Being unemployed sucks, especially if you have a family to support.
I know this well. When oil went into the toilet a few years ago, I lost my job.
Granted I hated that job (which is for another blog post) but jobs mean money.
I retrained in #GIS over the next year and acquired skills outside of oil and gas.
Geographic information systems is an amazing skill set to have. It can be used in all sorts of industries and can allow you to be self-employed.
But what happens if you just finish school and are unable to get a job? What happens if you lose your job and can’t find something?
There is some bad news, and two sets of good news.
The first good news is that knowing what the issue is is half the battle.
And there there is the… THE BAD NEWS!
Most people when they are unable to find a job do nothing. They wait. They send out resumes (which is good). They search the internet. Then… they start doing unproductive things.
Watch TV, use social media for outrage, eat too much, and get depressed. You may even start questioning your choice of career.
Here is something more depressing.
According to research people will have forgotten 50% of what they learned within 24 hours, and forget 90% within a month.
This means you if you are not actively using your education, you are going be forgetting what you have learned.
You are not keeping up with new technologies. You are not making new connections. You are falling behind.
But as promised, there is some good news!
I am going to give you a few very basic steps to not only keep your skills ready, but also make your 10 times more hire-able in the next 30 days.
These steps will only take you 1 to 2 hours a day. That means only watching one less TV show (best not to watch any till you are employed).
You can make the steps fun, or just check the off a list.
The list looks like this:
Read a single blog (Day 1)
This seemingly small activity will keep you informed about what is currently happening the world of GIS. The great thing about blogs is that many people are writing on some really great topics.
They are doing the hard work for you by researching topics and bringing the distilled information right to you.
Even better you can listen to podcasts as they do the same thing, and you can listen while you work out (which you should be doing).
Here is a list of blogs to start:
Bigger list here: http://wiki.gis.com/wiki/index.php/List_of_GIS-related_Blogs
Here are some great podcasts:
Bigger list here: https://www.gislounge.com/geospatial-podcasts-roundup/
Gather Open Data (Day 2)
Finding free data is both easy and a pain. I have searched for sites that have links to open GIS data, but I find more likely than not, the links are long since broken.
Pick your country and search.
Imagery however, I use the following.
Free imagery. Not the best quality, but great for keeping your imagery analysis skills up.
Sentinels Scientific Data Hub – https://scihub.copernicus.eu/
This is a recent find for me, check out GisGeogrpahy’s link on how to access it.
You can easily find more, the data is out there.
Do some analysis (Day 3)
You did this before for money, you might as well do it now for your future. You can really show off you skills if you are good!
You can use QGIS for free or ArcGIS Pro for cheap. With Arc You get access to all the apps, all the training, and even ArcGIS online.
This is a ridiculously good purchase which I would suggest you do.
Here are some example analysis you can do:
Analyze the spatial statistics of roads in a region which are under threat of flooding.
Analyze the location of factories and population centers.
Look at population density statistics.
Create a Graphic (Day 4)
Geographic Information Systems is at its heart a visual medium. The beautiful thing about creating graphics for your GIS is that they can be simple.
In fact, the more simple and easy to understand your graphic, the better.
You want people to look at your analysis and say “I see! Those are the roads that are going to be most affected by flooding”.
Here is another free hint. In case you get stuck trying to figure out how to represent your analysis… copy what already works.
Did I say copy? I mean be inspired by.
Show your work (Day 5)
No one is going to know you just did the above steps if you don’t actually show your work.
Show your work is risky.
What you have done might suck.
What you have done might change the world.
You will never know if you don’t show your work.
Social media is free. Post now. Post often.
Become social media savvy.
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