A career in a pro-environment field can be very rewarding, particularly if you display some of the five character traits of environmentalists. An extensive study at Walden University examined the most common traits associated with people who have environmental concerns and want to be involved in solutions. Those traits are outlined below:
While environmentalists ate staunch in their opinions that we all play a role in protecting the environment, they are also usually intellectuals, who are open to new ideas. They are often highly intellectual, and want a constant stream of new information. Among the many character traits of environmentalists who are deeply concerned with issues such as climate change, this could be the most critical, as open-minded individuals are lifelong learners, who embrace creativity and new ways of thinking. They also like new challenges and have many interests. Environmental like to try new things and different approaches to solving environmental-related challenges.
Displaying a high level of consciousness is a character trait of many environmentalists. They understand that the impact of their work can take years to achieve, so they are willing to delay gratification for a positive outcome. They are less likely to be impulsive; rather, they develop careful plans of action and follow them through. They are “play by the rules” people who are willing to share the glory with others who have similar opinions and goals. They are careful and tend to make a plan before taking action, even on a small scale. This allows them to set and achieve goals.
Environmentalists tend to be more social and outgoing. Their characteristics include the ability to engage with others. They are passionate about the topic of environmental activism, and want to share their knowledge, as well as encourage others to adopt environment-friendly practices. They are likely to take an energetic approach, and are willing to speak in public. Environmentalists like completion, and they enjoy seeing their plans put into action. They also need a high level of activity, so they are likely to volunteer for environmental projects and even initiate or lead programs that can have a positive impact on the environment.
Pro-environmental people are often agreeable and compassionate. While they are steadfast in their commitment to environmental regulations and improvement, they are also understanding that, in many regions and cultures, people make their living in water and on land. They are empathetic and modest about their successes. Among the character traits of environmentalists, this is critical, as they need the ability to work through barriers to accomplish their mission, which can include developing agreements among multiple stakeholders. They must be trustworthy and able to work through differences without alienating other parties who may share their concerns, but fear the steps involved in making improvements.
Some environmentalists take a different approach: They are angry and bitter about what they perceive to be a great social injustice. When this character trait is present, environmentalists can come across as rude and unbearable. Unfortunately, this approach can alienate the very people they need to educate, which risks their overall mission to make improvement. They see every event as imminent danger and lack the ability to see the big picture. They may engage in extreme activism, particularly when they feel extreme hopelessness.
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Careers that result in social change are of increasing interest to people entering the workforce, or who are seeking a career change. Consider the five character traits of environmentalists carefully before deciding if this field would be a good fit for you.