Julia McAnallen at the campfire

Thank you Julia for sharing a beautifully inspiring story of “leap and the net will appear.”

Our conversation began with some great insight into the day-to-day of data analysis.  Julia shared some concrete examples which demonstrate the value of social listening – a subset of the textual analyses involved in market analysis –  including some popular case studies and examples from her own analyses.  We then turned to a discussion of bringing linguistics to thinking about career drawing from Julia’s background as the Director of PhD Career Services at Michigan State University.

As she shares in the interview: “everything about the idea of career transition is about language.” Typically the central challenge for academics is not that of lacking the appropriate skills –  it is how to translate what we know – and how we know what we know – to an audience that isn’t familiar with academese. Sometimes it’s just as simple as talking about teaching experience on a resume as “training” or knowing that someone won’t necessarily know that you bring experience in public speaking or being able to recognize some of the ways that our own rhetorical practices get heard and interpreted so that we learn to talk about our expertise in ways that enable others to truly hear and to trust our expertise!

Among my favorite moments in the conversation was Julia’s declaration “linguists are uniquely situated to be really good resume writers because its really all about manipulating language and figuring out ‘what does this person want to hear?'” Her enthusiasm for the textual practices and processes of applying for jobs is contagious, so I hope you will take a listen, and then share with us here at Career Linguist what she inspires you to get on out there and do!!  Thank you again Julia, can’t wait to see what comes next!!

Want to read more?

Read Julia’s articles in Inside Higher Ed:

Paving a New (Metaphorical) Path to Success
Anatomy of a Job Ad

Check out the book she recommended: Working Identity:  Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing your Career by Herminia Ibarra

Want to connect with Julia?

Find her on LinkedIn:

Catch up on any stories that you have missed by going to the stories around the campfire page here on Career Linguist.
Linguists’ skills and training can be brought to the challenges of our time – listen to hear what pressing questions these folks address in their work and where they see more opportunities for linguists in future. If you would like to recommend someone for the series (including yourself), contact Career Linguist.

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