Finding Your Passion

While it’s no surprise that conservation leaders revealed a deep and enduring personal passion for the natural world, they also embodied a strong personal connection and commitment to the places where they work—whether it is their place of birth or an island, state, country or region they adopted as their home. These leaders also had an appetite for hard work, long hours, facing challenges, and achieving results, which fueled their stellar careers. 

Those who are working in conservation are living the work themselves. It’s not something they’re doing 8-5, it’s something that they’re living. It’s a 24-7, 365-day thing that you are living. You don’t stop being a conservationist at 5 o’clock. It’s part of your life.
— Willy Kostka, Micronesia

Some leaders recommend specializing in science and technical fields through the highest education possible. Others place the highest value on critical communication, collaboration and leadership skills that make change happen. Many other fields also contribute to successful conservation, including business, finance, and social marketing. Several leaders recommended conservation planning as a great way to learn early in your career while contributing significantly. Regardless, all agree on the importance of “going deep,” seeking excellence and building expertise that leads to solutions.

When Palauans finish school, they work one or two years in Palau to really identify their interests. Once they know their interests and the issues, they go back for graduate school. Otherwise, they may not have the connection in Palau, they may not connect to the real issue, and they may not be able to contribute, so my advice would be find a way to work your way up and know that when you finish you are already connected to a place where you can work.
— Noah Idechong, Palau

  Exploring Career Pathways

Exploring Career Pathways

  Finding Your Passion

Finding Your Passion

  Enlisting a Mentor

Enlisting a Mentor

  Cultivating Essential and "Super" Skills

Cultivating Essential and "Super" Skills

  General Career Advice

General Career Advice