I love geographic information systems. The endless possibilities in coding, the variety of visual designs, and the unlimited application in multiple industries are perfect for a creative person like me.
But it occurred to me…
Is GIS enough to get hired? Is having great GIS skills enough?
Answer: No… GIS is not enough... but it is a start!
This is not just because GIS is usually an “add-on” skill, but because things change.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we will change jobs every 4 to 4.3 years.
That means whatever you are training in or doing now is not going to be what you are doing in 5 years, let alone 10.
This is only going to increase with the rise of the gig economy.
…not to mention the continual advancement of technology.
This includes anything you are trained in. GIS, Geoscience, Engineering.
It is important to understand this because as the old G.I.Joe public services announcement says.
Knowing that things change gives you the ability to plan to change faster.
Remember though… the following still applies!!!
Skill sets and “Click-here-do-that” are very important.
Being able to speak GIS and hold a professional conversation is important.
No matter how you look at it, you need the skills to be effective. You need the skills to get GIS done.
But here is something you need to know…
Skills are common and GIS is easy.
Like it or not, GIS could be considered the “Word Processing” or “Spread Sheeting” of your company. Need a map? Call Bob. Need a graph? Call Jane.
Everyone knows how to type in Word, and everyone knows how to use Excel. They may not do either well, BUT they may do it well enough to get the job done.
What this means is that if you are not careful, you can easily be replaced, or they might not need you at all.
This comes back to what a GIS instructor once told me:
The “Shallow” is an aspect of the problem, more to do with how we represent GIS.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to ensure you stay competitive in GIS.
Be Obsessed with GIS, or be average
This idea comes from the marketing world of Grant Cardone. He talks about becoming obsessed at a skill to be the best in the world at it. He talks about sales… but it is applicable to GIS.
Being obsessed is figuring out how to be better.
Being obsessed is learning how to learn.
Being obsessed means that you will know the ideas inside out.
Being obsessed means you will keep up with trends to know what is coming next and know what to abandon quickly.
Being obsessed means doing the work that other people are not willing or able to do.
If you are going to learn something, go all in.
How can you be obsessed?
Listen to podcasts:
Attend online seminars.
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