tl;dr - In short, I assembled an effective process for identifying climate-change-fighting companies to work for. This included some unique tactics which I know led directly to me being hired in less than 1.5 months. My process helped me find and focus on 5 companies, expressed interest in 2, which resulted in 1 interview (phone and then an in-person) and an offer a few days later. The step-by-step process is available as a checklist: https://ch.ckl.st/r/find-a-job-fighting-climate-change-as-a-software-developer
Nothing meaningful happens instantly, but we have to work and fight for something better. Read on...
October 2018, A Turning Point
Last October, the IPCC released a report on climate change that really shook me.
The road that led me to be concerned about climate change started farther back though. In the last couple of years, becoming a father really helped me mature, or at least made me less selfish. As a child myself I remember learning about how we were destroying the environment. Sadly, not much has changed for the better in the last 30+ years since my childhood. The report made me reconsider what I was doing with my life, made me re-evaluate what I have kept hearing my entire life in regards to the looming danger posed by climate change, and made me realize that I can no longer turn away from the harsh reality that we are facing. The party is over!
At the time that the IPCC report was released, I was working on this checklist app as a step towards developing a more robust application for helping job seekers organize and be more effective in their job search. I decided to leverage what I had been working on to help me pave the way for others to fight climate change in every way they can. By December, the app was in a usable state.
First I created a short checklist for taking simple steps in our personal lives to fighting climate change. My family and I followed these steps ourselves, though we had already cut back, if not close to entirely cut out, eating meat. Meanwhile, I kept trying to figure out what else I could do to do more towards the fight.
Fuck Your Meaningless Job
During this period, as I sat through my scrum daily meetings and my team and I discussed the details of the tasks that we were working on, I realized that the shit that we were producing made no difference to the quality of anyone's life, and was far from having any impact on alleviating climate change. It did not matter what I accomplished professionally or how much money I made if at the end of my life I ended up leaving my children, and all other children, with a planet turned into a real life nightmare, or well on its way towards that. Every day I wondered if I was the only one living a life of quiet desperation. The comfort of my stable and stress-free job was no longer enough.
I created a plan and set out on finding more meaningful work, work that would help me devote my energy towards fighting climate change. I turned the plan into a checklist with the hope that others could duplicate my results. The results for me were nothing less than astonishing. Maybe it was the fact that I quit my job before having something else lined up, and I am sure that resulted in some extra motivation and focus, but by following the steps in the checklist I was able to "easily" find work that aligned with my desire to continue doing software development but in an area that contributed towards the fight against climate change.
Not everyone will have the same results as I did. Everyone's situation is unique. What is not unique and applies to everyone though is the reality that we are destroying our only home.
How we live and what we do with our time is under our control. How we live on this planet in its entirety is a creation of ours. We can do better. If we stop being cowards, lazy, apathetic and start being just a little more creative, hopeful and get off our asses we can change the course of history. Start by taking just one step forward. Then, take the next one. After that, do not stop taking steps in the right direction.