Our community is comprised of at least three different groups:
- Students: Those who are currently studying, or are about to study linguistics. Linguists who are passionate about the field of study, but who don’t yet realize how much the professional world needs our ways of seeing and listening and thinking.
- Professionals: Those who have forged professional paths, but are no longer plugged in with fellow linguists. I see it as a tremendous disservice to our field when those who have been trained to think as linguists, and who have found professional application of our training in meaningful work they are passionate about are told that what they are doing is not linguistics. In creating a space for sharing ideas about career, I seek to find ways to recoup these losses to our community.
- Their support networks: Those of you who advise, support, are friends with, related to, married to linguists, and who would like to be allies – INCLUDING those who would seek to hire us, if they only understood a little bit better what it is that we have to offer them.
But community is something that you build
Some ideas for building our community:
Host a salon. Invite linguists in your local area to get together and discuss how you can be a resource for one another. The first meeting can be a general get to know one another, and maybe you choose to focus subsequent discussions on a particular book, or an idea, or an industry trend.
Form a job club. Job clubs are groups convened for the purposes of practicing the skill of professional self-presentation, for sharing resources and ideas, and for supporting one another in the process of finding meaningful employment. Participants share resources – like lists of job search databases, specific opportunities, and critique – and gain practice in using their community for support in the career process through interaction with one another and discussion with invited participants. The unique value of a job club composed of disciplinary peers lies in the mutual knowledge framework of the participants; linguists understand and recognize linguists’ professional practice (including ways of speaking, frames of reference, et cetera). This allows participants to provide targeted critique to fellow linguists and to cultivate job search strategies grounded in prior experience.
Share your story. Create a version of your story that reflects especially on skills: what they looked like in a linguistics classroom, and how they look when expressed on the job. I share my own reflections on creating stories and other genres that comprise the job search here on this blog. As linguists (as experts in language and communication) there is no reason why our resumes, cover letters, and Linkedin profiles shouldn’t be the very best ones out there!!
Contribute a blog post to Career Linguist or other linguistics blogs. Share pages from these blogs that you particularly enjoy with members of your community. Meet the guest bloggers here.
Other ideas, events, etc. Tell us about them, we will help you share!
for example resources like job postings, etc. on the Career Linguist Facebook page.
Join the Lx Beyond Academia LinkedIn Group.
Get in touch with me on Twitter @careerlinguist or using the contact form.