I have been contacted many times by recent Geology graduates wanting to go into Geotechnical and Geo-environmental positions asking for advice on how to get into the industry.
I thought I’d share 5 pieces or advice for this;
1) Forget about the money.
When starting your career then this should not be a sticking point. We all like to be paid as much as we can but it should not be the deciding factor. If you truly want to go into the industry then accepting a lower wage initially can be your stepping stone for a well-paid career later on. You will have a long time to increase your earnings.
2) Move location.
Don’t just look for jobs in your immediate area. Go where the jobs are. People move across the world for a job that they want and you can too. If you don’t want to move to a new area altogether then you could get an Airbnb during the week and travel home on the weekends. Do whatever it takes if it is truly what you want!
LinkedIn is a great place for this as well as the more conventional ways such as going to conferences, training days and lectures in the industry. Geotechnica is one place you may go to to see what’s around and speak to as many people as you can about the industry, the technology that drives it and its current direction.
4) work hard (and smart).
There is nothing that can replace hard work. You must also work smart too and bear in mind what you are doing, what you are trying to achieve and the direction you want to go in within your career. That being said sometimes the No’s can redirect to an even better outcome. Don’t be put off by this, become energized by it – after all, it’s a door that you now know the outcome of thus helping you to either adapt or move onto the next opportunity.
5) Take additional training courses.
In-ground investigation especially it’s useful and often mandatory to have additional skills beyond your geology/geotechnical degree. Don’t just wait around until an employer takes a chance on you and then subsequently pays for you to go on these courses. Take the initiative yourself. This will help open doors and make you new contacts and create opportunities because of it. From logging soils and rocks to a first aid course, it will all help a potential new employer making that decision.
Finally, if you have recently graduated and have gained a position in the industry then please share in the comments how you were successful, any pitfalls you fell into and any advice you can give to others.
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