Looking to grow your career in solar? This article outlines 3 tips for you to advance your career. We attended the WISE Intersolar North America Breakfast with a packed room of 100 women in solar. The panel, moderated by Page Crahan, President, Clarus Poweris, included:
– Helen Kang Shin, Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Recurrent Energy
– Tammie Candelario, Head of Department, Solar Services, DNV GL
– Anna Bautista, VP Construction & Workforce Development, GRID Alternatives
The questions centered on ways solar companies can advocate for women and women can advocate for themselves within the industry. While the tips below apply to women in solar (and are necessary considering the limited presence of women in the industry), they also apply to men.
3 Tips to Advance Your Career in Solar
1. Figure Out What You Need to Learn
2. Find a Sponsor
3. Seek Out Career Growth Opportunities
1. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU NEED TO LEARN
What are you not comfortable with at your job? Understanding the technical terms? Dealing with the politics in the room? Figure out what you need to learn to grow your confidence in your role and in the industry. It may mean enrolling in a course or chatting up your colleague who’s an expert in the industry at your company pizza party. Take the time to fill in the gaps that are holding you back. There’s a lot of talk about bridging the confidence gap and while that’s important, focus on filling your competence gap, too. Read SolarPro, check out articles on RenewableEnergyWorld.com, listen to Greentech Media’s Podcast – The Energy Gang, enroll in our free solar courses.
2. SEEK OUT A SPONSOR
Find someone who can champion you and your work within your company or at partnering companies. While you can succeed at your job without sponsors and mentors, you’ll find it easier to navigate your career growth with support. WISE recently launched a pilot solar mentoring program for women in the industry and they also host monthly networking events, like the 200-person happy hour they hosted at Intersolar North America.
3. SEEK OUT CAREER GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
Speak up and ask to be at meetings where you think you will learn and be able to contribute. Opportunities for growth may not be the “sexiest” opportunities, but they can provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to qualify you for new projects in the future.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? HOW HAVE YOU ADVANCED?
The majority of our students are professionals with deep expertise in the industry. We’d love to hear your thoughts. How have you advanced your career in solar? Tips for women and men changing roles within their companies or shifting into solar from a different career?
One hot topic during the panel was the idea of flexible hours and how they level the playing field for men and women in solar. Does your company have flexible work hours? What’s the impact on productivity and equal professional growth opportunities within your company? Tell us below!
- Solar Women Summer Series
- Free Course: Basic Solar PV Design, Code, Economics, Sales, and Site Visits
- Free Course: Residential Solar Sales Optimization with Chris Williams
- Free Course: Battery Capacity – The Basis of Storage
- Free Course: Commercial Solar Design and 2014 NEC Code Changes
- Free Course: Commercial Solar PPAs 101
- Free Tool: Guide to Masering Commercial Solar Finance
- Free Tool: Residential Solar PV Design 101 Guide
- Check out the National Women in Solar Initiative webcast series hosted by GRID Alternatives and SunEdison
UPCOMING SOLAR COURSES
- Advanced Solar + Storage
- Megawatt Design
- Financial Modeling for Solar PV Projects
- 40-Hour Advanced Solar PV Installer Training
- Solar PV Installer Bootcamp Training and NABCEP Entry Level Exam Prep
- NABCEP PV Installer Certification Exam Prep
- Batteries in Solar PV Systems
- Solar Approaches to Radiant Heating
- Commercial Solar PV Design
- Solar Hot Water Design & Installation Training + NABCEP Entry Level Exam
- 58 Hours NABCEP Solar PV Training – Entry Level Exam Prep + 40 Hours Advanced
- Solar Executive MBA Training