Virtually co-work on the Mighty

Attend a co-working session on the CL Mighty Network

Could you use some support working on a long-term project? Come co-work with a community of linguists!

It’s all part of the CL Mighty Network!

Co-Working sessions are a time to come together to make progress on small (pieces of larger) tasks. We keep the zoom line open and each person quietly works on a project of his/her choosing (with light facilitation at intervals throughout the session).

Our Regular Weekly sessions are

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8-10am PST / 11-1pm EST

….with additional sessions as requested/organized by members!

Read more and sign up for the CL Mighty Network here

Want to learn more about the community?
Attend an Open House

Meet Up in San Francisco – postponed

Next Tuesday’s proposed event will be postponed in light of concerns about congregating just now (and having heard from a few attendees that such concerns will prevent them from attending) and because ours was a get-together that is easily enough postponed to give everyone a chance to focus on health and self care.

Let’s find other ways to build our community!

And so, in the spirit of connection, we (your co-organizer Brock Imel and I) have an “ask” for all of you – those who were thinking about attending, and those who now can participate now that geographical constraints have been lifted!

Take a few minutes this week to do one of the following:

  • send a gracious note to someone (whether you already know them or not – maybe it’s an expression of gratitude for an article that you recently enjoyed reading)
  • reach out to someone in your community with a well-defined “ask” (a.k.a. 5 minute favor), and if you were coming to this event to meet people, you can reach out to me ( and I will help connect your ask with someone who can honor it. Conversely, if you were coming to the event to share information or an opportunity, please share – again, you can send to me if you need help!! 
  • try out the activity we were going to have you do at the event by sharing a reflection (pun intended) on the idea of “mirrors and windows” in career conversations (TLDR: talking to others can show aspects of ourselves back to ourselves and/or reveal new possibilities). Share this reflection on social media or with someone who you know to be in the process of career transition!

here’s to what’s next!

Photo by Klaudya Teodora

Come on out to build our Career Linguist community through career conversations that expand your horizons!

Where: Thirsty Bear Organic Brewery

661 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

When: Tuesday, March 10th 4pm – 6pm (we don’t have a reserved space, so we will be where we will be – a couple of us are going to show up early to grab tables)

– pop by when you can, stay as long as you are able –

Whether you’re currently using your linguistics training in an applied or professional setting, or want to learn more about doing just that, this gathering is for those who want to share ideas and resources, learn about opportunities, and build community. If you are needing a nudge, here’s some recent thoughts about why networking is valuable!

Feel free to share this announcement with any and all your linguist (or linguist-friendly) friends, at any stage of career navigation.
Very much looking forward to meeting up!

Here’s to what’s next!

Career Camp info session Fri 2/21


Interested in Career Camp, but want to know more before you sign up?  Bring all of your questions to a (virtual) info session:

Friday 2/21/20, 2pm pst / 5pm est

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 478 926 503

Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

questions? Contact Career Linguist

sign up for Career Camp

Career Camp is five weeks of focused activities and structured feedback on the stories used in career interactions. Each week we focus on a different story from the professional self-presentation genres (resume, LinkedIn summary sections, your “about me”spiels etc.). Take the time to do some reflection and discernment or gear up to hit the ground running with a newly focused jobsearch with a resume that blows their SOQs off, cover letters that speak to why THEY need you, and pocket examples that show the WHY of your work!


Thinking in terms of stories was transformative for me. I’m definitely a convert to the notion of seeing the world in stories. Before Career Camp I’d been feeling stuck. I was uncomfortable and unsure about how to interact with LinkedIn. I didn’t enjoy researching organizations. This mini-course changed the way I look at those activities; when everything is a story, everything is data. Looking at data is fun, so looking at LinkedIn can be fun, too. I now feel less stressed and more productive as I explore and apply.  

  • Career Camp participant

In the space of a month, with just a few hours of work each week, I learned as much useful information as I’ve learned in many a previous semester long class.  What surprised me most about Camp was how enjoyable it was to chat with other students (campers?) each week. How can a group video chat with strangers feel like a campfire with friends? I don’t know, but I liked it! I learned from other people’s stories, and felt supported in my career journey. I highly recommend this little digital bootcamp of career narratives to linguists and nonlinguistic alike!  Let Anna Marie introduce you to the wild world of stories! 

  • Career Camp participant

Moving the MRE in career stories

And no, I’m not talking about the kind of MRE you might see being opened in a YouTube video, I’m talking about the MRE that narrative researchers talk about, the Most Reportable Event. The moment in the story that the teller – if subconsciously – presents as the one to pay particular attention to.  Every narrator will have her own linguistic style, but at the MRE a story listener might observe the invocation of strategies like slowing down the narrative action, shifting the deictic center, a changing of the verb tense into the historical present, or the noticeable introduction of constructed dialogue.

Sharing your story with a listener can be a great way to learn more – have them help you listen for your MRE.

From the career storytelling work that I have been doing for the past decade or so, I see the emergence of a clear pattern in that most of us need to move our MREs. In Bringing Linguistics to Work (BLx2W) I talked about this as having to do with agency and I used Michael Bamberg to talk about this as reflecting the difference between being the narrative “experiencer” or “do-er.” In that book, I shared two versions of a story that I had been using for years as my “discovering linguistics” story.

  • I used to tell a version that focused on the moment of discovery: There I was in Costa Rica, studying abroad, taking my first linguistics course (the language of instruction was Spanish) and all of these connections suddenly ignited in my mind about my own acquisition process in Spanish and the tiered unfolding that was happening systematically in my brain having to do with Phonological, Morphological, Pragmatic awarenesss!!  WOW!! It sure was a thrilling moment of discovery for me, and indeed it was life changing – it entirely redirected the course of my professional life, but as a career story, telling it that way really only helped listeners appreciate my passion for learning and discovery. While admirable, the qualities that my listener probably needs to know more about are those on display when I show what it is that I will DO with that important discovery that I made.  

So I moved the MRE forward in time.

  • A few months later, after I had returned from Costa Rica (and I do mention that there I had had this powerful realization there about linguistics being EVERYWHERE) I was living in San Angelo, TX – and I took a linguistics course at ASU and the professor tells me (when I go to office hours to say that I am interested in pursuing a higher degree in Lx) that I should “RUN in the opposite direction,” That linguistics was a dying field, and that there’s no career pathway other than that as a professor, which opportunities are dwindling. In that moment, even though I didn’t know how to say so, I knew in my bones that this professor was WRONG! Linguistics was absolutely EVERYWHERE and could be applied to absolutely ANYTHING, but our field was in need of a re-orientation. This set me on the course that I continue to follow today….

In the 3 years since Blx2W was published, I have been working more with the work interrogatives, and realize that doing some work with your WHYs beforehand makes it easier to think about how you might move your MRE.

If you haven’t taken it, one good resource to help you identify your WHYs is the VIA strengths finder.

When I take it, I get Love of Learning as my first strength.

It is therefore no big surprise that I like to tell stories which display this quality. And I find this to be true of many of the teachers that I have worked with over the years  We teachers love learning, so when we tell stories about work, our narrative focus tends to celebrate moments of insight.

With a recent client, we were working on crafting a story that focused on a moment of recognition of a cross-cultural misunderstanding in the classroom.  She saw it happen. And because she loves learning, she told this story in a way that stacked on a bunch of evaluative information focused on all the work that she had done to be able to pay attention in the way that she now does, everything from her research that informed her understanding of what was going on in that moment, a teaching workshop where she learned about what to do as a teacher when such moments occurred in the classroom. etc. etc. etc.

We moved the MRE to focus on what came AFTER, and the story came out sounding something like this:

“because of my research and all of the recent training I undertook at X institution with Y impressive person, I recognized the opportunity to do something in this moment. I abandoned the lesson plan that I had prepared to then break my students into groups deliberated constructed across lines of difference to focus on the observable linguistic features that we can use to understand how inclusion is an interactional achievement….” etc. etc. etc.

I worked with the storyteller to make this story celebrate a different WHY – that of valuing diversity and inclusion as an instructor. It could of course be reworked to instead focus on the importance of collaboration and teamwork, learning in community, social intelligence, or courage – the specific choices would just need to be aligned to the teller and her WHYs.

So, the task is that of being more aware of your WHYs:

what WHYs are your stories currently celebrating?

what WHYs could they be?

And ultimately, this ends up coming back to the idea of shifting your deictic center, the golden rule in the texts and interactions that comprise professional self-presentation. The stories that you tell in career conversations need to be recipient designed, such that they help your listener see qualities that they are looking for in a colleague and collaborator. In career conversations, it’s not about what you want but what THEY need!

What examples do you have of Moving the MRE in career stories?

Career Camp reunion

A call out to anyone who has participated in Career Camp over the years! Come to the reunion on March 13th at 2pm PDT / 5pm EDT!!

Pop in, say hi, let us know what you have been up to these days and come and hear what everyone else is doing!

Contact Career Linguist to RSVP to the Reunion

Feeling FOMO? You too can be a happy camper – The Spring 2020 edition of Career Camp will be from March 20th  – April 17th  2020

Interested in knowing more?  Attend a Career Camp Info session on Feb 21st or March 6th.

Career Camp starts March 20th

You chose linguistics because you were passionate about the possibility and the power of language, so why not creatively seek wide application of these as well as your powerful analytical skills and problem-solving
sign up for Career Camp

The Spring 2020 edition of Career Camp runs from March 20th – April 17th 2020.

Career Camp is five weeks of focused activities and structured feedback on the stories used in career interactions. Each week we focus on a different story from the professional self-presentation genres (resume, LinkedIn summary sections, your “about me”spiels etc.). Take the time to do some reflection and discernment or gear up to hit the ground running with a newly focused jobsearch with a resume that blows their SOQs off, cover letters that speak to why THEY need you, and pocket examples that show the WHY of your work!

Want to know more and meet Anna Marie before you sign up?  Bring all of your questions to a (virtual) info session

Friday 2/21/20, 2pm pst / 5pm est

Friday 3/6/2020, 2pm pst / 5pm est

jobs @ Harbage Consulting


Two positions in Sacramento:

Junior Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Specialist

Communications and Public Affairs Intern

At the intersection of health care policy, politics and communications:

Established in 2005, Harbage Consulting is a mission-driven national health policy, strategic
communications and public affairs consulting firm with deep policy, operational and outreach
expertise in public programs. We help our clients navigate, develop and implement a wide
range of health policies related to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP),
Medicare, and the Health Insurance Marketplace. Our clients span state and federal Medicaid
agencies, county/local health services departments, health care foundations, consumer
advocacy organizations, hospitals, health systems, trade associations, and labor unions. While
the core of our firm’s work has historically been in California, we have recently been involved in
projects in a number of other states including Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland,
New York, West Virginia, Virginia, and Washington State.
Our firm is rooted in a commitment to improving and strengthening the health care delivery
system. We pride ourselves on our relationship-driven approach to customer service, our ability
to adapt to changing landscapes, and our innovative spirit. Our mission is to promote access to
affordable, comprehensive, high quality health coverage and care and we pursue clients that
enable our firm to stay true to that mission.

Talking Career Inclusion “Let’s make a plan to connect!”

I have found myself taking a lot lately about this tweet from Lauren Collister at the LSA conference earlier this month:

I’m really struck by how “we’ll miss you” while likely well-intended, functions so clearly as performatively othering when given in response to career news. It unambiguously places the addressee outside. And just as simply, effectively invizibilses  career paths other than the academic, making it seem as though a choice to work beyond the academy means that you will never again have any contact with academic colleagues.

As someone who has spent the last twelve years doing outreach – for the first six years from within a university “out” to the working world, and now for the past years from the outside “in,” I am convinced that a big part of the problem is that out being out of practice thinking and talking about work reinforces this metaphorical spatial distance. In this post, I offer just a few examples of some small, simple practices that we can start adopting and which would serve to talk a more inclusive culture around career into being for linguistics, benefitting not only individual students and alum, but also our institutions and communities at large. 

I’ll begin with a networking event that I regularly attend – and which I also have noticed myself talking about a lot lately –  called Ethnobreakfast – a networking group that brings together academics and practitioners to discuss issues pertinent to ethnographers in industry. It is organized by Jan English-Lueck a faculty member and Jeffrey Greger a recent alum of The Applied Anthropology program at San Jose State University via a listserv, which gets promoted (among other venues) on the Anthrodesign email list and the Ethnography Hangout Slack message board. They use the list to ask for a different host each month to organize a get-together on a Friday morning at their place of work from 8:30 -9:30am (chosen to not cut into the workday). The host finds a conference room, chooses a reading, invites colleagues, and facilitates a discussion tied thematically to some current issue they are thinking about in their work. As Jeffrey Greger one of the organizers described in a recent article for the EPIC conference proceedings:

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of having informal spaces for collaboration, mentorship, and friendship, spaces where barriers are thin between academia and industry, student and experienced professional, designer and anthropologist. They allow for personal, open sharing of knowledge across disciplinary and organizational boundaries that can give birth to new knowledge and transdisciplinary collaborations.  

I’m focused on organizing local networking events on behalf of employers these days. I aim to bring together: 1) linguists who are currently employed by an organization who happens to be hiring together with 2) folks who are considering submitting an application. Such an interaction is empowering to both participants: 

Next one will likely be in Berkeley in Feb – stay tuned at for information about that, and if you’re in the area (or you know someone who is), help build the career linguist community and contribute to promoting career conversations by getting the word out about this event. BUT ALSO, I’m looking for people to host events in their local communities, and I’m even developing a hosting kit that will help you do it! If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out!

Or, more departments can do like UT Austin does in the Industry Spotlight section of their newsletter, and celebrate the career paths of alum – in this case Nick Gaylord – by asking them to share the details of working contexts which may be less familiar to the community and readership.

Activities and events like these are win-win-win! We all get to support one another in generating and sharing ideas about the myriad possibilities that our training affords, inviting more conversations about how we can support bringing our analytical skills and training to the challenges facing the world. Part of the work of figuring out your next steps professionally, like the ikigai tool.

Current students and alum benefit from learning about specific ways that others have brought linguistics to solving important challenges when they have a ready answer to the question: “linguistics, what can you do with that?”

Our institutions, our field, and the people working to address the wicked challenges faced by our world all benefit when more of us are given the support we all need to investigate where our interests align with our sense of purpose.

Just a few small ideas, beginning with greeting the news that a student / colleague has just gotten a job with a nod to staying in touch.

How can you help make some time to create more spaces for reflecting deeply to help our community reflect so that each of us can really ask ourselves where it is that we can devote our energies and our talents as linguists.