26 February 2018

How to frame your career transition

Today we are revisiting some still sound advice on How to Explain Your Career Transition that The Harvard Business Review first published back in 2013. This advice is especially relevant to those of us working on transitioning into alt-ac fields where anthropologists thrive... once we get our feet in the door.

HBR notes that making a career transition, especially one where the connections aren't immediately clear, can be confusing to outsiders including hiring agents. Luckily, anthropologists are in a good position to win over career-transition skeptics.

According to Dorie Clark, the "most important step in getting others onboard with your career transition is crafting a compelling narrative." What is it about your past employment (and we would include grad studies here!) that actually demonstrate the kinds of skills and experience suited to the role and field you want to pursue? For anthropologists, a good place to start brainstorming is this list of Skills in Anthropology from Simon Fraser University.

In your narrative, it's important to identify the underlying themes that help create a sense of career continuity rather than rupture. What is it that you see connecting these different career paths or fields? Remember that not everyone sees the logic that you might in how an anthropology background is a great fit in software design, finance, marketing... Be ready to demonstrate those connections!

Lastly, "it’s important to explain your trajectory in terms of the value you bring to others." Even though this career transition is very much about you, your career transition narrative should address why it's not only about you. For some ideas about how to frame this part of your narrative, check out our post on Articulating the Anthropological Toolkit to Non-Anthropologists and the Anxious Anthropologist's post How Does an Anthropologist Add Value to the Workplace?

If you are a PhD/ student, you might also want to check out some of From PhD to Life's Transition Q & As. These short interviews with a wide range to PhD grads and former students can be really useful for thinking about how to frame your transition narrative, and for thinking about what kinds of careers you might want to transition into!

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15 February 2018

Happy Anthropology Day from AnthroEverywhere!

A very happy Anthropology Day from us here at AnthroEverywhere!

According to the American Anthropological Association, Anthropology Day is a day for anthropologists to celebrate their discipline and share it with the public around them. Anthropologists will be involved all across the globe sharing their work with their communities. Activities in museums and in workplaces nationwide will build enthusiasm and awareness among current and future anthropologists.

If it's your first time learning of this great day, we encourage you to visit AAA's resource and information page.

On this page you can find General Resources for various audiences including:

  • K-12 and Community Outreach Toolkit
  • Media Toolkit
  • Customizable Event Flyer (PDF)
  • Activity Ideas
  • Anthropology Day Poster 

And more...

Let us know your thoughts by tweeting us at #AnthroDay @anthrolens or email us about why and how you're celebrating Anthropology today!

12 February 2018

Women's Career Pathways in Academia: From Leaky Pipeline to Rube Goldberg Machine

In 2016, Aileen Fyfe, Ineke De Moortel and Sharon Ashbrook of St. Andrew's College in Scotland wrote Academic Women Now: experiences of mid-career academic women in Scotland.

In this and more recently in an opinion article for Times Higher Education magazine, author Fyfe addresses her and her colleague's recent efforts to understand women's careers in academia. They argue that the leaky pipeline - understood as a metaphor to describe the dwindling proportion of women in higher levels of seniority - is an incomplete analogy to understand these women's experiences.

Their population included women with children as well as child-free women; some are in long-term relationships, and some are not; some are maintaining long-distance relationships, and some have suffered the breakdown of their relationships; some are in their thirties and others are nearing retirement; some have had serious health problems; some have had careers outside academia; and a significant minority are currently working part time (in a surprising variety of ways).

The authors found that these women's [c]areers [did] not all flow along a single pipeline, or at the same pace. Women (and men) do not drift along, transported automatically from point A to point B by some force outside themselves: they work, they struggle, they get creative, and they improvise. And far from a single pipeline, there are clearly many different paths through academia.

As for the kinds of challenges that feature in their participants lives, the authors identified caring responsibilities, about impostor syndrome, about work-life balance and about promotion. We also noticed that “balancing” is not just a matter of “work” and “life”: our women refer to the challenges of dealing with the competing aspects of academic life, and with increasing responsibilities as the nature of the job changes over time and with seniority. 

In light of Fyfe's findings, perhaps the Rube Goldberg Machine is a better analogy to understand women's experiences within academia than those pipelines of the past.

05 February 2018

New Advice for Grad Students page: Conferences

In October 2017, we published a series of posts on essential conferencing skills. We started with a post about how to write an effective abstract or organize a successful poster session, and from there we developed a full series of posts just in time for the AAA meetings.

Now, with the joint Canadian Anthropology Association (CASCA) and Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) annual meeting for 2018 on the horizon we have conferences on our minds again! (Check out this year's preliminary program here...)

While we do have a handy #conference tag for general navigation, we thought it might be helpful to group this series of tips on conferencing together on a dedicated page on the blog... and where better than in our Advice for Grad Students series?

Presenting our new Advice for Grad Students | Conferences page!

So, whether you are an old hand at conferences, a student-adviser, or a grad student new to the conference scene, we hope that you find these posts useful!  These posts offer tips on how to prepare for a conference, moderate and chair panels, as well as participate well in discussions and network during receptions and other conference events.

Happy conferencing!

Are you a grad student or prospective grad student wondering about job prospects, professional development strategies, writing tips, or wellness? If so, check out our pages on these topics for more advice and resources.

01 February 2018

Geek Culture and Games in the Classroom

What's wrong with your patient?
Do all the symptoms and signs point to one diagnosis?
Or are there multiple diseases at work?
Can you remember which symptoms indicate which diseases?

This is how the ad for Occam's Razor Card Game - or as the creator's term it, the study aid - introduces the deck of cards meant to challenge a player's diagnostic ability.

Nerdcore Medical created this game to enrich the learning process with game layers and visual design. We publish medical-themed study aids for students and practicing professionals, as well as gifts for a broader audience designed to raise awareness about public health.

According to their 'about us' page, this team of three medical students (or doctors?) created these games because of their interest in gaming, in fantasy, in "geek culture", and who are passionate about how people learn.

With the help of game-designer Brandon Patton (who also happens to be bass player for the Godfather of Nerdcore HipHip, MC Frontalot) the Nerdcore Medical team created 'game layers' to medical education.

This game follows in the footsteps of Idea Couture's Impact game about Foresight.

These objectives of these games are different from those of 'regular' board games in that their purpose is to teach or educate. The popularity of the BreakOut Edu in the grade and high school classrooms seems to have grown in the post-secondary world.

Take Wilfrid Laurier as an example: students can get a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Design in Game Design and Development. They describe the purpose of gamification and gameful design techniques as a means to motivate people to get engaged with the real world by adding a game-based layer.

The bloggers on this site could definitely see their next 'getting-up-to-no-good' project being a game for anthropology students detailing perhaps the anthropologists' toolkit, a history of anthropological thinkers and theorists, or perhaps, a game in a similar vein to Occam's Razor Card Game to help archaeologists engage with their field sites.

On another note: Was this your first time you're hearing the phrase Nerdcore? Urban dictionary defines this as Any form of music that is made by nerds, for nerds, or about nerdly things. Nerdcore can be made in any style of music, but most people identify it in either its pop-punk or hip-hop forms.

For more information about Geek Culture, you may want to head over to The Geek Anthropologist blog and check out the posts in their The Anthropology of Geek Culture category. We've written about the Geek Anthropologist before when we wrote about Jediism as Religion: Anthropology for a Changing World.

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