Guest Post by Jennifer Massie, founder of Massie Group, a recruiting consulting firm

I have decided to conduct a series of interviews with people who have made a career transition to the clean/green sector.  This could include any type of business related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable business, etc.

I am finding more and more that job seekers want to know “how do you do it?”  I begin the interview series with Glenn Booth, VP of Marketing & Business Development at Cool Energy, Inc. I will continue to post these interviews on a weekly basis for as long as I have them to post and they remain relevant.  Please come back from time to time to see how different folks from industries like IT, Finance, Telecom, Software, etc. have done it!

Name & Title: Glenn Booth, VP, Marketing & Business Development
Company: Cool Energy, Inc.

Q: In what industry sector were you working before you made the transition?

A: Telecommunications

Q: What industry sector are you in now?

A: Cleantech – Solar

Q: What were the circumstances for your transition and the path you took?

A: I knew someone who helped me to get connected with the Company. Then, I researched and sought out a position on my own. After being ‘furloughed’ in my previous telecom position, I was ready to make a move to a more fulfilling industry. Much of the skill set in marketing and business development can map over to different industries. Fortunately I had been donating my time to help a cleantech startup, so they knew me and knew my capabilities.

Q: Are you receiving less, equal, or more compensation than your prior position?

A: About same salary, but much bigger upside in stock options and fulfillment.

Q: What, if any, certifications, training, degrees do you have that have helped you in your obtaining a position in the clean sector?

A: The biggest help was my experience in building a company from near-scratch – raising capital, building a channel, branding, and help in product development.

Q: What, if anything, was a hindrance?

A: No prior cleantech experience. If the team at Cool Energy had not known me, and just received my résumé, it would have been harder for me to make the move. In general, people like to see similar industries or similar companies on resumes. This is a short cut, of course, and the best candidate may have zero industry experience, but a strong in core skills, energy, drive and personality fit.

Q: Other thoughts that might be helpful to someone seeking to make the transition?


1. Define exactly what your ideal work scenario looks like. What sector of cleantech? What type of company? Where is it located? What kind of people? Make a target list of all potential companies based on these criteria.
2. Network like crazy – go to all the ‘MeetUps’, social events, etc. Utilize LinkedIn and other social networking tools to meet like-minded folks. Reach out to contacts through LinkedIn for your target list of companies
3. Volunteer – find a cleantech company that can use your help, but might not be in a position currently to hire you. Donate some of your hours and talent to help them. This builds enormous ‘karma points’ and has a mysterious way of coming back to serve you too.

Join me next week for my interview with Laks Sampath, who is a principal with ElliptlQ Energy Partners.  We will discuss transitioning from the software industry to the solar industry.

Recommended Green Career Resources:

SIX STRATEGIES TO FIND YOUR GREEN CAREER – This free ebook by Carol McClelland PhD is a step-by-step process helping green career seekers use their passions, interests, experience, and training to plug into the green economy.

THE COMPLETE GREEN JOB GUIDE 2009: SECRETS FOR GETTING THE JOB YOUR WANT – Discover How To Unlock The Booming Green Economy For Your Job Search And Future Financial Security with the 10 Breakthrough Steps You Need To Know To Find And Land A Green Job Quickly.

CLEANTECHIES RESUME AND COVER LETTER WRITING SERVICE – Cleantechies help job seekers ease the transition from mainstream to Cleantech. Learn More!

© 2009, Jennifer_Massie. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Jennifer_Massie (4 Articles)

Jennifer Massie is the founder of a recruiting consulting firm called Massie Group. In recent years, she has directed her efforts toward the renewable energy and clean tech sectors. By doing this, she has been able to combine her previous experience in business development and technology and focus on a field that she has recognized as having positive growth potential and opportunity. It is also an industry that is close to her heart. Aside from having her own clean/green clients, she partners with other recruiting firms to assist with their needs and has worked on filling positions that reach across many disciplines. These have included Government/Military, finance, technology/IT, scientific, marketing and sales. Beyond her more recent recruiting experience, Jenn writes two blogs, has been a founder of a dotcom start-up, and has held various positions in business development and marketing. Jennifer runs a very active Linkedin Group, called Clean / Green Opportunity. The group is intended for those interested (job seekers or employers) in the clean / green job market to learn more about the opportunities (or candidates) available to them and advice for transitioning or continuing a career in this sector. She also has a related blog that is intended for those interested in the clean / green sector job market to learn more about the opportunities available to them. Click here, to subscribe to her blog.

  • Steve Fortuna

    Very interesting article. I have a similar experience coming from telcom engineering into solar after a series of downsizings with the major carriers. I live in Atlanta, where the renewable options are very limited, so I took a biz dev job with a solar company out of Asheville, NC, establishing their Georgia office. It’s been a tough 5 months in a state with limited but expanding incentives, so I’ve been, ‘paying my dues’, making contacts and working toward NABCEP certification. It may be paying off soon when the ARRA stimulus money hits. I’m writing a $2 million renewable grant on behalf of 10 non-profits to not only get them 80% funding toward solar energy systems, but to help a university develop a renewable energy curriculum that will change how solar, wind, geothermal and biomass are taught in the K-12 science programs nation-wide. I think the potential to educate an entire generation of teachers on how to bring workable renewable projects to the classroom can shift the balance of energy perception, not just here but globally, and that would be an achievement to be proud of. I wish you all luck – do the same for me.

    • Gene


      You come from a discipline that has nothing to do with green technologies and you want to write curriculum? You have a great idea about bringing the technologies to the classroom, but that is only a small facet of the problem. I have been in green technologies for over 30 years. I worked for manufacturers, owned companies and have a masters degree in vocational education. I have already developed and lived this curriculum. Hopefully you are working with someone with my credentials. Good Luck

  • mike schmidt

    A very telling comment from Glenn’s story was the need to find someone “to help him get connected with the company.”

    Anyone I know of who has gotten a new job of late has done it through networking, and more specificially, contacting someone they know to help them get a foot in the door.