I've been thinking a lot lately about sharing a story here on Land Surveyors United so that other land surveyors may learn more from me, because I realize that I have something to share.  I imagine that many of you might be in the same place with this.  Perhaps we have not yet begun to feel the crunch that will be involved when there becomes a scare and our industry is compromised due to fading into other technologies.  So today, I am going to make an attempt by writing a story about writing a story.  Namely, I want to write about what it means to mine my experience as a land surveyor and a member of this global community.

I see a day in steady approach when students of land surveying may be confused as to what they are actually trying to accomplish in the field.  I see a day when handheld technology will help the world to forget all of the underlying fundamentals and standards which gave birth to such contraptions. I see a day when the lines that delineate surveying and all of the accompanying geospatial sciences will have become so blurred that they are virtually indistinguishable from one another.  And like Justin, I see a day when we are all dead and if we do not prepare the future generations by providing a blueprint to our experiences, what they will be doing in their career will have become a splintered version of what we now call ours.

Many have asked "What is Happening to Our Profession?" and that is a very real and troubling question indeed.  We have forgotten the basic principles of communication and story telling.  We have forgotten that their are hundreds of thousands of professionals around the world that do the exact same job as we do because many of us have forgotten that the world does not rotate around our person.  We are not the axis upon which all things turn.  In the United States, in particular, there is a breed of "know it all" and "holier than thou" surveyors who seem to whole-heartedly believe that they drove the original stake.  These guys are anything but professional.  They destroy lines of communication.  They belittle their fellow surveyors for asking questions, yet provide little if any useful anecdote to support their opinion.   Every discussion seems to grind to a screeching halt.  We no longer stop to speak with one another; we just pass each other mumbling.  Where does this get us?  To a point of no return.

I realize that I have an opportunity to plant a seed here on LSU in the form of a story.  This seed may one day become a tree for someone brilliant to roost their career in.  We all have this opportunity for the first time in history to help turn on light bulbs that will never burn out.  

I have made it my personal quest to help every surveyor who wants to work find a job, no matter where they live in the world.  I, of course will never be able to help everyone, but the fact that I try a little bit every single day makes me feel like I am doing my part for this industry.  Because, like Scott Warner, I do what I do without pay and driven purely by passion, I know that I am doing something that will extend much farther than the my own personal reach and will help future generations of land surveyors have the stories that they want to share for the benefit of this profession.

So the next time I sit down at this chair to share an experience, I will look back at this post to remind myself of why I am sharing anything at all. It is because I have footsteps.  Some of those footsteps have been heavy and others too soft to follow.  The fact of the matter is that they all count and without both the soft and the hard, there would never be a trail for others to track if they chose to follow my example.

A few possible topics for my next story (or yours):

  • The Five Most Memorable Mistakes of My Surveying Career
  • Top Ten Things I've Learned in the Field that You Can't Learn in School
  • My Surveying Mentor and What I Learned from Him/Her
  • Why Data in the Field Does't Always Make Good Data in the Office
  • Why I Chose to Become a Land Surveyor
  • Who NOT to Follow by Example in this Industry
  • Historical Surveying Methods I Use Every Single Day
  • Why Sometimes It Can Be Better to Get Back to Basics
  • My Daily Life as a Party Chief
  • The Differences in Duties for a Rodman and an Instrument Man
  • 5 Gadgets I Take to the Field to Make Work Simpler and More Productive
  • 5 Classes That I have Taken That Changed My Career
  • How NOT to Record Property Lines
  • The Pros and Cons of Having Multiple Licenses
  • The Day I Discovered I was Doing the Wrong Kind of Surveying

Takeaway: No one else on Earth has lived your life, had your experiences, or seen the world through your eyes. Ask yourself what you can share from your unique story that will help other surveyors around the world remember what it means to survey.

This Content Originally Published by a land surveyor to Land Surveyors United Network

Views: 509

Reply by SurveyEarthinaDay on November 20, 2012 at 9:13pm

genius... i like 

My Surveying Mentor and What I Learned from Him/Her

Communicate ⇣

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Eric Colburn's blog post was featured

Eric Colburn's blog post was featured

Professional Land Surveying Business - 5 Steps to Get More Work

In these tough economic times new work is harder and harder to come by. While cost cutting is so very important, you shouldn't cut back too much on your marketing efforts, if you can afford it. Some of the following strategies to get more work, however, cost very little and can be implemented quickly.Call Your Existing Clients: Call your existing clients to see how they're doing and ask if they're considering any new work to let you give them a price. You should always keep in regular contact with your clients, but if you haven't before, now is the time to get in the habit of doing this. Remember, just because a client hired you before, even if you did a great job and you and the client got along well, there are a lot of professional land surveyors hungry for work and eager to steal your clients: your client may also be interested in shopping around, too.Answer your phones: I'm constantly amazed at how few professional land surveyors either do not answer their phones, or are not prompt in returning calls. If you don't answer your phones, or return calls promptly, you'll never get the client to begin with. Again, prospective clients have a large pool of professional land surveyors to choose from, at every price point (maybe lower than yours), so if you're not in the competition from the get-go (regardless of what your fee may be), you'll be completely out of the running to get this new work.Contact past clients that may need new work done: Hopefully you have been diligently creating a complete contact list for all of the people that you deal with in running your professional land surveying company. Names, mailing addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers, to name but a few, are vital business data that you need to collect and keep updated about everyone. Now use it!Do guerrilla marketing for a geographic area: Pick an area that you're familiar with, or would like to expand into, and do bulk mailings in that area. Let them know who you are, how to contact you, and how your professional land surveying services can benefit them. I bet you can think of an area, say a large subdivision for example, that you practically surveyed the entire subdivision just to survey one small lot within it. This work, extending beyond the limits of the original surveyed parcel, is an area that you can look for a return on your investment.Box in the low-ballers: I've noticed lately, not unlike what has been happening within the financial markets, fear is gripping some of the professional land surveyors in my area. I've seen ridiculously low fees quoted for work that they can't possibly make any money on. In my opinion, to be able to do this work, at low-ball fees, they very well may cut corners in their work. Therefore, whenever you give a quotation, send a mailing to the neighbors and other property owners in the neighborhood. Neighbors may hire you if for no other reason than for a second opinion. If the first professional land surveyor did a good job, then your work should be easier to carry out. If corners were cut, then their client will soon realize that they got exactly what they paid for: very little.This is just a short list. The point is to not sit back and let the recession happen to you. Take charge and apply yourself, as it's now more than ever a time to become more disciplined in how you manage and run your professional land surveying business. Got any other ideas? Please let us know and share them by posting a comment.To see original post, and other land surveying related posts, click here http://ericcolburn.com/2008/11/12/professional-land-surveying-business-5-steps-to-get-more-work/Eric D. Colburn, PLS, is a successful entrepreneur operating a professional land surveying company and several online websites and blogs. To learn more about Eric D. Colburn, PLS, and read other articles written by him, please click here for his professional land surveying blog at EricColburn.com and here for his professional land surveying company at FosterSurvey.comSee More

Jaybird posted a surveying story

Jaybird posted a surveying story

Land Surveyors United 10000 Members Strong!

Bitter sweet accomplishments today. It was a dream of my dad's to have a place where he could easily and openly communicate with his customers (Land Surveyors) and help professionals solve problems from the field. In March of 2007, I began building Land Surveyors United Community during a time when Myspace was still the primary social network. Every single day since then, I scroll through applications to join at least 3 times a day and decline most due to lack of seriousness in the answers they provide. Over the years, I have had over 63,000 applications to join. I protect the integrity of the network by letting in only those who I feel will contribute- i don't just let in anybody.Today, dad and I accepted our 10,000th member to the community and although he is no longer in physical form to celebrate this monumental occasion with me, I know he is all around me today. I have dreaded the sadness I assumed I would feel on the day that we crossed this threshold. Now that it is here, the sense of accomplishment far outweighs that sadness. I know he is proud.Building a community for people who are not like you is a anthropological challenge like no other. Even though I am no longer a land surveyor, a community for surveyors was a culmination of my dad's life's work, so even after he passed I continue to keep it alive and continue to make it the best it can be for the members. It is the largest body of professional land surveyors in the world and if you have even the slightest clue what a surveyor is, you can imagine how this sort of thing could have a dynamic impact upon all construction worldwide. This has no doubt been the most difficult and time/ labor intensive project I have ever taken on. Today it is worth it. I am grateful for such a terrific group of #surveyors who care about the legacy that they are building for the future of their profession and will ultimately leave behind, just as my dad has.I remember when we first accepted our 100th member and how excited my dad was. He said "Wow man...this is really happening! I can't wait until we reach 10,000 members. You and I will take a trip to Costa Rica to celebrate sitting on the beach." Maybe that is where he is today as I know he can choose to be anywhere he wants to be these days. Most of the time, I can feel him with me. At the top of the site, every one who visits reads "Dedicated to the Memory of Skip Farrow (1953-2015)" with every page load. The way i see it, that is about 7000 time per day that my Dad's name is said or read all around the world. Skip Farrow Here' to you dad!!! We did it! Land Surveyors UnitedSee More

AxeMen Site Prep's blog post was featured

AxeMen Site Prep's blog post was featured

Easily Find Other Surveyors Who Use Your Equipment

I've been a member of Land Surveyors United since 2008 and I must say it has changed the way I survey, how I find information and how I learn.  There are a lot of features on the platform which took me a while to find and understand and one of those is the Advanced Search page.  Using this tool you can easily find other members on the network who use the same type of equipment you do.  I've made this easy for you by running all of the searches and made them into simple links to click.  Find Members Who Use: Topcon    2,000 Sokkia    1,719 Trimble   2,092 Leica     2,619 Pentax    305 Nikon     1,034 Magellan  350 Ashtech   323 SECO       154 Carlson   448 AutoCad   1,731 NAVCOM    85 Spectra   231 Microsurvey  243 Hemisphere GPS  70 Altus-Positioning 78 South  198 Other     449    /*note:  these numbers were valid as of last night and with new members daily these numbers go up daily./*In order to get help from your fellow land surveyors, the best way is to join the groups for the equipment you use and start a discussion to ask a question.  All members will join a unique set of groups based on their location, type of equipment they use and type of surveying they work in, so asking a question to a group's forum will insure you get targeted help from other surveyors who use the same equipment.  Here are some quick links to those groups so you can join them and get involved.Choose Your Group HereSee More

Survenator's blog post was featured

Survenator's blog post was featured

Surveying Video Tutorials Collection

You can learn something new every single day about surveying or how-to survey inside this community.  In fact, your journey starts here with our Surveying Tutorials Collection, which grows everyday.  You can check out videos tagged 'tutorial' or you can just bookmark this story and jump straight from the collection.  Share your tutorials to help this collection grow for surveyors everywhere!Check out our other Surveying Support Collections here on Land Surveyors United Community!See More

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Dedicated to the Memory of Skip Farrow (1953-2015)

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