Networking HH for Career Linguists in the East Bay (Oakland, CA)

In partnership with the Linguistic Society of America Special Interest Group for Linguists Beyond Academia, you are invited to:

A professional get-together for career linguists
Tuesday, May 7th 6pm

Lost & Found Beer Garden

2040 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 763-2040

In a spirit of generosity, curiosity, and with the understanding that our networks are our greatest professional assets, come on out to mix and mingle with other Bay Area Career Linguists.


Whether you’re currently using your linguistics training in an applied or professional setting, or want to learn more about doing just that, this group is for those who want to connect and build our professional community!

People will be on hand to talk about jobs!

We will be joined by a recruiter from CSpace – an organization that has hired linguists – and one of the linguists they have hired. Ask him about his experience in bringing linguistics to the work of consumer insights.

An employee from NoRedInk, who are currently hiring a curriculm designer will be there to talk about what its like to bring her teaching experience to the work of online education!

Feel free to share this announcement with any linguist friends, very much looking forward to meeting up 🙂


Career Camp Reunion(s)

We had so much fun with all of the Spring Career Campers this time around, thought it fire-01would be fun to have a reunion where anyone who has participated in Career Camp over the years could pop in, say hi, let us know what they are up to these days and hear what everyone else is doing!


Attend one, or attend both:

Scheduled to be friendly for a variety of time zones,

since you career campers are all over the world!!!

Friday, April 12th at 2pm pdt / 5pm edt

Wednesday, May 1st 8am pdt / 11am edt

all sessions will take place on zoom here:

Feeling FOMO? You too can be a happy camper –

the summer 2019 edition of Career Camp starts on May 31st

Internship @ the Linguistic Society of America (Washington DC)

Linguistic Society of AmericaThe Linguistic Society of America (LSA) is seeking applications for the position of Student Intern at its national office in Washington, DC for the Summer 2019 semester (June – August*). This is a great opportunity to learn more about the field of linguistics, the professional needs of LSA members, and the LSA’s broader agenda to advance the scientific study of language. This internship also provides exposure to the workings of a small non-profit organization based in the nation’s capital.

Interns will gain experience with writing, research, database management, social science policy, and a variety of administrative tasks. Please see the position description below for additional details. The position is open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in programs leading to a degree in linguistics or a related field.

Funding is available to support one part-time position at 32 hours per week, with a $7000 stipend. In order to receive a stipend, applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals with the appropriate work visa.

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three academic/professional references to:, subject line: “LSA Internship Application.” The deadline for full consideration is April 7, 2019.

Position Description

Assist the LSA Secretariat with the following projects:

1) managing its social media accounts

2) website content management and development

3) research and information gathering on a variety of topics (not scholarly in nature)

4) database management

5) representation at meetings and conferences in the DC metro area

6) preparing summaries and analysis of reports and other materials

7) assisting with clerical support

8) develop and execute one long-term project of particular interest to the incumbent

* Precise start and end dates are flexible, depending on the applicant’s academic schedule, but the duration of the internship should be no less than 12 weeks.

Should I stay or should I go? Either way, community is key

cover image - should I stayLots that’s great about this book, not least of which that it was written at the same writer’s retreat that I attend (and that included among the list of possible careers is “writing retreat host in rural, VA!”). I really love that the book is designed to be read over five lunch hours – a perfect length for a professionally-oriented piece.  She even stops the flow of the book to exhort the reader to eat (mindfully), since this is a after all a lunch break!!


While I have to confess that at times the style and tone of the book are a bit off-putting, I do simply adore the Stay or Go? Conceit, because it entails an aspect of agency in job-crafting that is seldom discussed in career conversations.


As with the popular Love it or List It style of home makeover show, the idea here is that you have choices when it comes to your career: You can either invest in renovating your job, bringing it up to date and aligning it with your current abilities, needs, and expectations, or you can start the process of looking for another one. The author did both over the course of writing this book, so she knows what she is talking about when she says “yes-and!  and both!!!” in response to her own question.


To stay

As discussed in this Harvard Business Review article by Amy Wrzesniewski, Justin M. Berg, and Jane E. Dutton, a growing body of research suggests that an exercise called “job crafting” can be a powerful tool for reenergizing and reimagining your work life.

[job crafting] involves redefining your job to incorporate your motives, strengths, and passions. The exercise prompts you to visualize the job, map its elements, and reorganize them to better suit you.

The practice involves looking closely at the tasks performed, the nature or extent of your interactions with other people, and reframing part or whole – and this can happen in stages: maybe starting with reframing just for yourself,  and then eventually with your colleagues, in conversation with your employer.


This jobcrafting exercise may be a particularly important one for linguists on the job because often – and especially when we work with managers who are not linguists, which is typical – there could be more of a linguistic lens that we would want to bring to our work.   But is is only after you have been on the job a while and have earned the trust and respect of your colleagues and team, that you can start to find whether there is room to push for changes, such as adding a research component, a newsletter or blog series, or active mentoring. All of these are things that I have asked for in the course of my own jobcrafting, as they are things that help me bring more linguistics into the work that I do.


Ideally, you are working with a supervisor who will allow you scale back on other aspects of the job that are less suited to your strengths as you add others which are, but jobcrafting is a process, the course of which does not always run smooth. There may be an initial period in which you have more on your plate, until a way can be found to help you have less, but usually, adding in things that make you happier is worth the (hopefully temporary) discomfort.


…..or not to stay

But/and when and if it isn’t, or if you have an employer who isn’t interested in helping you find more satisfaction in your work, well, then maybe it is time to think about what you want to try next!!


Here at the Career Linguist blog you can find many resources for tackling this side of things, including:


Community is Key

Whether you are staying or going, your community are your best resource as you navigate this process of career orienteering. If you would like to experience the support of a community of career linguists, come on over to check out our mighty group over on the CL Mighty Network. People come to this community in career transition and to get support with emergent job crafting. It’s a both-and kinda place!  If you aren’t sure where to start, join us for a work session to get a sense for how we work together (and we do literally work together during these sessions, so come with a task to work on!!)

job: Analytical Linguist, Natural Language Understanding (NLU) – Amazon AI

Come and be part of the Amazon Artificial Intelligence (AI) team! Amazon Web Services is building speech and language solutions to serve the needs of customers around the world. We’re working hard, having fun, and making history — come join us!

The AWS Artificial Intelligence team is looking for a Language Engineer to join our science and data engineering team in the area of speech and Natural Language Understanding (NLU). We are seeking a candidate with strong analytical skills and language technology experience to help us measure, analyze and solve complex problems. In this role, you will support a range of data collection and annotation efforts, monitor accuracy, velocity and throughput, and be a key member in new feature development.

Core Responsibilities

  • Provide day-to-day coordination of data collection and annotation efforts, including planning, scheduling, and reporting
  • Measure and analyze accuracy, quality and throughput of annotated data
  • Contribute to the design of new data collection methods and new annotation schemas to cover new areas and languages
  • Write grammars and build FSTs
  • Collaborate with scientists and engineers on data collection and feature design efforts
  • Handle competing requests from a range of data customers

Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s or higher degree in Linguistics or a related field
  • 4+ years of experience in computational linguistics, language data processing, psycholinguistics, semantics, or syntax
  • Experience with language annotation and other forms of data markup
  • Experience working with speech and text language data in multiple languages
  • Fluency in a major European language, such as Spanish
  • Experience with database queries (SQL) and data analysis scripting languages (R, Python, etc.), and using Unix shell scripts in the command line

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in a Linguistics or related area
  • Experience with statistical methods and strong analytical skills
  • Excellent communication, strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Practical knowledge of version control and agile development
  • Comfortable working in a fast paced, highly collaborative, dynamic work environment
  • Willingness to support several projects at one time, and to accept reprioritization as necessary
  • Experience in writing grammars and building FSTs is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran / Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation.

Company – Services, Inc.
Job ID: A701157


  • Computer Software
  • Information Technology & Services
  • Internet

Employment Type


Job Functions

  • Project Management
  • Information Technology
  • Product Management

job: Research Consultant Intern @ Stripe (UK)

Research Consultant Intern

Applications close 11 March 2019

It’s a great time to be a social scientist and a Stripe Partners (paid) internship is designed to allow you see what you can do in business with your academic training.

We have an opening for an intern to join us for 3 month full time. This is an opportunity to secure experience with a consultancy with blue chip clients doing work globally. If it works out we would look to make this a full time graduate position.

Please apply by emailing – with your CV. Please let us know about relevant experience and why you’re interested. Tell us about your career ambition, what you want from an internship with us and what you’ll bring to the table.

We are looking for

A final year student or recent graduate with outstanding grades with a hunger to apply their academic knowledge and curiosity to complex business challenges.

Someone who is isn’t afraid to say “I don’t know” but wants to learn on the job with experienced colleagues.

A storyteller with an eye for identifying and explaining the important detail from a mass of unstructured data.

Languages are a bonus. We work globally.

What you will do

Work across engagements from planning to completion with plenty of opportunities to undertake ethnographic fieldwork in the UK and beyond.

Collaborate with leading ethnographic
researchers and strategists on tough engagements for major, international clients.

Improve your understanding of how to translate ethnographic fieldwork into insights, ideas and recommendations that have an impact (and aren’t just ‘interesting’).

Learn how to improve your communication, presentation and writing skills.

Career Camp starts March 1st!!

Career Camp is starting soon: A chance to work through Bringing Linguistics to Work in community!

Career Camp is designed to help linguists bring language and communication skills to thinking about career. Together, we will find, refine, and practice stories that can be used in the texts and interactions which comprise jobsearching.

career camp flyer – spring 2019Screenshot 2017-07-01 08.41.25Note: you need not be a linguist to participate, but you do need to be someone who is curious about language and its ability to do things like construct identity and meaning in interaction. Career Camp has been designed by Anna Marie Trester, Career Linguist, author of Bringing Linguistics to Work.

Learn more here

Sign up here

Fridays this March:

  • 3/1 Orientation – why are you here?
  • 3/ 8 2nd week – story approach to career
  • 3/15 3rd week – story listening
  • 3/22 4th week – story finding
  • 3/29 5th week – story telling

LSA members get a discount!! Contact Career Linguist to learn more!!

Story at work(shop)

A story practice at Work(2)

Station SL, a coworking community

1455 Hays Street San Leandro, CA 94577


Join us for some invigorating professional development in the form of an interactive and participatory workshop where we will consider story listening, story finding, and story telling as they help you be more effective in building connections with colleagues, clients, and collaborators.

Not only will you have (and continue to find) more stories about yourself to have at the ready for meetings, presentations, pitches, networking interactions and job interviews, but you will be better able to listen to and elicit them from others, including creating contexts for story that will enrich and enhance the way you work!

Tickets are going fast!  Get yours here

job: User Experience Research Intern (Lyft)

User Experience Research Intern (2019)
At Lyft, community is what we are and it’s what we do. It’s what makes us different. To create the best ride for all, we start in our own community by creating an open, inclusive, and diverse organization where all team members are recognized for what they bring.

Lyft is seeking a User Experience Research Intern to join our growing team, which aspires to elevate the user experience for our drivers and passengers across 300+ cities nationwide.

You will conduct research studies, as well as participate in studies alongside more senior researchers from which you’ll gain strong mentorship. You will partner with Design, Product Management, Analytics, and Engineering in order to derive deep insights about our users’ behaviors and attitudes, and communicate results and actionable recommendations across the company.

You have extraordinary attention to detail and love to organize. You are also an excellent communicator and a flexible team player that can thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic working environment. You are comfortable working closely with passionate researchers, designers, product managers, and engineers that care deeply about creating experiences that bring people together through transportation.


  • Design and conduct studies across key Lyft product areas — independently and in conjunction with more senior researchers. You will utilize methods such as ethnographic & field research, diary studies, surveys, user/usability testing (remote and in-person), guerrilla research, and any other methods you find impactful
  • Review, analyze, and communicate qualitative data to generate tactical and strategic insights, as well as actionable recommendations which drive product innovation and design improvements for users

Experience & Skills

  • Currently pursuing a degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Anthropology, Psychology, Computer Science, Cognitive Science, or a related field
  • Must have at least one additional term (quarter or semester) of school left after the end of the internship
  • Experience as a Researcher and/or Research Coordinator for qualitative research studies, including usability/user testing, surveys, field research, and user interviews
  • Extraordinary organizational skills and meticulous eye for detail
  • Ability to work independently on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong listening and analytical skills; proactive troubleshooter
  • Team player with excellent written & verbal communication skills
  • Enthusiasm for a collaborative, highly energetic, fun and fast-paced environment

Bonus points

  • Research experience with mobile technology
  • Experience using SurveyMonkey and Ethnio
  • Understanding of quantitative methods, behavioral analysis, and statistical concepts
  • Experience conducting quantitative research in applied research settings, ideally within a Product organization
  • Experience with behavioral data analysis, designing surveys and experimental research, and analyzing large datasets using appropriate statistical methods
  • Experience with research participant recruitment and management practices, as well as creating basic surveys and working with survey software
  • Experience with applied statistics/econometrics and R, SPSS, SAS, or Python for statistical analyses; command of SQL also a great added bonus
  • Design thinking, visual communication, information design, or wireframing skills

Lyft is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. Lyft does not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws or prohibited by Company policy. Lyft also strives for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibits harassment of any kind. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance and other similar state laws and local ordinances, and its internal policy, Lyft will also consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Book review – Outliers

Now that I have finally gotten around to reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, I see why people have been telling me for years that I should read the thing!

The book examines story structure, interrogating our ingrained ways of telling and hearing stories about success (and also failure). The big message: what we take to be stories of remarkable individuals are actually stories about the power of opportunity, context, and community.

However, because as a society we celebrate individual achievement, we tend to construct and consume narratives that valorize a particular person’s brilliance, tenacity, and genius. For Gladwell, such ways of narrating success are “profoundly wrong,” and in dismantling these culturally dominant ways of telling, he seeks to call attention to the cultural forces and other factors such as hidden advantages which contribute to successful outcomes, and which tend to be invisibilized in our stories, and thus our understanding. By doing so, he provides a call to action to address lost human potential by bringing our attention to changing the systems and structures that repeatedly advantage, elevate, and enable only certain members of our communities to succeed and keep succeeding.

What resonates most powerfully for me in thinking about how these ideas apply to our Career Linguist community is this idea of the talent that gets squandered when hundreds of linguists internalize failure for not having achieved “success” in the academic job market year after year. Despite the fact that a tenure track job at an R1 institution is demonstrably not the norm for those who gradate with their PhD, it is storied as such, and thus, to take a different path gets storied as going “outside.” Dichotomies of inside/outside get further reinforced when operative systems and structures that do things like provide /limit access and evaluate merit in particular ways are invisibilized. These same professionals are then further stymied by barriers to understanding (their own and that of would-be employers) that would help with bringing linguistics to work in contexts beyond academia. This lost potential exists at the individual, but also the collective level: We can and simply must do better for our field, the challenges of our time demand the talents that linguists uniquely possess.

In this post, I’ll explore a few major themes from Gladwell’s book that inform a discussion about creating and celebrating professional opportunities in our community  …and I promise that I won’t ruin all of the stories from Outliers for you – *although* the book has been out for 10 years now, so it’s not exactly as if this is a spoiler alert!!!

Ultimately, Gladwell’s argument in Outliers is that success is really about opportunity, and that access to opportunity is shaped greatly by context. Including that:

It’s about timing  – turns out that Bill Gates came of age precisely at a crucial moment when programming because more technically interesting (and fun), but he also had access to a terminal when he was a teenager at a time when most college professors of computer science didn’t. He showed up on the scene as a young professional with a tremendous technical advantage and turned out to be pretty much the only person in the world who had his particular quantity and quality of experience.

So, when I think about operationalizing this idea of “when,” I am reminded of the advice to “be here, now” and recognize that there are so many ways that the world of work is changing, such that jobs and ways of working that we have available to us now simply didn’t exist 10 years ago. Putting this reality together with awareness of story, what I see is that we need to be bringing story finding to seek out stories about today’s world of work that simply don’t tend to get told in our community. Our institutions can find and share more stories of linguists who creatively apply their linguistics training in myriad contexts beyond and within the academic one, including – and perhaps especially – those folks who are working in technology in ways that extend beyond computational linguistics.

It’s about (getting opportunities to) practice.  In Outliers, Gladwell points to the (often overlooked) factor in the success of The Beatles as the amount of stage time they got in Hamburg Germany as they were starting out. Turns out, they played for upwards of 8 hours a day and for months at a time.  According to his calculations, this resulted in their having nearly 10,000 hours of playing together before their big break. Not only did this practice make each of them technically better as musicians, it made them better as a band, since it made them better listeners, it expanded their repertoire, it developed their willingness to try things  out and take creative risks because of their awareness and appreciation of their abilities. So too with Bill Gates, crucial time that he spent practicing made the difference when it came to striking out professionally: when you have experience, you get heard as having confidence.

We linguists practice many things over the course of study that make us uniquely suited to be adroit problem solvers and systems-thinkers, as I have explored in many posts here on this blog – including skills cultivated by the study of linguistics – but among these, we are highly skilled in the practice of understanding how language is implicated in the construction of meaning. We learn Saussure in our earliest classes, and then meaning-making becomes like breathing to us, so we forget that we always see multiple aspects of language simultaneously, like for example that it always brings potential for connotative and denotative meanings. Or that we can consider five planes of discourse operational in an interaction. Unlike most users of language, we have analytical distance on it.


Because we recognize that language is a technology that people use to do things, we can be said to “see through” language, always hearing what was said, and at the same time what could have been said but wasn’t. This makes us always aware of underlying assumptions and puts us at a tremendous advantage as critical thinkers. We can see how things are framed and how they might be framed differently, leading us to ask different questions, to bring innovative solutions to problems.

But, when it comes to finding ways to use these skills, it turns  out that where you’re from makes a difference

In the second part of his book, Gladwell explores cultural legacies – including his own, identifying and deconstructing myths even in his own family lore. He considers how factors like language socialization and understandings about power distance give middle class students a leg up in navigating institutions and interacting with people in positions of power, sharing an example of a young boy being coached by his mother to actively pose questions to his doctor. It becomes quickly apparent how – equipped with such skills – young people with greater comfort and practice in asking for things from people in positions of authority will be likelier to get advantages simply by knowing to (and how to) ask for things from people in positions to help them. And that would only compound as they go through life, navigating system after system.

For our own part, I suggest that we need to take seriously that we get socialized to use language in particular ways after spending 6 – 10 years  in the academic system. And crucially, that our ways of claiming expertise as researchers don’t always get heard in the same ways as showing expertise and mastery in other settings beyond academic ones. These include discursive features like hedging “the data seem to show” qualifying and contextualizing claims by providing evidentials or mentioning key collaborators and researchers who influenced our thought. In fact, these very practices can give the exact opposite reading, suggesting uncertainty, the inability to work independently or even resistance to operating quickly when a task demands.

The way forward

Given that only 2% of the population has a PhD  according to the US Census, we can expect that the overwhelming majority of interactions we will have in professional contexts will be with people who have not participated in the same socialization in intensely hierarchical close-knit communities and do not share our ways of talking and hearing the claiming of expertise.

Thus, to realize more of linguists’ potential to bring needed skills to the world (of work), I propose a solution that works at both the individual and collective level.

  • Individuals need to be asking for (and saying yes to) interactions where diverse stories of work get shared – events like networking events and informational interviews.
  • And our Institutions need to be creating more contexts for these stories in the classroom, in departmental communications and events and at professional meetings and conferences.

Further, bringing story listening we can apply an a awareness of story structure to these interactions and use them to ask for stories about work that focus on today (day-to-day) and tomorrow (trends) instead of always beginning with yesterday. Too many of our career storytelling conventions have us looking back: “why did you first choose this path?” “how did you get started? “when did you decide…” but much likelier to catalyze momentum necessary for career navigation will be to engage jobseekers in thinking about direction to the future: “what opportunities do you see now and moving forward for linguists?”  “can you think of other people doing interesting work who I should be reaching out to?” “what resources should I be seeking out?”

Let’s find more stories and start telling them beginning here and now: and here’s to what’s next!