The Loop

If you are in the circular economy, what do you say when asked about your job?

For so many years, I started a monologue about our planet and the circular economy.

I would go about the linear economy and resources … and 3 mins later, the person on the other side was half asleep.

Circular economy is a complex topic, difficult to get across in one sentence.

It’s not like when you say: “Oh, I am in sales. I work for xyz in France.”

But it hit me 3 years ago when I was getting coached by a LinkedIn trainer.

My LinkedIn headline looked like this back then: “Circular Economy | Sustainability | Title… | etc…

He was like: Vojtech, you have to have a better headline, almost a new name, connected to your niche.

We brainstormed for 20 mins, and suddenly “The Circular Economist” was born.

It seemed so obvious, but I didn’t see that term used before at all.

And just like the term “circular economy” has picked up over the last 10 years, I believe that we will see a lot more “circular economist” titles and job positions soon.

So when someone asks what I do today, I say: “I am a circular economist.”

And when my grandma asks I say:

“We help organizations manage their resources better. Just like in nature, there should be no waste and everything is cycled forever. We try to apply these principles to how our society works.”

I am still not sure if she gets it…

Funnily enough, people who’ve never heard about the circular economy can confuse us with economists.

Happened to me once when I was invited to a high-level panel because they thought I was an economist.

If that’s your case, here’s a quick cheat sheet on the main differences:

Jokes aside, today, I want to talk about 3 skills that shaped me as circular economist.

3 Skills that can have a huge impact on your own career in the circular economy:

1. Change management:

I don’t think of circular economists as activists, but rather professional change makers.

Circular economy is all about change. A lot of it happens inside organizations, behind the scenes. Change is what we are hired to do.

So instead of another book on circularity, get better at change management too!

Oh, and one last thing: circular economist has a business mindset, with a green heart.

There’s no unlimited growth on a finite planet. But don’t say it every day to everyone, people will think you’re crazy.

2. Systems approach

Most organizations work in silos.

In larger organizations, sustainability teams often don’t even know about each other. The energy experts do one thing, the water pros do another.

In small organizations, it’s the other extreme: there is no one handling the agenda.

As circular economists, we need to operate horizontally.

Raise above the silos, and see what’s going on across departments. From sales, and comms to design and purchasing.

Apply systems approach.

3. Lean thinking

We literally have only 6 years left to turn the tide on climate change.

We don’t have time for a 1.5-year-long procurement process, 2 year study, and then “start implementing.”

Circular economist operates in short cycles and always looks for quick wins and scalable business solutions.

Without big budgets or manpower, we need to move the mountains, fast.

Lean thinking is our philosophy, Lean Startup should be our bible.

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If you wanna see results, double down on these and see your impact grow.

How do I know this?

I’ve consulted 100+ companies.

I was Prague’s circular economist for 4 years.

I’ve built 3 successful companies myself.

I get 100 DMs / week about people wanting to “pick my brain.”

That’s why I started my Power Hours.

You can book me to coach you to become a (better) circular economist.

If you are already in the game, we can talk about how to step it up!

If you are working on your circular strategy and need a pair of extra eyes, but don’t wanna pay for an expensive report, this is what the Power Hour is here for as well.

—> Book here to step up your game <—

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That’s it for this week, talk to you soon again.

Vojta

27 April 2024

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