Skip to main content

6 Tips to Launch your Career in Sustainability

Blog Posts
Sustainable Curriculum

Entering the workforce after university can feel like stepping into the unknown. However, it's also an exciting opportunity to find a career path that truly satisfies you!

With today’s world facing global challenges, the demand for professionals in the sustainability field has never been higher. No matter what industry you choose, it will likely intersect with sustainability and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were created to address global challenges such as inequality, climate change, peace and injustice.

Not sure on where to begin? Fear not as we’ve gathered a list of handy tips from top sustainability employers to shed light on the steps you can take to kickstart your career in sustainability. We’ve also got some resources to brush up your CV and get you interview ready!

  1. Build sustainability into your course

Rachel Soper from student-led education charity, ‘SOS UK’, highlighted the possibilities of building sustainability into your course. This is something the University is supporting through the Sustainable Curriculum principle of the Climate Plan. Whether through elective modules or by including the SDGs in your dissertation, there are so many ways you can weave sustainability into your studies!

Check out the Student Knowledge Hub to learn more about the ‘Introduction to Sustainability’ course, sustainability-related discovery modules and dissertation information.

If your course offers a year in industry, why not seek a placement in the sustainability sector?

The University of Leeds Sustainability Service offer two placements - a Communications and Engagement Assistant role and Projects Assistant role. Apply now before the deadline on April 7.


  1. Gain volunteering and work experienceGroup picture of the volunteer team at the January litter pick event

Elspeth Robinson from local charity ‘The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’, talked to us about the benefits of volunteering to get your foot in the door and to make your face known.

It’s also helps you identify what you like and don’t like so that you can better navigate the job market!

From monthly litter picks to repair cafes, check out some of our volunteering opportunities!


  1. Network and meet new people

Adam Taylor from the retrofitting company ‘Wrapt Homes’ praised networking as a way to open yourself up to new opportunities and meet like-minded individuals.

Through joining societies, attending events like our yearly Student Sustainability Research Conference  or virtually via LinkedIn, networking can open doors to exciting possibilities in the sustainability field!

Connect with us on LinkedIn to stay updated and network!


  1. Do your research!

    Two women talking to eachother

Pip Hunsworth from the engineering consultancy firm , ‘Buro Happold’, stressed the importance of passion and research in finding a fulfilling job in sustainability.

Delve deep into your interests to find a sector that resonates with and motivates you.


  1. Sustainability is for everyone

A career in sustainability isn’t one-size fits all, but rather a profession that welcomes people from diverse disciplines. Regardless of your academic background, there are opportunities in sustainability for everyone! Rosa Foster from the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission reiterated the importance of staying motivated and bringing your personal interests into your work!

Ellen Briggs from the Environment Agency reflected on the diversity of the sustainability sector, stressing that the Environment Agency isn’t limited to people working in the environment or geography, but also for those in the business, legal or estates line of work!


  1. Stay resilient!

    An employee working at Mace, a construction company shaping the built environment in a way that is sustainable and connected, reassured students to not be disheartened by setbacks and to stay resilient. Persistence and resilience are key for navigating the world of work!


Find opportunities, improve your CV and practice interview techniques...

Visit MyCareer to check out internship, work experience and volunteering opportunities.

You can also use the CV checker for CV feedback and practice interview techniques with online mock interviews!

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

SDG logo made up of a wheel with 17 different colours.We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. The Sustainable Curriculum programme is linked to all of the SDGs.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.