Being Career Smart in the Layoff World
I recently came across this blog post on How to find a GIS job in tough economic times. This post has really got me thinking about how difficult job hunting is in our current economic situation. Even if we currently have a job, we are keeping our eyes peeled for opportunities just in case a layoff happens. So what tips can we apply to our career that will help us hurdle over these tough times?
This has got to be one of the most important career moves that can be made. Networking will allow you to interact with others who are like minded and even if they seem to not have any value now, you will find you might be coming back to them later. The main topic doesn’t need to be job related, but find a connection through your industry or even just some special interest you may have. Having a constant connection will other will be very beneficial if you find a need for a career change. Here are a few good social networking site, you may find others that are more specific to your industry.
- Twitter – A micro-blog that allows to you share what you are doing while being updated with what your friends are doing. A lot of companies have their own Twitter account and are looking for future employees.
- Facebook – A social network that allows you to have friends, be part of smaller networks, add pictures, send messages, etc. It has a main component similar to Twitter which you can tell other what you are doing.
- LinkedIn – A social network that is more career focused. The profile area is more like a resume with experience, education, associations, awards, etc. This network is a little more strict with how you can connect with others. You must verify how you are connected (ex.: coworker, friend, group member, etc.). LinkedIn also allows you to look at those who are connected to your connections and you can request that your friends introduce you to their friends.
Forums are a great place to interact with others. If you have questions, there are a number of users who are ready and willing to provide an answer. Maybe you have the experience to contribute, then this is a great way to build a positive reputation with your peers. Here a few good ones for those interested in GIS:
Most large companies have a career area where you can create an account. If you have some ideas of where you might want to work then I would suggest that you create a career account with that company. Creating such an account will allow you to keep up with available jobs and maybe have to opportunity to be paired with one that fit your liking. If you currently have a job then you are under no obligation to have an interview. This just create a was for their Human Resources department to see you has a possible candidate for open positions. Keeping the irons in the fire will make things easier when times get tough. ESRI has a great career website where you can set up a Career Account and also check out the ESRI career blog.
Stay Up on Technology
Technology is ever changing. A great way to stay up on technology is through various blogs and podcasts. There are also some good magazines also published that will keep you up to date. Here are a few of my favorite sources:
Go Back to College
Going back to college is a great way to help advance your career. There are a lot of colleges that provide education along the geospatial technology area. I have compiled an excellent list of these colleges. Adding a certificate or even a full degree to your resume will sure help boost you marketability. Continuing your education is a positive factor that will show an employer that you are serious about your career.
Adding a certification can also be a help to your career. Although there is debate about the quality of the ones available, I personally don’t think it will hurt you. Some of the main ones along the geospatial technology area are GISP, ASPRS, and STARS. Most people already meet the qualifications for certification and there is only a few minor steps to obtaining a certification.
Although focusing on just one of these areas will sure enhance your career, a combination of all of them will begin opening doors beyond your expectation. I have seen these work for myself and also with others, so I know it can work for you. Do something positive for your career today, it is never to late to start!