Prologue: what are your thoughts, experiences, feelings, and insights into freelancing in the GIS profession, or consulting?
Hey, my name is Eliott and I've been a geographer for a few years now. I live in the United States, and after graduating with a Geography degree from my local university, I began to work as a GIS Specialist for an environmental consulting firm! Hooray!
...until our fun recession hit, half my office was laid off (including me) and then it was fun-unemployment time for quite a while. This has been followed by doing work on Google Maps, but employed by a contractor which is working for Google, not directly employed by Google itself. Additionally, this is not 'real' GIS work by any stretch of the imagination, I would classify it more as generic computer work that simply happens to be working with maps. I can spin that on my resume, but...
I desperately want to get my career back on track, but have been having difficulty finding work, partly due to the still-recovering economy, and partly due to having been unemployed for so long, and then working in a non-gis-related field. (This is difficult to explain away in an interview).
I would like to try to find some GIS consulting or freelance work in my area, partly for additional income and partly to promote my growth as a professional. However, never having done this before, I really have little notion of where to start, what to do, what to expect, what to charge, etcetera.
So, please, tell me: What was your first experience with freelancing work, or consulting work, and how did you find it? Is freelancing a viable source of income for a geographer? I know there are freelance web designers, freelance writers, and so forth... but I see relatively little of an online presence for freelance cartographers. Is there a reason for this? If so, what?
Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.
Please advise, your thoughts/experiences with freelancing/consulting
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Posted 17 August 2011 - 10:08 PM
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