Looking Back to Look Forward

Looking back at a blog post I wrote about looking back for this TBT!

Guest blog post for Beyond the Professoriate:

click here for the full post

an excerpt:

For all of us who have been trained as PhDs, such deliberate tracing back and reflecting on the links between our training and our work helps us to connect with meaning. Asking ourselves, “What makes me be good at this?” helps us to better understand our strengths, which helps us to better use them. When we make the conscious effort to remind ourselves why we care about the things that we care about, it can help us find the energy to do the aspects of the work that might be less than thrilling, or to work to recreate our jobs so that these tasks change, or work to create a career that involves a job change!

Getting to where you are going next begins with knowing where you are. Such navigation is essential for job-seekers and job-havers alike as we are all ALWAYS traveling on a path and moving forward.

I am a linguist, and for me, linguistics is ultimately about recognizing patterns, understanding how patterns express themselves. Beyond the Professoriate is a place to chase down patterns like how training in something like ethnography can show up in very different ways in very different kinds of work down the road. This is why I always ask of my interviewees for the “professional paths in Linguistics” section of my blog Career Linguist things like “how do your skills and training in linguistics show up in your work?” I try to get at least three answers.

What would it look like to think about every task that you do as part of your job as contributing to something that you find meaning in? This might take a few steps, or what we improvisational theater performers might call “and because of that’s.”

  • Where’s the meaning in that?
  • This process helps us to better understand how much money we spend.
  • Where’s the meaning in that?
  • This process helps us to see how much money we have left
  • Where’s the meaning in that?
  • This helps us to think about how we want to spend the money we have left
  • Where’s the meaning in that?
  • This helps us to more intentionally do the work of…(fill in the blank for the mission of your org)

Here’s to what comes next!!