight about should I be a specialist, and only focus on being a premier ecologist, right? But actually, the skills that you have in being a field ecologist can transfer across to different areas and you can suddenly become a generalist. Yeah. Probably not sudden, but you can migrate towards being more of a generalist. And the more that you do generalist work you become known in different areas, where some people are the world's expert on carnivorous fish, or they are the world's expert on marine species. or environmental law. So some people stay as specialists become known as specialists. Others stay as a generalist.

Nic  
Yeah, and that's really well said I think that's very fair. I like the discussion but I also like the fact that you know, you were one and became another, you know, your career is not, you know, set in stone, you are the arbiter for what you want to be and, you know, you might not even see that right away. Like you said, when you started that generalist idea wasn't even in your head. So really cool to see that change.

Laura  
Yeah, it's sort of become the accidental generalist. That's okay.
Nic 
Oh, man, that's that's the name of my book. Okay. No one take it.

Justin Taberham 
There's a saying in the UK, which is jack of all trades master of none. Do you have that in the US?

Nic
Yeah.

Justin Taberham
So Jack of all trades, master of none. So that's really annoying. But it can be used with lots of things.

Laura 
Yeah. Because it has that, I think, you know what, I think it's exactly that quote, that puts the negative connotation on someone who's good at lots of things. That quote needs to go.

Justin Taberham 
Not that I'm saying I'm good at lots of stuff, but I did lots of stuff.

Laura 
Well, you did. You picked up lots of different skills, and it doesn't mean that you're not good at any one of those things, just because you do a lot of things. You know. And then finally, because we're running out of time here. What do you see is the mistake five years to write Are you writing the next one? Are we already the new phase, what's the future of green careers?

Justin Taberham
 
I think that what I want to do is I want to get the ENV.careers website developed so that people who don't have access to the book can go to a website that's helpful to them in terms of my career, because I'm getting online and maybe it's time for me to sort of mentor and to take things more easy. Take out fishing again. Which is something I've not done. I worked in fisheries, but going fishing well after I've worked in fisheries, so my kids like fishing. So I actually think that I'm probably likely to do more book editing rather than writing I think in the future, and have a quieter life which everybody says and then they lie.  So I think I want to carry on mentoring a group of young people and for that to carry on. That's my aim.

Nic 
Absolutely great. And, you know, say to that end, how can people best get in touch with you?

Justin Taberham 
There's on my website, which is JustinTaberham.com. If you look at the main my complicated name on the title of this podcast, you can see the name you can put my name into a Google search and I have a website for my consulting arm and I have the ENV.careers website has a get in touch button you can easily email me or get in touch that way. I'm really happy for people to link up on LinkedIn. So I use LinkedIn. I use other networks to network so I'm really happy for people to send me any questions to make friends, or email me.

Nic 
Perfect and so we're at a time here, but is there anything else you want us to talk about before we let you go?

Justin Taberham 
Not really, I just think that I've had a really really great green career and I think it's really easy to say you know, everybody do it. But I totally appreciate their challenges in getting a green career to develop. So I just hope that everybody sort of works out their career aspirations whether they're in a green job or not in a green job. Keep sticking at it.

Nic 
Absolutely. Great advice. Thank you so much for being here. It was our pleasure. Thank you.

Laura 
Thanks. It's great to catch up again.

Justin Taberham 
Brilliant. Thank you, Laura.

[Outro]

Nic  
That's our show. Thank you, Justin. So much for joining us today. A lot of really great advice or really good tips for those looking for international careers, or just careers in general. So it was really fun.

Laura 
So good. He's just he knows so much about all that stuff and has had a great career himself.

Nic 
Yeah, you know, and we say this whenever we have guests on that you can reach out to them and you should please do. He's a great resource. You know, we're giving you guys resources we want you to use he's a great one. Thank you again.

Laura 
Wasn't that like number two advice?

Nic  
Yeah, it really was. Yeah, Networking. You know, we've talked about what that means. So yeah, as always, be sure to check us out each and every Friday. Don't forget to subscribe, rate and review. See you everybody.

Laura
Bye.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


Nic & Laura's Segment
Interview with Justin Taberham Starts
Field Stories
Career Curves
UK Environmental Policy
Books & Global Careers