3 Tips to Help You Get a GIS Promotion

GIS Contributor


Many workers across all industries are asking what they can do to make themselves a more attractive candidate for promotion. In this article I will give some guidelines for putting yourself on the fast track to promotion as well as advice for implementing good work habits and how to develop advanced technical/management skills.

You will no longer have to wonder how to get promoted.

1. Good work habits 

Thinking about how to get promoted can be a daunting task. It is very hard for people to change who they are or how they work overnight. What is easy, is picking up good work habits. Implementing good work habits will allow you to take positive steps towards a promotion.

  • Intelligent communications: Communication is vital for every industry and business. The ability to articulate your accomplishments, needs and current projects in a concise manner is an incredibly valued skill. Delivering information consistently you will set yourself apart from those who are not putting thought into their communication. This means you will be seen as a more appealing candidate for promotion. Next time you are in a meeting try to talk about what you have done, what you need help with and what you are going to do.
  • Accountability: Is one of the best tools you have to keep your superiors informed. Explain what you have finished, what you are working on and what you will have ready for the next meeting. The ability to take accountability and follow through consistently makes you a more attractive candidate for promotion. Explaining what you have accomplished, results in a very transparent relationship with a boss. Compared to someone who assumes his boss knows what he’s done, you will be seen as more reliable. Check out this article for more tips on how to develop your accountability.
  • Agile management skills: Agile management for modern GIS. This course streamlines management skills so you save time learning what is most important. The ability to manage a group effectively is a major skill that is certain to elevate you for promotion.
A black maze with the words "You" at the entrance with a red arrow and the words "Promotion" at the exit with a red arrow.

2. Develop advanced GIS technical skills

Technical skills are excellent ways to “flex” your knowledge and leverage yourself as a more attractive candidate for promotion. The more technical skills you have under your belt, the better chances you have of getting promoted. Some technical skills are more advanced and serve to distinguish you even further from your peers. Here are a few examples of advanced technical skills you can learn now.

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  • Tax parcel application with python. Learn the ability to use python to set up an Arc server and create a property tax application. This is an advanced technical skill that is indicative of proficiency in GIS. Meaning you will not only learn this skill, but the fundamentals of GIS as well.
  • Food insecurity for data science and GIS. Learn to analyze and implement data science with python, Jupyter Notebooks and QGIS. This course teaches advanced technical skills and also indicates a proficiency in GIS. Being a flexible professional means having a varied skillset, which helps with promotions.

3. Show thought leadership

Thought leadership is a concept that distinguishes you from everybody else. Thought leadership requires you to have an informed opinion about topics and to voice those opinions. For example, people in the GIS industry can show thought leadership by getting informed about their industry on geospatial news sites. You can also follow industry/tech leaders on social media sites to keep your fingers on the pulse of your industry. Writing articles about the GIS industry is a great way to form and develop thought leadership. All you need is a LinkedIn profile to post your articles! Showing that you can form a technical and well thought out opinion on topics related to your industry is a great way to show that you are a thought leader.

Some people think promotions are based on time served in an organization.  This is certainly more true within a government setting.  But you can accelerate your path to more responsibility, more decision making, and higher pay if you have the right attitude and strategy.  Go make it happen!

Author:  Griffen Klauser, Social Communications, Bootcamp GIS

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