Events, Networking, Professional Development

Building our Community


Together, we can do this Career Linguists!   We linguists are trained to think in systems, to see patterns, and to solve problems – and the world (of work) needs us now more than ever!  Let’s change the conversation about career to make this quest be that of bringing the skills that we love using to help solve the challenges that speak to us!!!

Join the CL (Mighty) Network to:

  • Be a Mentor / Get a Mentor
  • Make progress on tasks (which might not otherwise get done)
  • Develop essential skills in networking and storytelling for career
  • Share successes / ask for support with challenges
  • Pay it Forward
  • Share and make opportunities!!

create opportunities

Learn more about the Career Linguist (Mighty) Network by clicking here.



Networking, Professional Development, Resources, Storytelling

Career Linguist (CL) Network

Announcing the launch of the Career Linguist (CL) Network: A community for career linguists to encourage and learn from one another; to support career development; and to stay inspired about the field of study that connects us! The CL network opens to the public on Feb 1st!

Screenshot 2018-01-23 17.26.23

About the platform
The Mighty Networks platform enables me to bring together a bunch of different kinds of things that I have been (and have been wanting to have been) doing for a while now including LOTS OF ACTIVITIES: weekly Working sessions (where we come together to get stuff done!!!), biweekly Check-ins (making space for connection, discovery, and opportunity), and Themed discussions:  coming up in Feb, book club discussion of Adam Grant’s Give and Take and interactive sessions on storytelling for career.  The Stories Around the Campfire series will now be hosted on the CL Network (linguists sharing stories about work), and we also have mentors who have made themselves available to field questions about chosen topics and professional fields of practice.

SO many ways to strengthen and grow our community, and more to come!!

Find the network here:

Only $15/month for a wealth of resources, inspiration, and opportunities. Save $ by ordering the annual plan for $149.99 and/or test it out for a week for free at any time!

Want to learn more? 
Attend the info session Tuesday, Jan 30th at 11am PDT / 2pm EDT

Questions? Contact Career Linguist

What people are saying about the CL Network:

The Career Linguist network has been enormously helpful as I transition from an academic position into consulting. It is inspiring to have a place to connect with people doing interesting and varied work outside academia. The Working Sessions have been particularly helpful and a great way for me to get to know others in our field as we work independently on a specific task for a set period of time. Anna is supportive, encouraging and the perfect facilitator. She has helped me understand the difference between a “task” and a “project” which has helped my work flow tremendously. I will definitely continue to attend when I can!

Kristy Cardellio, Ph.D.
St Petersburg, FL

I find the CL network a group of interesting and engaging career-minded individuals that are invested in not only working on their own area of expertise but also curious to hear about and provide support, if applicable, to their fellow members. The women who participate weekly in the work sessions I have attended act as a team of accountability partners that seem to keep me on track and allow me to mutually provide support for them. Anna Marie Trester, our host, is always engaging, providing a gentle guidance that allows us to focus on the work at hand in a structured group environment, using our stated intention to propel us effortlessly through our chosen assignment for each session. Because we are using the pomodoro method, of 20 minute intervals, it seems to take some of the pressure off, allowing me to concentrate on this chunk of work, rather than stressing over the full project. In the past few weeks of attending the CL work sessions, I have managed to accomplish more of my project than I have alone in a much longer time frame. I thoroughly enjoy this process and am grateful to Dr. Trester for creating such an inviting, congenial, interactive environment for peers to accomplish their goals.

Diane Quinn
New York, NY

Career Education

Navigating your job search in 5 steps

As I see it, there are five steps to the process of navigating a job search as a linguist.  As I go through this list, I will highlight some of the posts featured here on Career Linguist which have explored and developed each of the steps:

  1. Become more aware of the skills cultivated by linguistics, and how these might be applied to your job search (i.e. understanding this as a research process)
    Transferrable Skills A-Z
    Skills Week
    What skills are cultivated by the study of Linguistics?
  2. Learn more about which skills you most want to bring to work through analysis of written description of skills and abilities of actual jobs held by actual linguists (story listening)
    Professional Paths of Linguists series
    Linguist-Friendly Organizations
    Stories around the Campfire series
  3. Recognize and appreciate some of the differences between your own particular areas of interest and focus (story finding) even among a group of your linguist peers, you will find that you have unique skills, interests, and abilities that have been expressing themselves!
    Story finding
    Finding your lens through story
    Looking back to look forward
    recognizing the career path you are already on
  4. Bring analytical awareness of language to the stories that you tell about yourself – enacting a critical deictic shift: from thinking and talking in terms of why YOU want the job to thinking and talking about why THEY need you
    avoiding the kid in a candy shop cover letter
    shifting your deictic center
  5. Cultivate a practice of talking about yourself focused on the WHY (WHY your approach is uniquely valuable)
    the why of work
    Why every company needs an applied linguist
    why is WHY so scary when it comes to career?
Career Education, Career Exploration, Career Paths for linguists

Why Tutoring is a good job for linguists – Part II


This post is written by guest blogger Patrick Goodridge a linguist, language teacher, and writer based in Philadelphia, PA. Read more about Patrick below or on the Career Linguist guest bloggers page where you can also learn about being a guest blogger for Career Linguist yourself!!

To read Part I of this post featuring ideas 1-3, click here.

Why Tutoring is a Great Occupation for Linguists (Part 2). 

  1. Tutoring builds social skills and critical self-promotion skills.

One of the concerns of graduate students in all fields, linguistics included, is that years of diligent work within a tight-knit group of scholars will cause one’s social life to suffer. It’s not the case that students at this stage won’t be able to socialize at all, per se, but their ability to relate to others outside of their field has the potential to become strained. Tutoring is the perfect antidote to this isolation, since it allows you to extend the reach of your interactions beyond your field and, often, beyond academia in general.

I have met so many interesting and inspiring people through tutoring: a Princeton grad and MD/PhD student in Penn’s Perelman School; a Chinese highschooler with a passion for the Classics studying abroad on his own in Philadelphia; a young aspiring comedian enamored with German culture. The remarkable backgrounds are not limited to the tutees themselves; parents of students I tutor for standardized tests are often interesting, passionate, and well-accomplished professionals in their own right. They also value success enough to invest in the future of their children, tutoring being a chief way to do so.

One of the families I worked with the longest was that of a lawyer with his own practice and a doctor-turned-hospital administrator. They were determined to give their kids the best opportunities possible by having me work with them on SAT/ACT writing for three hours every Sunday. Another was an artist couple with beautiful, life-like classical-style paintings adorning their den right as I entered the house. It was no surprise that, considering the passion they had for art, their son was star in his own area of interest, track and field. Interacting with such a diverse set of individuals helps open one’s mind to other areas of endeavor beyond their own. This can give one a new perspective on their own work, perhaps inspiring them to explore new areas of focus. Moreover, if you cannot pursue all of these endeavors yourself, at least you can learn about them and grow as a person in the process.

In addition to a simple exchange of lifestyles, tutoring helps one develop abilities in a very nuanced type of social skillself-promotion. To be a successful tutor demands that you inform others around you about your skills and services. This means having a knowledge of your own unique skillset and the ability to articulate information about it effectively to potential clients. For example, a historical linguist may market him or herself as an expert on SAT/ACT vocab, able to leverage his or her knowledge of Latin or Greek vocab etymology to help students. An insight like this could be the catalyst for the tutee not just succeeding on a standardized test, but for actually developing a true love of material they once found tedious.

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of self-promotion; someone could be the best tutor on the planet, but won’t be able to share his or her talents if they can’t reach the very people who need them most. While sites like Wyzant, a social media site that pairs students and tutors, promise easy access to the most ideal clients, the strings attached can be a bit constraining–Wyzant collects a “finder’s fee” of 45% for beginning tutors! Sometimes direct marketing is the best; I have a friend who found 10 ESL clients just by hanging up flyers in the residence halls with the most international students.

  1. Tutoring is the most direct way to teach others about what we all love—language!

It’s striking to me as I proceed through a lesson with any given student just how often I find myself calling on the principles of linguistics to provide insight. I’ll talk about nominalization in explaining what a gerund is, discuss Russell’s Paradox with a math student, or explain denotation and connotation, agreement, and well-formedness with a writing student.

Linguists possess an in-depth knowledge of difficult concepts like grammar (for which there are entire sections on the SAT/ACT/GRE), and have skills in analysis and form that apply directly to areas like writing and reading. By appealing to your linguistic knowledge as a tutor, you can share your love of language in a way that benefits your clients in a direct, concrete way.  Working to benefit humanity in such a way is, it’s often argued, the goal of science to begin with.

Thank you Pat for this insight into your world and perspective! Stay tuned for more posts from Pat, and if you are interested in joining the community of guest bloggers for Career Linguist, please reach out!

There are many ways to join the Career Linguist community 🙂

and here’s to what’s next!

Career Education, Resources, WOW series

Worlds of Work (wow) series: Research

In the Worlds of Work series, I pull together resources for jobseekers interested in learning more about a particular industry or sector. Typically, this involves curating some good sources of job listings, some things that are good to read to keep on top of industry trends, and then some sources of insight into the culture of this world.

Have resources to add?  Share them using #worldsofwork

World of Work: Research

Many linguists have found meaningful employment in research.  Some who have been profiled on the Career Linguist blog in the career profiles section include Nancy Frishberg who works in user experience, as do Tamara Hale, and Casey Songin-Smith; Julie Solomon who does program evaluation; and Linda Lombardi, who does research and writing.

So there are many places where linguists can do research.  There are also many ways that linguists can work in an organization that focuses on research.  For example, I work for a research firm, the FrameWorks Institute, but those of us who work there do very different things. While some of my colleagues spend their days conducting interviews, organizing and analyzing data so that findings may be reported out in a variety of channels: written reports, briefs, or orally in presentations, I spend most of my time in instructional and curriculum design.  We also hire writers, editors, graphic designers, web designers, videographers, animators, project managers.  All of us spend time supporting new business development.  Many of us spend a great deal of time and energy in client relationship management, or in coaching our clients about the best ways to implement our communications recommendations.  We create communications toolkits, as part of which one might be called upon to write texts ranging in length and impact from a tweet to an op-ed or legislative testimony.

Some organizations of Interest who have hired linguists:

Harder and Co.
Fors Marsh
Cultural Logic
National Endowment for the Humanities


Some research blogs to follow:

Research to action

Qualitative Research blogs

The art of conversation


Some places to do research about careers in research:

15 minutes to develop your research career – A new podcast from Vitae

A great post on job options for researchers from jobsontoast

Career Education

Why Tutoring is a great occupation for Linguists (Part 1)

This post is written by guest blogger Patrick Goodridge a linguist, language teacher, and writer based in Philadelphia, PA. Read more about Patrick below or on the Career Linguist guest bloggers page where you can also learn about being a guest blogger for Career Linguist yourself!!

I began tutoring for the SAT and ACT tests in 2013 as a sophomore in college, as a way to add to my income on top of a minimum-wage summer gig. Three years later, I can now say that starting my practice was one of the best financial, professional, and personal decisions I have ever made. This is due both to the many benefits I received directly from the work, as well as to the difference I knew I was making in the lives of my clients. Because on the skills both demanded by and developed through tutoring, it is an excellent choice of occupation for linguists young and old. Whether your background is in syntax or sociolinguistics, historical linguistics or computational linguistics, here are some reasons why I’d encourage you to start sharing your many linguistic skills through tutoring

  1. Tutoring is flexible, in more ways than one.

As we all know, there are many career stages for linguistics, nearly all of which are complex to navigate. As an example, let’s take the stage of graduate school. Grad school is a hectic time regardless of the field, linguistics being no exception. For doctoral students, 6-plus-years of scheduling advanced coursework, advising meetings, research, writing, conferences, can feel overwhelming compounded with a lack of stability in terms of income and future prospects. For such grad students, tutoring offers the flexibility to pursue a range of opportunities for growth and exploration.

Not many jobs allow you to choose you own hours, own clients, and own rates, along with where, when, and how you work. As a tutor, you can design your own original lesson plans, or adapt from existing resources. You can meet clients in a busy coffee shop, in the peace and quiet of a local library, or in their home (or yours). You can settle into working with a smaller number of clients with whom you have a closer relationship, spending more hours, or you can choose to frequently take on new or different clients if you prefer constantly changing environments to keep things fresh. You can negotiate with your clients to do an hour a week, two hours a week, or intensive sessions that can be upwards of 4 hours . The possibilities for tutoring offer almost limitless freedom, and the entire process also allows you to get a feel for the experience of being an entrepreneur. In fact, having such flexibility and independence early on may just motivate you to want to break out on your own later after gaining more experience in your industry.

  1. Tutoring pays (very) well.

Everyone needs to earn enough money to subsist and, it is a great bonus to earn enough to actually have fun every now and then. Whether you’re looking for a job that will significantly supplement your income, or you’re just looking for some more walking-around money, your ability to customize how much you earn based on your financial goals is another facet of the flexibility discussed above. As an undergraduate with abundant experience in tutoring, I charge anywhere from $15 per hour (the “friend rate” for basic SAT and GRE tutoring) to $30 per hour (the rate for advanced language study in German and Russian). This is by no means the top of the payscale; tutors with PhD level training and experience, especially those with a quantitative background, can charge up to $70 dollars per hour.

  1. Tutoring is rewarding.

Sharing knowledge and intellectual gifts with another human being is an innately rewarding activity. It also reinforces understanding of the subject. This reaffirmation results in a feeling of confidence and security about skills from logical systematic thinking, to programming, writing, speaking, and other abilities. And it’s not just from within yourself that this confidence is developed—almost all of my clients have sincerely expressed to me their appreciation of my skills and my commitment to my unique areas of knowledge. Few jobs are so thankful (as opposed to thankless). We shouldn’t underestimate the power of such affirmation and encouragement in a world where misunderstanding of our field proliferates.

To come in part 2 of this post:

Tutoring builds social skills, self-promotion skills, listening skills and teaching skills.

Tutoring is the most direct way to teach others about what we all love—language!

And more, so stay tuned!!

Much thanks to Patrick for this tremendous post!!

imagePatrick Goodridge a linguist, language teacher, and writer based in Philadelphia, PA. He will earn his BA in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania this May, and hopes to enter an MA program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies thereafter. He also works as a linguistic adviser for, a new Russian language learning site  You can reach him at or find links to his other work on LinkedIn.

Career Education, Professional Development

Negotiating salary

Inspired by the recent announcement by Lisa Munro and Kristi Lodge that they will assume the mantle of the #withaPhD chats from Jen Polk of From PhD to Life , I dusted off this blog post that had been sitting – 80% completed – in my “blog posts under construction” folder.

The #withaPhD 2.0 inaugural chat is tomorrow, Monday at 12pm EST on the topic of money, and so I give you a post about negotiating at work.

Reading some stats about negotiating and asking for raises at work on the companion website for the book Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, what strikes me as most interesting about the discussion are the metaphors they pull out from their data.

When asked to pick metaphors for the process of negotiating, men picked “winning a ballgame” and a “wrestling match,” while women picked “going to the dentist.”  What a difference in terms of conceptualization of task, not to mention relationship among participants, and orientation to outcome.  When framed as a painful chore, it is no wonder that salary negotiation can seem terrifying – something to be avoided it at all costs.

Embracing new metaphors can be an important step in making us feel more like a Career Advisor I spoke with who once told me that her job becomes WAY more “fun” when students bring a situation of competing offers to her. When there are more women on both sides of the negotiation table, different strategies may become the norm. Until then, we all can become a bit more aware of the game as it is being played now, of the default assumptions and expectations that inform how we conduct such negotiations.

Which includes recognizing that we can hold different interpretations of the very same action on the part of an individual, based on whether it is a man or a woman taking it: “he’s looking our for himself” and as negative for a woman, from whom loyalty is expected (subconsciously, and possibly from both the asker and the askee).
Learn more at the Gender Bias Learning project website.

So, how do we play?

All signs point to focusing on the mechanics of this Speech Act as an opportunity to cultivate greater awareness of styles and expectations, affordances and constraints of the negotiation genre. Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan, advocates for a style which involves frequent expression of appreciation and concern (for the organization, the team, the boss), invoking common interests, emphasizing larger goals, and approaching the negotiation as solving a problem rather than taking a critical stance.

What contextualization cues can we recruit to cultivate and reinforce a framing of the encounter that supports a request that calls attention to connection?

  • Focus on salary: Reposition the stance object so that it is the salary and not the employee.
  • “We” not “me” Strategic use of “we” can reinforce a framing of the interaction as being how this benefits team instead of self: “how can we solve this issue?” rather than “this is something that I want.”
  • Meta-communicate Call direct attention to communicative expectations about negotiation as a way to begin the negotiation itself.  Meta-communicate!!
  • Perspective-taking Taking the perspective of the person on the other side of the table can be helpful in learning how to hear “no” as “no for now,” and consider whether there are other things that you can ask for besides salary that would be even more valuable in the long run (resources, time off, opportunities for professional development, benefits, staff support).

Make space for more conversations about performance
Always keep an eye out for opportunities for meaningful conversations and work to create opportunities to discuss your work with your boss. Your supervisor is probably too busy to go out of his/her way to make space for conversations about your performance outside the regular performance review schedule. ASK!!!  Keep asking.

And in the meantime, be patient, do good work, and  when you have a success, make sure that people know about it.  Regularly communicate your value to the organization, and express your appreciation for things that you value about your co-workers, your division, the organization. SHARE!!! Keep sharing.