Today, a roundup of resources for ’emerging professionals,’ ‘young professionals,’ ‘early career historians’ etc. 

This terminological problem (are you young? new? early?) is a clue to some growing pains associated with professionalization, of museum work particularly.  Old informal career paths marked by apprenticeships and being in the right place at the right time (grizzled museum professionals often start their stories “one day I walked into the museum and they gave me a job”) have not been wholly supplanted by degree programs, and no one quite knows what to do with folks just starting out.  This elision of ‘young’ and ‘new professional’ is also problematic for people moving into the field from other careers.  Here are some groups dedicated to easing entry into museum and history professions.

The AAM has an Emerging Museum Professionals Committee for folks in the first ten years of their career.  There were various sessions for EMPs at the recent Chicago meeting.  No website, but you can email them to get on a mailing list.

The Young Museum Professionals blog offers advice and community for ‘new museum professionals,’ with posts on topics such as avoiding burnout and working in intergenerational workplaces.

The AASLH seems very dedicated to nurturing new professionals.  Their mentor program pairs early career folks with seasoned veterans for professional guidance and networking, even help in navigating the AASLH’s annual meeting.  The program is so popular that there’s a six month waiting list, so get on the list now.  I met with my assigned mentor last week, and she was very friendly and gracious and knowledgable and helpful.

And lastly, a group of folks from the History of Science Society have been organizing a Graduate and Early Career Caucus, and we have a nice wordpress site, mostly set up by Lynnette Regouby from Oklahoma, with resources and information for folks in the early stages of their careers in the history of science.

 Any other resources to suggest?

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