What I Learned From a Terrible Job
5 Questions for Jacob Clyde
After graduating from the School of Architecture and Planning at SUNY Buffalo in 2013, Jacob Clyde was ready to explore more of what the world had to offer. He spent the next year and a half in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina where he found his new passion: Home Energy Retrofits. The friendly folks in the City of Charleston taught Jacob a lot about the delicate balance between the preservation of existing buildings and their surrounding environment. When he headed back to Upstate NY Jacob began working fulltime as an Energy Advisor at Halco Energy where he currently helps homeowners lessen their carbon footprint and live healthier lifestyles.
What work do you do and what lessons from Eco Practicum do you apply at your job?
I currently work as an Energy Advisor for Halco Energy. As an Energy Advisor I meet with homeowners all across Central NY where I provide free home energy audits in collaboration with NYSERDA. From my experience with Eco Practicum, I certainly gained a respect for all parties involved in the effort to decrease our carbon footprint at the local, state and national levels.
What are the most fulfilling and most challenging parts of what you do?
The most fulfilling part of my job is when a homeowner can take full advantage of the numerous opportunities we provide and finally realize the comfort of a warm, energy efficient home. The deep energy retrofits performed on these homes last forever and eventually pay for themselves in energy savings! The most challenging portion of this job is when homeowners only look at renewable energy as a means of saving money. I regularly spend a lot of time explaining the numerous benefits of renewable energy, because although it is a large investment, the benefits largely outweigh the cost.
Describe a moment or situation that helped you realize your passion?
I realized my passion for what I do when I was down south doing something I hated. I was working for a construction company that did not consider sustainability in any part of their process. This is when I began visioning what I wanted to do with my knowledge, passion and drive.
What advice do you have for people looking for meaningful volunteer opportunities?
Follow your heart! Seriously. Although this is one of the biggest clichés, I wouldn’t be enjoying every day of “work” if I didn’t. I hated what I was doing before; I didn’t agree with the company philosophy, so I moved on. I would also say just get out there and try something, go fail at something, because I found that when I was at my lowest I looked to what made me happy and went right after it.
What’s one thing you think everyone should know how to do?
I think everyone should know how to talk to people, how to socialize. They say it’s not what you know, but who you know. Having the ability to converse and share ideas gets the ball rolling and before you know it you’re on to something you didn’t even know about 5 minutes prior. This can open up a world of opportunity!
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