We are not a talent agency, we are not even a job portal;however, as other topics on this blog, we post based on requests from our followers. We don’t want to conceptualize the definition of a job or a career, but let’s have a common agreement that a successful career in geosciences is an occupation that provides a level of satisfaction, covers some basic necessities and keeps you motivated to know more.
If your idea of success is to manage a big group of people, we might suggest you evaluate the construction or the retail industry; if you want approval and being recognized for your work you can start your own blog or become a Youtuber.
A big step
Changing a career is in fact a big step because it involves having new experiences and somehow losing the capabilities you had for your former career leaving your de facto comfort zone. In a normal professional lifetime, we might have changed our career more than once, even without realizing the dimension of the change.
You can change your career to hydrogeology because you want to dream the Darcy theory, or because you want to understand the groundwater flow as a gravitational system, or because you developed an interest in issues related to water availability with climate change. It doesn’t matter the reason for your motivation, there are some factors that you have to consider for an appropriate career change.
Main strategies for a career change
We have indentified 4 main strategies for a career change with appropiate results:
Have a specialization on hydrogeology
As long as you have a degree or diploma that certifies your background knowledge in hydrogeology, you can have better opportunities with potential employers. If you have published something in hydrogeology that can be an asset for your cv.
Make sure that your related experience or knowledge appears first on your resume and please take out or avoid personal statements as “Highly motivated professional looking for opportunities in the field of … “
Map all your potential employers
Against our desire, hydrogeologists are still a closed group or a club or even a gang. Through the years you can know and interact with all the hydrogeologists in your country and nearby countries, you can even find trends among hydrogeologists. You can also find the concept of ‘ecole’ where you can understand how a person would evaluate the groundwater flow regime because he was educated somewhere and worked with someone.
There are some some institutions that can offer an successful career in hydrogeology, you have to map these institutions in you country to evaluate the opportunities and work conditions they might provide you:
Water related governmental offices: As environmental protection agencies, geological services, water authorities, on the local and federal levels.
Consulting companies: Water related consulting companies that do hydrogeological evaluations.
Big companies: Some companies (mostly mining companies) have a hydrogeology department with an adequate staff and resources.
Academia: Getting involved in a research project in hydrogeology sponsored by a University is a good idea for a career change.
NGOs: There are few non governmental agencies that deal with groundwater, you can search for the ones active in your country.
Know yourself and you-as-a-product
Something basic, on the search for a job you have to consider that you are the product that you have to sell. If you are going to send your resume or have an interview, you have to evaluate what the employer will see in you. Imagine if you are a product in a supermarket, will you have all the requirements needed by the customer? and most importantly: are those features well printed on your package?
It could be seen as cold, or rational but the reasons why a potential employer doesn’t choose your profile is because they haven’t read the 3 or 4 capabilities that they wanted on your resume, or you haven’t shown them in the interview.
Job searching is the jungle, and if your education has not taught you how to interact with the jungle, it will be a nice start. If you are nervous or afraid that you won’t make it in the interview, take a pill of “high-esteem-for-hydrogeologists” together with a dose of “i-can-do-it”. Remember, fear doesn’t sell except for the reelection campaign of George W. Bush to keep the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.
We have seen some episodes of the series “Startup” on Netflix that is not great but describes the process of rejection, however, they are highly convinced on their startup idea as you have to be convinced on your capabilities.
Get into the community
Hydrogeology is more than companies or institutions, more than reports and goals it’s people with interest. Look for local events related to hydrogeology that can be organized by universities or institutions, you will find a lot of local hydrogeologists where you can share your interest, and they can provide good advice for your career change.
If you find yourself alone in those meetings, break the ice with someone, introduce yourself and start a conversation based on what was discussed.
A career change is a big step on our professional life, a career change into hydrogeology is as well a big step into assuring the quantity and quality of our groundwater resources for future generations.