I call myself Career Linguist because in addition to the fact that linguistics is my career, I’m also interested in thinking about careers – especially those outside academia – as a linguist. I do research in professional self-presentation and the language of business, and I am passionate about professional applications of linguistics. I particularly enjoy working with linguistics students who are willing to be radically curious about career and to explore widely in thinking about where they might like to find expression of their linguistic skills and training!
I discovered my own interest in linguistics during a year abroad in Costa Rica, but it was not until I came back to the US and was working for an organization that would pay for an MA in linguistics if I could demonstrate the relevance of this training to my day-to-day. I prepared such a convincing argument, that I ended up convincing myself: the world (of work) needs more linguists!!
Along the way, I’ve had the priveldge to bring linguistics to work in a variety of contexts, including as the linguistic researcher for the website that accompanied the film Do You Speak American? working with the FrameWorks Institute to help advocates change the conversation about social issues like climate change, immigration reform, and criminal justice, and directing the MLC – the MA in Language and Communication at Georgetown University.There, I worked with sociolinguistics MA students, helping them to find professional application of their skills and training in linguistics.
In my spare time you might catch me taking the stage as a storyteller with groups like Better Said than Done, Perfect Liar’s club and Story District.
Want to know more?
Check me out on Tammy Bjelland’s excellent podcast, The Business of Language (Aug 2015)
The Linguistics Society of America did a member spotlight of me in Dec 2014