Conservation Careers | Highlights from 2021
In 2021, Conservation Careers celebrated its eighth year helping conservationists achieve career success. We’re proud to say that we supported nearly 700,000 conservationists this year on their path to helping wildlife thrive.
2021 has been quite a ride, but we’ve seen lots of momentum building. Many aspiring conservationists, career switchers and professional conservationists have used COVID-19 as an opportunity to kick-start or accelerate their careers, finding more meaning and creating more impact.
We’ve also seen jobs flood back into the conservation sector, and new roles being created as a result of the green recovery. It’s exciting to see these new opportunities for a greater diversity of aspiring conservationists to join in creating a world in which wildlife can thrive.
As we look ahead to 2022, here are our highlights from this past year, and a glimpse into what we’re planning next!
Table of Contents
Conservation Career Kick-Starter | Helping >2,000 Kick Stars
During 2019 and 2020, we piloted our flagship course, the Conservation Career Kick-Starter, at 40+ universities worldwide. In 2021, we formally partnered with a number of these universities to give their students a head start in the industry.
“This is an absolutely unmissable opportunity in my book if you have any career aspirations whatsoever: academic, conservation, consultancy, general graduate market. The process of self-reflection as part of the course will deeply empower you going forward, no matter what path – it will be a fruitful one” – Professor Brendan Godley, Chair in Conservation Science, Centre for Ecology and Conservation (CEC), University of Exeter.
As of December 2021, over 2,000 kick stars (our inspiring students!) have enrolled in the Conservation Career Kick Starter in both English and Spanish, and it has a 98.9% satisfaction and 99.3% recommendation rating. Wow!
We continue to work with new universities as part of our Conservation Career Kick-Starter | Student Pilot Programme. If you’re a current student or alumni, feel free to share the link with your course or program leader!
Communications for Conservation Projects | Reaching 350+ Comms Stars
In 2020 great Sir David Attenborough said that “Saving the planet is now a communications challenge”.
Within conservation, there is a growing realisation that we need to do much more to share our messages and encourage more support and action. As a result, conservation employers are rapidly looking for people with communications skills.
At Conservation Careers, we analysed 29,767 conservation jobs, from over 100 countries, and discovered that 41% explicitly wanted people with communications skills or experience.
To help, we launched a totally new online course in 2020 to help conservationists plan and deliver effective communications activities with confidence, boosting their employability and impact. The course is led by Lloyd Gofton, who has 20 years of top-level communications experience, and a deep commitment to wildlife conservation.
We’ve already welcomed three intakes and over 350 Comms Stars (as we like to call them!) on our ‘Conservation Career-Booster | Communications for Conservation Projects’ and have been thrilled to see many of them land conservation jobs directly as a result of the training.
The Conservation Career Accelerator Launched | Unlocking happiness and impact
Do you work in wildlife conservation, but feel you’d like to have more impact, purpose and happiness in your career?
In 2021, we launched a new 12-week online course, the Conservation Career Accelerator, which takes you through a step-by-step process to help you achieve just that.
The structure of the course has been informed by six years of teaching career planning to over 120 amazing students on the University of Cambridge, Masters in Conservation Leadership.
How to Apply for Any Conservation Job Launched | Land more interviews!
Loneliness. Knowledge gaps. No peer group for support. No direct access to experts. Relentless distractions. Fear of rejection. Burn-out. Sound familiar?!
Conservation job seekers battle these struggles every day. Sometimes it can feel like you need to be a superhuman to succeed in the conservation sector! Faced with these struggles, it’s no wonder why 85% of job seekers suffer burn-out, and often fall short of securing their dream jobs.
Applying for conservation jobs can be hard, but you don’t have to go it alone.
In October 2021, we launched a new course, ‘How to Apply for Any Conservation Job’ to lead you through our proven step-by-step process for crafting successful job applications that get employers’ attention.
We’re currently working with our first intake of students, helping them create high-quality job applications that significantly increase their chances of landing interviews.
Webinars & Live Training Events
We enjoyed running nine new live events where we delved more in-depth into popular topics and answered your most pressing questions.
Check out this year’s webinar recordings:
- Women in Conservation
- Confidence and Imposter Syndrome
- Communications for Conservation Projects
- Land more jobs you love
- Conservation job applications: Employer insights
- How to get things done like a CEO
- How to apply for any conservation job
- Be a powerful presenter
- 6 Steps towards effective Conservation Leadership
Explore all of our webinars!
Conservation Careers Podcast
The Conservation Careers Podcast is almost four years old and we’ve published nearly 70 episodes!
To delve deeper into topics of interest, this year we added a new once-a-month format for the podcast, enlisting the help of a super team of wildlife career gurus who share their thoughts, experience and advice.
The career supergroup includes Dr Fernando Mateos-González (Nando) of Bioblogía, a source for knowledge, advice and inspiration for people seeking careers in conservation biology. It also includes Dr Stephanie Schuttler of Fancy Scientist, an unconventional wildlife biologist, entrepreneur, and careers adviser who has spent nearly two decades studying all over the world.
And last but not least, Dr Nick Askew, Founder and Director of Conservation Careers, who has over 20 years’ experience as a professional conservationist across the Academic, Private, Public, Charity and Enterprise sectors.
We published 19 new podcast episodes this year:
- Dr Stephanie Schuttler | Fancy Scientist
- Josh Powell | National Geographic Explorer & WWF Voices Presenter
- Women in Conservation
- Exploitation in Volunteering (our first career supergroup podcast!)
- Helen Turnbull | The Cape Leopard Trust
- Applying for Conservation Jobs
- Making Conservation Better
- Marnix van Holland | WWF
- Professor David Hill CBE | The Environment Bank
- How to survive academia (& enjoy it!)
- James Bartram | President of IUCN Canada
- Nancy Thomson | Thomson Environmental Consultants
- How to get conservation experience?
- Dr Hugh Safford | Forest Fires & Conservation
- I wish I knew sooner…
- Making the most of conservation events (for your career)
- The Power of Communications for Conservationists
- How to get stuff done
- The Diversity Deficit in Conservation | Cade London
- Check out all our podcast episodes!
Ultimate Guides | In-depth resources for conservationists
Does it feel overwhelming trying to understand and navigate the conservation sector? We hear some questions come up over and over again, like ‘How do I switch careers into conservation?’, or ‘How do I start a career in marine conservation?’.
This year we published new ultimate guides that distil all of our experience and the advice from professional conservationists into question-by-question guides to help fast-track your career.
- Top Conservation Skills
- How to become a botanist?
- Exploitation in conservation volunteering
- How to become a marine biologist?
- What is conservation?
- Top Conservation Careers Advice for Students
- Top Conservation Careers Advice for Job Seekers
- Top Conservation Careers Advice for Career Switchers
- Top Conservation Careers Advice for Professional Conservationist
Explore all our Ultimate Guides or download a copy of our guides to read later!
Careers Advice Blog
We published a staggering 38+ interviews, industry insights and top tips on our Conservation Careers Blog this year. Over 25 of these are interviews with professional conservationists, thanks to our talented team of Conservation Careers Bloggers.
Here are our conservation industry insights and top tips from 2021:
- Behind the scenes | Applying for a conservation job at Conservation Careers
- Conservation Job Applications | Key Stats
- Top 10 conservation job application mistakes to avoid
- Marine conservation job application tips and tricks from The Reef-World Foundation
- Job application feedback from Conservation Careers
Here are our interviews with professional conservationists from 2021:
- How to turn the tide with powerful imagery and captivating storytelling – an interview with Shawn Heinrichs from SeaLegacy
- Restoring reefs from little pieces
- Work and study at one of UK’s most impressive horticultural centres – Kew Gardens
- A mammoth task: restoring an Ice-Age ecosystem to save the planet
- Take a holistic approach to conservation with Thrive
- Conservation is triage | Saving South Africa’s flora with botanist-conservationist Rupert Koopman
- The Matriarch of Conservation | Expeditionist Catherine Edsell – ‘We can all be the voice of wildlife’
- Switching it up: From astrophysics to kākāpō conservation | An interview with Dr Andrew Digby
- Keeping Wildlife Wild – An Interview with Dr Nikki Tagg, Head of Conservation at Born Free UK
- Turning Science into Action and Crafting a Career that Works for You
- Professor David Hill CBE | Growing The Environment Bank | Roles Available
- Furry raiders: Saving the sacred langurs of Chamba
- What does an ecologist actually do? An interview with ecologist and nature author, Andrew Painting
- Listening to our Blue Planet: An interview with Professor Steve Simpson | Part 1
- Connel Bradwell – A Queer eye for Queer Ecology
- The Career of an Activist: An interview with Sibylle Riedmiller, founder of Chumbe Island Coral Park and Ecolodge
- Saving the endangered “barking deer” of Vietnam and Laos
- Listening to our Blue Planet: An interview with Professor Steve Simpson | Part 2
- Career tips for working in wildlife management and rehabilitation | An interview with Angela D’Alessio, Operations Director at MalaysianWildlife
- Conservation is about Storytelling: An Interview with Anna Wearn
- Advising the president and engaging local communities: An interview with Adjany Costa
- Bringing an end to illegal wildlife trade in the Horn of Africa: An interview with Greta Francesca Iori
- A noble quest: Safeguarding the Critically Endangered Philippine cockatoo
- Christin Winter – Create your own conservation footprints
- Combining Veterinary Science and Conservation: An Interview with Fabiola Quesada
- Collage artist reminds viewers of nature’s beauty
- Habitat Creation with Robbie Hawkins
- Staying positive (but testing negative!) during the pandemic…
- From Rutland Water to the British Birdwatching Fair | Inside Tim Appleton’s wild career
Read all our articles on our Careers Advice blog!
Would you like to use your writing skills to help share conservation careers advice with our global audience? We’re currently recruiting volunteer Conservation Careers Bloggers for 2022! Find out more about becoming CC Blogger here.
Team Conservation Careers Grew
Who is Conservation Careers? And how do we do all the things that we do?
Believe it or not, we get asked these questions pretty often!
Since we launched Conservation Careers in 2013, collaboration has been at the core of what we do. We’ve been joined by dedicated partners, job posters, Conservation Careers Bloggers, researchers and – since 2019 – Social Media Officers.
We are enormously grateful to our team of passionate people all around the world. It’s thanks to this team that we’ve been able to support nearly 700,000 conservationists in 2021 on their path to helping wildlife thrive!
Career Coaching | 1:1 Support Expansion
We worked with job seekers, students, career switchers and professionals, supporting them with personalised career coaching, application reviews and interview preparation.
One of the highlights for us is hearing from applicants who’ve successfully landed their dream job after receiving support. Here are just a few of this year’s success stories…
“I found out today I was successful in my application for the JNCC and was made an offer of employment. Thank you so much for all the help with the preparation – the application feedback and mock interview were extremely helpful!” – Matt Livesey, March 2021.
“Great news, I got the job!!! Thank you so much for your help, your feedback was really useful and they asked similar questions to those you had prepared for me, so it was great practice for the real thing. I am so excited to get started with my new job and I couldn’t recommend the interview preparation more.” – Caitlin Quilty, UK, February 2021.
“It’s the ideal job for me so I’m really thrilled to have got it, especially after such a long and tough interview process. Thanks again for all your help and feedback on my application for Jamma International, it really changed the way I write applications and think about conservation jobs in general.” – Nik Long, UK, July 2021.
“The results … were seen quickly with my applications getting more traction and I received interview invites … I am now employed in my first ever proper conservation job and couldn’t be happier. Thank you to Kristi and Conservation Careers for all your help!” – Julia Daly, January 2021.
“Hi Kristi & Nick, Firstly I want to say many thanks for all the help and advice you have given me over the past year. It has seemed like a long process, but i have now at last got some job options! … Kristi, after the advice you provided on my application around new year, I’ve had 7 interview invites using it as a template (including the one you actually commented on) – so an incredible improvement – thanks so much!” – Jerry Aylmer.
Have you found your dream job and need to submit a killer application? Are you switching careers and wondering how to showcase your transferrable skills? Check out our 1:1 Application Reviews.
Have you landed an interview, and want to ensure you’re at your best? Do you want to make sure your nerves don’t get in the way of your performance on your big day? Check out our 1:1 Interview Preparation.
Are you feeling lost, disillusioned or stuck? Are you struggling with a career decision? Would you like to gain clarity about your next steps? Check out our 1:1 Career Coaching.
Recruitment resources for Conservation Employers
In 2021, we’ve supported more conservation organisations to find new staff than ever before. In total, we have listed over 5,000 conservation organisations on our website from across the globe.
For these organisations, finding the right people is key to their conservation mission. Yet most conservation employers – particularly smaller organisations – have very limited resources to dedicate to recruitment.
To help, we’ve started sharing recruitment resources for conservation employers – helping employers quickly and easily attract, shortlist and provide useful feedback to candidates. They include:
- How to write a stand-out job advertisement
- How to shortlist candidates for conservation jobs
- How to give great feedback to all job applicants in under 20 minutes
Add Conservation Careers to your website or blog
At Conservation Careers we share over 50 new conservation jobs worldwide every day. That’s over 250 jobs each week, 1,000 jobs each month and 12,000 jobs per year!
Now you can embed the biggest conservation job board into your website using our new job widget, and share the latest conservation jobs, internships, volunteering and training opportunities with your users.
Add the biggest conservation job board to your website and delight your users! Find out how.
Conservation Travel Launched
Are you itching to travel again after COVID-19 restrictions on regional and international travel? Would you love your next trip to help create positive outcomes for wildlife?
As travel opens up post-pandemic, we want to help it drive positive outcomes for wildlife, people and the landscapes they share.
To do this, we’re putting the spotlight on the ‘good guys’ – tours and operators who make conservation and sustainability a core mission of their business.
We’ve partnered with Terra Incognita to bring you tours and adventures that meet an Ethical Code of Conduct for Ecotourism, assuring you of their commitment to wildlife and local communities.
Check out our growing selection of Conservation Travel tours and adventures!
Conservation Careers Sponsors a Nature Reserve
This year we’ve been thankful for everything we have, and chose to give back by sponsoring a local nature reserve to us – Glapthorn Cow Pastures.
Glapthorn Cow Pastures is a gorgeous and very special woodland which is a refuge for the rare Black Hairstreak butterflies and a great place to listen for singing Nightingales in the spring.
After seeing a message saying ‘sponsor this reserve’, we thought it would be the perfect thing for Conservation Careers to do…
So, we reached out to the Wildlife Trust … and we’re very proud that we’re now supporting conservation work at the site for at least the next five years 🙂
2021 in numbers
If you love numbers as much as we do, here are some stats that give a snapshot of 2021.
- Total audience – 697,170 people across website, social media and email.
- Social media audience – 135,563 followers
- Total jobs posted – 42,408
- Conservation jobs posted in 2021 – 15,295
- Conservation Careers team – 49
- Interviews – 28
- Podcast episodes – 20
- Zoom interruptions by kids or fly-by birds – 14
- Webinars – 9
- Ultimate Guides – 9
- Recruitment Resources – 3
We’re excited to become more global each year. We’re proud to say that we now rank #2 in Google in the USA for Conservation Jobs!
To find out how far we’ve come since last year, check out our Highlights from 2020!
Looking ahead to 2022
It’s been quite a ride … and as we look forwards to 2022, we’re excited about what’s in store.
Firstly, we’ll be launching a totally new community called CC Pro very soon. This is a private (non-Facebook) community where you’ll be able to access direct support from us, enjoy regular events, get peer support and SO much more. We’ve been quietly piloting it for the past few months … and it’s quickly become an inspiring place to spend time each day. We can’t wait to tell you more.
Secondly, we’re planning to totally rebuild our website next year. Gulp. The design work has all been done, and it’s over to the developers to put the plans into action. It’s no small task – with thousands of pages, posts and jobs to recreate – but the new site is going to be much faster, simpler and easier to use for all. We think you’re going to love it 🙂
As part of our development, we’re also considering expanding our focus into conservation fundraising. Within this, we’re seeking to create a searchable database of conservation funding opportunities for training, research, experiences and projects. If you like the idea, let us know.
Next year, we’re also planning to launch a specialist agency ‘Communicating Conservation’. Through this, we’ll be able to help conservation organisations – large and small – to deliver on individual communications, marketing and PR projects. We will also be able to help as a longer-term partner to drive strategic direction, training and day-to-day campaign support. If this sounds interesting, do get in touch.
We’re excited to be supporting a new programme to bring expert training into school classrooms for children aged 9-13. ExpertEd aims to provide free learning opportunities to benefit everyone, including the most disadvantaged. We’ll be supporting their dedicated after-school clubs for those pupils who want to know more and look deeper into a possible career in conservation.
Finally, we’ve been increasing our focus on supporting greater diversity, equity and inclusion within conservation. In 2021 we worked with a number of experts, organisations and a focus group to better understand issues raised within the conservation sector. In 2022 we plan to continue this work so we can play our part in removing barriers and creating opportunities for under-represented people and groups.
By now, you probably know that we’re always open to new ideas that come along, so do get in touch if you think we can help or improve things within conservation in some way.
Thank you for your continued support, and stay tuned as we keep innovating on our mission to help conservationists achieve career success.
Here’s to a great 2022 for all.