The post What are useful websites for scouting GIS related jobs? listed resources for finding a GIS job (as in a full-time or contract position).
What resources are available for finding GIS projects or consultancy work? eg:
- a small project to integrate a map into an existing site;
- incorporate an address-search into a workflow;
- migrate legacy GIS code to a new format;
These are one-off tasks which require a GIS professional, but which don't entail a full-time position. How do you find the right people for the task, or find the task if you're the right person? All the online resources I've seen are aimed at "jobs".
I think you're actually talking about contracting. Most companies realise that if they are not in the GIS arena, they only need to hire in expertise on a contract by contract basis. I started off in life doing this, and now run a consultancy providing this very service. If you are looking for contracting, then a good starting point is contractoruk, which will give you advice. As for contract seaches, they havea good one which will link you in to other portals.
However, the best advice, I could give, is to market your CV on LinkedIn, Twitter, and through agencies like HAYS IT, Monarch recruitment etc.
Network, network, network. Develop relationships with anyone remotely near your line of work. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and meet people and network. Look into BNI and see if there is a local chapter in your area. As others have suggested, get on LinkedIn if you haven't already. Contact old bosses, coworkers, business partners, friends, old college buddies and tell them what you are up to and what services you offer. Get a website and business cards - pass out business cards to anyone who could be a client or might know a client. Put a portfolio up on your website. If you don't have much work to put into a portfolio, then do some volunteer/pro-bono/open source work to get experience. If Twitter and Facebook are your thing, use them to your advantage as well - social networking can really pay off for this sort of thing. I have found that knowing lots of the right people and having your name out there will get you work.
I am inclined to think I will be looking for contractors / project workers for GIS, so this is very interesting. At the moment I am developing a web project (no GIS yet) and think my experience with Elance is worth noting.
Elance certainly has a number of workers available. There is an accreditation system and access to profiles, past jobs etc. However I have had some very disappointing connections and I get the impression there is a great depth of workers there who grossly overstate their skills. I engaged one "company" who turned out to be a one man band who had a few good ideas but was obviously overwhelmed with what had to be done in the time, he never advised me of delays and it was very frustrating for us both.
Another guy is nearly completed a project and has just revealed he has only used the code package in question once before, which would explain why he is three weeks overdue on his component. I am very wary now. Rather than have Elance purport to have vetted the candidates for me (or provided a framework) I would rather take my chances on anonymous contacts and vet them from scratch.
In fact the most successful group to date had a plain jane web site, the only professional linkage was that they had got noted as being able to provide professional support to a database package. They are going well.
Another point is that the profile of contractors who struggle… are recent graduates who go on their own and take on tasks of which they have little comprehension. Their fault is that they are young. These guys are hurting themselves (as well as the client) and they would be better off in a team learning some work discipline. It is hard to stay on track and get things done (google David Seah… ) and freelancing is the pointy end of the stick.
Here is a couple Twitter Examples
[#map #mapping #gis hashtags can be very useful.]
Top tip: Search around a city (New York limited by 10km radius for GIS)
Request for Proposal (RFP) is a common way for consultants to find contracts to bid on. Here are a couple RFP GIS sites.
Putting a shingle up on linkedin is one way.