Posted by: norstarnewengland | October 9, 2011

A New Career Direction

Back in August 2010, I was laid off – another ‘statistic’ and ‘victim’ of the “Great Recession.’  The day came with little surprise; I had been ‘underemployed’ for some time. 

So, it was off to find new work, but it wasn’t going to be easy.  Last job really left me with no ‘killer app’ (‘must have’) skills.  In my previous job, I had been an analyst and techical communicator.  I combined elements of both jobs to become a generalist which allowed me to be adaptable in being able to work in a variety of work, but it didn’t make me a ‘go to guy’ for anything specific. In a late recession/early anemic recovery phase, this was deadly.  How can I distinguish myself in a job market where there was about 9% unemployment, with many in the extended period?   To keep it personal, I’m going no further on the specifics.  But, it seems to me that there is a void in the corporate responsibility of investing in its own employees for anticipated needs. 

By January 2010, I realized that the work situation was serious.  So, I decided on a new direction – one that I had been exposed to years before but didn’t pursue further until then.  My new direction?  Geographic Information Systems (GIS).   I enrolled in a graduate program and for the next year and a half, dedicated many nights and weekends.   That ended just last September, so I now have a Masters degree.   I also have been interning and have been learning a lot and enjoying it.  It’s fine for now, but I’ll be spending time figuring out the long term.

I have Waymarking/Geocaching to  thank for keeping that idea alive, as I use GPS to find neat objects and places and log them.    I always knew that I have been geographically minded and have loved maps.  Now, I can do it every day!

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