Early Careers Network

It’s not all about the money

Geocom, the AGI’s flagship event, returned in-person at the Royal Geographical Society in London last month. The ECN were lucky enough to secure a spot on the agenda and used their session to discuss the values and factors that are most important to early career professionals in the geo industry, aside from pay. This is because wider research suggests pay isn’t the only thing that’s important to us early career professionals, so we wanted to see if this is also true of those working in geo professions.

The session was built around a survey that the ECN have been running in collaboration with the RGS-IBG to understand more about the professional values of geospatial and geography professionals, particularly in the earlier stages of their careers, and how these influence decisions about employers.

To get things started Emma Chown, member of the ECN committee and consultant at Arcadis IBI Group, presented the preliminary findings of the survey so far, as shown below.



She was then joined on stage by Jody Shaw, ECN committee member and Geo Data Analyst at Arcadis, and Esther Ogbu, ECN member and Project Manager at Esri UK. What followed was an interesting 15 minute discussion reflecting on the preliminary results, their experiences in their careers to date, and the lessons that can be learned from the survey.

The panel discussed what drew them to their current employer and the awareness they had of their employer’s values before applying for their current role. It was important to them that their personal and professional values align, feeling empowered to choose a company that was right for them and the values they are offering. Jody and Esther also considered how their professional values (and relative importance) had changed since the beginning of their career and how they might change as they progress through their career. The importance of flexible working was highlighted and the positive impact of the pandemic on working practices, such as greater flexibility from employers for commitments outside of work, families and life events. To finish they reflected on what employers could learn from the survey and early career professionals, in terms of how they retain and attract talent, and what might need to change.

The survey will be open until Friday 18th November, so if your yet to respond please do get involved. To participate click here. The ECN would like to thank the RGS-IBG for all their help setting up and running the survey.