World of Work Blog

  • How Do Researchers Take Care of Their Mental Health When They Feel Like They are Drowning?
412, 2022

How Do Researchers Take Care of Their Mental Health When They Feel Like They are Drowning?

December 4th, 2022|

One of anthropology’s greatest strengths is committing to holistic research that emphasizes personal experiences. Due to this approach, anthropology provides researchers with the unique position to contribute evaluations to the field of science that can span and encompass macro and micro-level data. While this approach undoubtedly contributes to rich, meaningful analyses, anthropology as a discipline overlooks how field study affects researchers—or worse, considers researchers’ reactions while in the field [...]

  • How can coaching inspire a positive direction in developing my career choices?
1611, 2022

How can coaching inspire a positive direction in developing my career choices?

November 16th, 2022|

When I began coaching sessions with Nethra Samarawickrema last summer, I was flailing. Having earned a PhD in literature from Stanford in 2018, I’d supported myself through adjunct teaching positions at multiple universities while also working on my writing projects. As teaching jobs grew increasingly hard to get, as they have in anthropology, I realized that I needed to look for different employment. But what to do? Knowing that [...]

  • How do you find your way to work you truly love?
211, 2022

How do you find your way to work you truly love? (Part 2)

November 2nd, 2022|

A Process If you are looking to shift your career trajectory, I want to offer you a process I use in coaching. Many people begin transitioning by asking: “What else is out there for me to fit into?” This can spawn self-doubt and overwhelm. My process begins with a different question: ‘What is within me that I want to center in my working life?’ When I ask my clients [...]

  • How do you find your way to work you truly love?
2210, 2022

How do you find your way to work you truly love? (Part 1)

October 22nd, 2022|

Transitioning out of a career you worked hard to build can be unmooring and heartbreaking. It leaves you feeling lost about how to proceed. Yet, uncertainty can be a doorway to possibility. If you create an internal compass to navigate the change, you could reorient your life towards a future you craft. For anthropologists changing careers, I share my story and a process for finding your way.   A Story [...]

  • Are All Capstones Created Equal?
510, 2022

Are All Capstones Created Equal?

October 5th, 2022|

Undergraduate anthropology majors are immersed in a wide body of ethnographic work from near and far. In other words, they read extensively about others’ experiences and research in “the field.” Relatively few of them (at least of a cultural-anthropology bent) have any deep, systematic engagement with real-world problems. I offer thoughts here about experiential learning to generate discussion and illustrate how a well-intentioned program went significantly astray. Now you [...]

  • How Can We as Anthropologists Be the Change We Wish to See in the World?
2109, 2022

How Can We as Anthropologists Be the Change We Wish to See in the World?

September 21st, 2022|

This is a question that I have struggled to answer, but it has also lit a fire under me, spurring me to teach, write, podcast, and live more intentionally. After I completed the doctorate and finished my first book, I found work but I wanted more optimal choices to mesh with my life and career values. So, I began to wonder, what was the impact of my work? How [...]

709, 2022

What can applied archaeology offer anthropology?

September 7th, 2022|

I live in two professional worlds. Part scientist, part science communicator, I navigate a cross-disciplinary career with a saying from time in archaeology: Work from the known to the unknown. The Career Readiness Commission’s Fordham Conference cued up this phrase for me again and sparked questions. Should anthropology remain within the known training paradigms of the cultural, linguistic, biological, and archaeological subfields? Or, can it push into the unknown [...]

  • How Does a Conference Help Anthropology Matter
2408, 2022

How Does a Conference Help Anthropology Matter?

August 24th, 2022|

“Anthropology helps us think about the world differently; it helps us uncover social silences.” These words by anthropologist and journalist Gillian Tett resonated in my mind while attending the conference “Building Careers in Anthropology” on Friday, May 13th, 2022 held at the Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University, New York. The one-day conference, which I attended with two of my undergraduate majors, was packed with valuable information, reflections, and [...]

  • “Huh, get a job?” say the B-52s or A View from a Liberal Arts University
2707, 2022

“Huh, get a job?” say the B-52s or A View from a Liberal Arts University

July 27th, 2022|

Higher education institutions are remarkably diverse: rural/urban; private/public; union/nonunion; R1/research intensive/regional comprehensive/liberal arts; religious/secular; and the list goes on. Today, in most institutional settings there is at least lip service paid to the linkage between education and career. All will have a career center and have some minimally loose ideas, often not completely correct, of how the social sciences fit into the larger work world. Enter the liberal arts [...]

1307, 2022

How Can I Apply My Anthropology Experience to Get the Job I Want?

July 13th, 2022|

Wow! That’s such a relevant question for those on the job market. Our job search as practicing anthropologists is unique. Unlike other job seekers with degrees in fields that sell themselves, we anthropologists have to explain the value of our research methods, technical skills, and understanding of human behavior. As I focused my job search as a User Experience (UX) researcher, I found myself overwhelmed with what I did [...]

2906, 2022

The Field for Everyone: Deepening Students’ Professional Development

June 29th, 2022|

The “field” and “fieldwork” are central to the discipline and the ethnographic project. However, ethnographic field schools seem to be on the wane, especially those oriented toward undergraduates. We might step back and ask: Why does such a central feature in identity and practice receive such scant training in anthropology? It’s a good question because together these are critical rites of passage for our professional development. How can we [...]

  • Why should anthropologists be active on LinkedIn
204, 2022

Why should anthropologists be active on LinkedIn?

April 2nd, 2022|

I’ve been on LinkedIn for almost 10 years now.  While I keep my profile updated, I frequently post news articles about the role of anthropology in business and the benefits anthropology can bring to the workplace. These posts not only keep my profile active, but also help promote the discipline of anthropology to a large user community. I try to post something weekly. I also continually comment on the [...]

  • A Love Letter to Anthropology
2303, 2022

A love letter to anthropology

March 23rd, 2022|

Anthropology is my true love; some would even say I’m evangelical about it. But Anthropology has fallen out of favour in academia and in the public eye. It’s been cut from academic institutions across the USA and the UK. Funding for projects and study has declined. People have no idea what Anthropology is. In part, I believe this is because of the focus within Anthropology on the divide between [...]

  • How can I increase my anthropological impact?
1703, 2022

How can I increase my anthropological impact?

March 17th, 2022|

As an applied anthropologist, I am concerned with solving practical problems. This started with my University of North Texas direct-to-consumer genetics thesis research and has continued into my professional life. Many tech projects I work on, while important, are relatively minor when it comes to their impact on society. My thesis project, however, was not one of them. After I submitted my thesis to the UNT library archive, where [...]

  • How can students learn to talk about the relevance of Anthropology?
2102, 2022

How can students learn to talk about the relevance of Anthropology?

February 21st, 2022|

A frequently-asked question to Anthropology students about their choice of major is “What are you gonna do with that?” Inspired by the 2018 AAA Annual Meeting in San Jose, the Rollins College Anthropology department faculty decided to make some structural changes to infuse professionalism into all parts of our academic programs. Some of these changes included: Swapping the Anthropology theory core course for an ethnographic methods course to provide [...]

  • How do you create a results-oriented resume?
702, 2022

How do you create a results-oriented resume?

February 7th, 2022|

Hopefully you know that a resume reveals who you are, what you can offer, and what you hope to get out of your professional life, now and in the future. A resume is a roadmap to finding work. When I created my first resume, I wrote it in the “I did this,” or a task-oriented format, which was standard back then. But things have changed, and now, stating information [...]

  • How do I help my students find work
2301, 2022

How do I help my students find work?

January 23rd, 2022|

Great question!  You are not the only one asking this question.  Anthropology instructors have growing concerns that their students are not finding employment opportunities that put their anthropological skills to use. They wonder what more they could do to assist. Some suggest that the students reach out to certain alums they remember.  Others point their students to the career planning office on campus. Many doubt their own abilities to do [...]

  • I saw reference to “T-shaped qualifications” What is this
1811, 2021

I saw reference to “T-shaped qualifications?” What is this?

November 18th, 2021|

Glad you asked. The notion of T-shaped qualifications has been around since the early 90s, but you don’t hear it much in anthropology. It refers to the skillsets needed to actually apply a discipline. Think of the vertical bar of the T as the disciplinary core. The horizontal bar, then, includes the skills and competencies required to actually use the discipline for something. Here’s an example. The application skills will [...]

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