Events, Professional Development

Stay on track professionally over the summer…

…with the support and accountability of the CL Mighty Network!

Membership is only $15 a month and you can try it out free for a week at any time! Read more about the Mighty Network (including what others are saying about the benefits of membership) here.

Why not start by trying out a work session on July 5th? Re-focus after the holiday by joining us from 9-11am PDT / 12 – 2pm EDT.  Work sessions are a time to come together to make progress on small tasks. We keep the (zoom) line open and each person quietly works on a project of his/her choosing (following some light facilitation at the top of the session).  RSVP for the July 5th work session here.

person holding macbook flatray photograph
Photo by Christina Morillo on

Read more about the Mighty Network (including what others are saying about the benefits of membership) here.

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

Professional Development, Resources

Most viewed 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, as is our tradition, we are taking some time to “look back to look forward” over here at Career Linguist, reflecting on this past year and thinking about what should come next by counting down the five most viewed pages and posts in 2017!!

And here they are:Image result for 2018

#5  How to Begin a one-stop-shop for job-seekers.  All the things you need to be thinking about as you start applying your skills and training as a linguist to industries and organizations that you’re interested in.

#4 The dream job vs. what would you do if you could do anything? a post exploring how to listen interpretively to things that you have always talked about doing, or have been thinking about doing, or have been dreaming about doing, or are told by others that you should be doing.

#3 various announcements about the release of Bringing Linguistics to Work. My book came out this year!!  367 copies sold so far!!  – get yours at 🙂

#2  the Career Paths where we hear about all the exciting things that linguists are out there doing with their degrees. New posts this year:  Brice Russ, Serena Pasqualetto, and Kula Tubosun. Sectors profiled in the “Profiles in Linguistics” series: Corporate Social Responsibility, Healthcare Communications, Library Science, Knowledge ManagementNaming, Non-Profit Communications, Program Evaluation, Publishing, Social Media Marketing,Tech, User Experience Research, Training and Facilitation and many more!  If you would like to recommend someone (including yourself) for a future profile, please contact Career Linguist.

…….and the top page/post from 2017 <drumroll please!!!>

#1 For the second year running – 50 organizations  is the most viewed page!!! This resource features organizations who have advertised for and/or have hired linguists and language/communication experts. Have you found a job using this list as a resource?  Would love to hear your story! What other organizations belong on this list? How can it continue to be made more useful?

What else was new this year:

2017 saw the launch of a new series over here at Career Linguist (The Worlds of Work: WoW series) and a wholly new endeavor: Career Camp. Career Camp is five weeks of focused activities and stories designed to engage “career orienteering!!”  We successfully betatested in early summer, and just last week wrapped up our 2nd camp!! From this – inspired by the weekly exchange of stories at this virtual campfire – we spun off a new series Stories Around the Campfire featuring linguists who share their perspective on the challenges out there in the world that we can bring skills and passion to solving. For a limited time, catch up on all the stories that you missed right here at Career

Abby Bajuniemi: Research, Design, Strategist, Speaker, and Linguist

Nick Gaylord: Data Scientist

Greg Bennett: UX Researcher (find him on LinkedIn)

Kathryn Ticknor: Linguistics Researcher focused on Health (find her on Twitter at @ticktalkco )

Serena Williams: about localization and her work as a Data Quality manager at Avantpage

Julia McAnallen: about market research and her background in career services

Hannah Phinney: talking about her work at Samsung Research

Mackenzie Price: on framing and being a discourse analyst in a school of business

Stay tuned early in the New Year for an announcement about the launch of a new networking platform for our Career Linguist community, and for now here’s one last “here’s to what’s next!” for 2017!

Professional Development

“Swiss-cheesing” professional development

To make progress on any task, we all know that we should break it down to its constituent pieces, and that slow and steady is always the way to go for any big, looming project, but as September draws near and with Fall routines picking up again, it can start to feel impossible to make the time for making progress on big career development goals like career education & exploration, or setting up a side project, or growing your business. This is the time of year where I can start to feel the walls closing in a little bit, and I know this is largely owing to some of the bad habits I cultivated in graduate school around binge writing, such that I feel like the only way I can make progress on anything is to have big open chunks of time on my calendar – whole days, weekends, or even weeks seem like the only way to go. When I can’t see these on the horizon, I start to get stressed!

swiss cheese.jpg

So, my new approach to making the time involves pushing in little bits of work (20 minute increments to be exact), working these in as little holes around everything else that needs to get done during the days, weeks, months as they unfold.  I call this practice “swiss-cheesing it.”

The technique is the Pomodoro, downloadable as an app to your phone, a system of bells and ticks that helps you focus for 20 minutes intervals, but as for what to be working on during any given Pomodoro – this is a practice that I also cultivated as part of my dissertation process – a blended combination of reading, writing, and research (RWR).

Reading, Writing, and Research (RWR)
In professional practice, what this looks like is having made time to have done some writing before you have a networking conversation so that you are more easily able to explain to the person with whom you are talking what it is that you actually do (would like to do, are looking for more opportunities to do).  However, having this networking conversation in the first place requires having done enough research to have found the networking event, or scheduled the informational interview, or to even recognize the opportunity when you are given it to talk about the professional things that you are looking for opportunities to talk about.  Of course, knowing what it is that even you want to talk about in the first place also requires some research (reading and writing) and there will always be a call for more RWR in the follow-up, when the person you have proposed an idea to asks for more information, etc.

annamarie writing.jpgWe can take my current Career Linguist business activities as an example. As I gear up for the upcoming academic year, you can currently find me sending out batches of emails to all the career centers who have linguistics programs across the country (and Canada, and the UK) about a professional development workshop for linguistics students that I am looking to offer this year.  Getting to this point of being able to send these out has recently required RWR in the form of identifying these schools, crafting my pitch, and learning enough about what is currently being offered to know how to craft the pitch. But this has also required a couple years’ worth of RWR to even identify this opportunity, to realize that no one was adopting a linguistic approach to thinking about career, and then deciding on the form in which I wanted to contribute to this gap in literature and practice (a book, a workshop), and then developing all of the pieces of communication that comprise and surround these (my bio, my blog, etc). And there will hopefully be RWR cycles in my immediate future as these folks write back requesting more info in the form of developing more detailed workshop descriptions, blurbs, interviews to publicize it, etc.

So, if you are just starting this practice – try for 3 Pomodoros this week: 1 each for some RWR that helps you make progress on some aspect of professional development that you deem important. You will get better with practice at choosing tasks that can be completed in about 20 minutes, but for now, take note of how these three pieces (RWR) interrelatate and mutually reinforce one another. And if you are really stuck for how to begin, use them by spending an hour this week on LinkedIn.

And let us know how it goes!
“Here’s to what’s next!!”

Professional Development

A Critical Introduction to the Critical Languages

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 imagethe Career Linguist guest bloggers page where you can also learn about being a guest blogger for Career Linguist yourself!!

According to the US government, some languages are more important than others! These languages tend to be the hardest to learn, according to time-to-mastery rankings by the Foreign Service Institute, whose rankings tend to list the languages most different from English in morphology and phonology as taking the longest to learn. As a result of their difficulty, very few people speak these languages despite the country’s need for them. Hence, they are known as the “critical languages”, which makes it critical for linguists to learn them.

The concept of critical languages was originally introduced by the US State Department, the organization that still devotes the most scholarships, fellowships, and other funding to their learning by US citizens. These are the languages defined as most essential to meeting the current diplomatic, defense, and economic needs of the country. The operative word here is current; languages like German or Italian that would’ve been at the top of that list in 1942, or Vietnamese in the late 1960s, are now nowhere to be found. Likewise, languages thought to be crucial to US interests today (Arabic, Farsi, and Dari/Pashto) may one day be replaced by, say, the Slavic languages, reflecting the unrest in Ukraine and recent US-Russian political entanglements. Developments in the South China Sea would suggest that Chinese could also emerge as very crucial in the next century, and instability on the Korean peninsula could bring the North Korean dialect to the forefront of defense language strategy (The CIA’s creation of a Korea Mission Center to deal with North Korea supports this possibility). In fact, language needs are sometimes so variable that a single event or series of political developments can transform the language education landscape. For example, following the September 11th attacks, American student enrollment in Arabic language courses grew by 126.5% from 2002 to 2006 and then again by another 46.3% between 2006 and 2009. This variability suggests the importance of considering the global political context when deciding which critical language to pursue. Still, one should balance the necessity of learning a particular language’s necessity with your interest in doing so, since the more the language and the culture around it interest you, the more you’ll be motivated to learn.

The idea of critical languages can be interpreted broadly. As a result, the number of languages deemed critical varies widely; the National Security Education Program (NSEP) includes nearly FIFTY languages on its list, from Albanian, to Malay, to Yoruba, and all the languages in between of countries with which the United States has complex relations. Not all lists are as robust, however; the State Department’s own Critical Language Scholarship is much more conservative: Azerbaijani, Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu, Arabic Persian, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. It’s useful to further narrow this list by focusing on the languages that occur consistently across all sources: Arabic, Farsi, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Korean (especially North Korean dialect), Dari, and Pashto.

A knowledge of a critical language can carry significant weight, opening doors to career advancement as well as personal growth. Along with considering which languages are most critical to the government or to corporations, however, also consider which language or languages are most critical to you yourself. I’ve personally found Russian to be the most appealing language to me, from the language’s beautiful literature to Russia’s tumultuous political past and how its values differ from my own culture’s. I’m fortunate enough to have the support of a number of government funding opportunities in my Russian studies, including the State Department’s Title VIII Fellowship for the Post-Soviet states and the Department of Education’s Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. I highly recommend pursuing particular education programs that offer such grants. I could not be happier with the response I’ve received from employers and colleagues because of my knowledge of Russian and other critical languages, like Turkish. Ultimately, choose the language that will not just be most critical to your country, but be most critical to your career, your personal life, and your future.

Applications for the 2017-2018 National Security Language Initiative for Youth are currently closed, but stay tuned in the Fall for the release of the 2018-2019 application. Interested students should also explore the Boren Award (which has a late January deadline), various Title VIII programs with Fall deadlines, and should see if FLAS funding is available from their institution for support of study abroad programs.

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.