3 Tips on how to get promoted in GIS

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.

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 more a more attractive candidate for promotion. Explaining what you have gotten done 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 skillsAgile 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.

Develop advanced 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.

  • Tax parcel application w 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, Jupetyer 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.
  • If you are interested in earning a GIS certification check out this article that ranks the Top 10 GIS Certificates. The list provides a comprehensive explanation of different GIS programs and ranks them accordingly. Completing a GIS certificate program is a great way to develop advanced technical skills and is a resume booster as well.

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 websites like GISuser.com or Directions Magazine. 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.


How you think about problems and solutions is going to dictate the way you act and therefore how you work. It is important to remember in a professional setting you are always marketing yourself. This means that you should be optimistic, hungry and creative whenever possible. Here are some insights on how to best develop your Intangible skills.

  • Optimism: Is the mental state of believing things will work out in the end. Optimists know that the hard work they do is a part of what helps keep their company moving. It can be hard to be optimistic, but it’s never impossible. The ability to take that work with perceived optimism will set you apart from peers who make it clear this is a “drag”. Check out this article for more information on how to train your brain to be more optimistic.
  • Hunger: Is going above and beyond. To be hungry, you have to seek out extra work. Ask your boss if theres anything else he or she needs help with. Ask if there are any departments that are underperforming. When you display hunger, you are showing and enthusiasm and drive for work. These qualities will elevate you above your peers and make you a better candidate for promotion.
  • Creativity: One of the most important intangible skills you can develop is your creativity. Creativity leads to innovation and every industry loves innovation. This will help your superiors attach you to the work you do and helps breach potential barriers to your work. Creative thinkers are incredibly valuable to organizations, so showing your creativity will increase your chances of receiving a promotion.

Additional Information

If you are interested in the GIS industry as a whole, check out this article about the growth of the GIS industry. It explains some of the reasons the GIS industry is continually growing strong. It also explains why developing your GIS skills is important to your career in GIS.

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