This post was written by DC EcoWomen blogger Dawn Bickett
Welcome to the second installment of DC EcoWomen Success Stories! This month’s success story spotlights Jamie Carson — Founder & Director of C.C. Global, a small business that specializes in environment, resilience & sustainability communications. C.C. Global has most recently launched Envirorun — a running and networking opportunity for the environmental community in Washington, D.C., and other city chapters will be launching soon.
What role has DC Ecowomen played in your career path?
Having a robust network is step one in launching a business, and the DC EcoWomen group empowered my focus. There have been several instances where I have been looking for answers, a connection, a friend in the sector – DC EcoWomen has been there. It is a constant mobilizer for the community through its list-serve, events and workshops.
In one instance, I was planning a press conference before a major event, and I needed to find out – quickly – who was available to attend from the Washington, D.C. area. I sent out somewhat of a environmental journalist S.O.S. and was overwhelmed with the feedback. I thought I may not get a response, and it was the complete opposite. EcoWomen has been an empowering group in so many ways, and I am thankful for this confident group of women helping to back each other, especially when we most need it. Some of these women that reached out that day have remained my closest confidants.
What were the steps you took to get to where you are?
Being a Nebraska native, I grew up surrounded by an environmental-based economy whether it be agricultural practices, conservation research or energy/development projects. In college, I studied environmental journalism, and was most interested in energy issues and the challenges that are associated with resource scarcity.
I received good advice from someone when I got out of school: You’re not going to get your dream job right way. You’ve got to start somewhere and always shift your path back to your passions. When I graduated I first worked at a small local newspaper, but I ended up finding my next job with a company that did journalism and was focused in the private sector. I would cover stories about matters that were important to industrial work. Later, I moved up to a management role, which introduced new skills to learn.
Anywhere I had an opportunity, I would filter my environmental background into what I was working on, whether talking about sustainability on the railroad or how moving freight by train can be more fuel efficient than by truck. And all the while I was building important skills in communications. It’s important to take every opportunity that you’re given and think of it in an optimistic way. Down the road, you can always center your path where you really want to be.
I went from there to Washington, D.C., and started working in the nonprofit world. I worked for the Global Adaptation Institute as director of communications for three years before launching my own small business.
Were there any major hurdles that you faced to get where you wanted to be?
We will continuously experience hurdles, but the most important thing is staying focused on the things that make you happy in your career, and make sure that even if your path goes off in a different direction for a while that you come back.
I really wanted to work right away in the environmental field, but when I think about how my career has progressed from a 1,000-foot-view, I’ve realized that I could not be doing what I am now if I hadn’t had those opportunities. Running my own business is probably one of the most challenging and exciting things that I’ve done to date, and it was those past experiences coupled with the support of my family and my network that have made all the difference.
It’s not just about what you’ve done, but all the people who helped you along the way. It’s important to remember that all of the relationships you create, every job you’ve had, come full circle.
Do you have any advice for women just beginning their work in an environmental field?
It’s all about your knowledge base, vision and projection. Always continue to learn, read and follow the news. If you believe in yourself, as well as your work, expertise and colleagues, you will evoke a confidence that makes boundaries and differences insignificant.
Can you tell us more about Envirorun?
Envirorun is a running and networking opportunity for the environmental community – bringing together all players in the space from academia and science, multilateral, media, NGOs, public and private sector and foundations. D.C. is rich in environmental discussion, and is even more so since the State of the Union Address by President Barack Obama mentioned climate change as a top U.S. priority. The time is ripe to do something about it, and getting people together and talking is a big step.
Jamie Carson can be reached via email at j.carson@ccglobal.US. Visit C.C. Global online at www.ccglobal.US, @ccglobalUS (Twitter) and C.C. Global (Facebook). Anyone interested in receiving information about Envirorun events, please subscribe at envirorun.com/subscribe and for more information visit envirorun.com/dc, @envirorun (Twitter) and Envirorun (Facebook).