Career Options with a Linguistics Degree

Good discussion (with detailed examples) of the kinds of skills cultivated by the study of linguistics and some great thinking about where these might be applied from Professor Devyani Sharma from Queen Mary University of London. As part of career next steps for those who are studying linguistics, Professor Sharma suggests that students reach out to their careers office, an excellent resource often available to recent alum as well! 🙂

here’s to what’s next!

“Working towards joy (and there will be oatmeal!)”

If you’re looking for more ways to help you work towards what brings you joy in your professional life, join us for work sessions on the CL Mighty.

When we do our co-working sessions on the Mighty, we always set an intention for how we want to feel while we are doing the work. Today, I’m getting the stories that I am working on for chapter three of my upcoming book ready to be shared with the people who shared them with me. And when I get really plugged in with stories, I find lots of joy in the work, but at the start of the session, I was feeling anxious about it. Daunted by the amount of work lie ahead, and sitting with that “shoulda done” feeling that so often would accompany my working time if I let it.

And this is what work sessions are all about really! My fellow Mighty co-workers know me and they know about the project and they can remind me about how story work makes me feel “joyous” even when (especially when) that feels very far away. Such it was that the intention I set for today’s session was “working towards joy” trusting that I would find it (and knowing that oatmeal might help)!

(image an interpretation of me spilling mine on myself in an attempt to photograph, because photo did not turn out!)

And so, during this “new normal”:

  • we are continuing to have our regular T/Th sessions: 8-10am pdt / 11 – 1 pm edt
  • and now, courtesy of very own network member Serena WIlliams, there are additional sessions in the afternoons/early evenings: M, T, W, Th from 2-4 pdt / 5 – 7 edt.

Hope to see you there:

(on the CL Mighty Network)

Open House – Career Linguist (Mighty) Network

Join us to learn about the benefits of joining our community!

free membership for one month

Fri, April 17 at 1pm pst / 4pm est

join us on zoom here:

Experience the benefit of participation in a community of linguists who are all bringing linguistics to their work

Your professional network can be a tremendous source of support, inspiration, and knowledge. Networks help you quickly get plugged in with resources for problem-solving as you tackle unanticipated professional challenges and questions. They are also a powerful mechanism for creating and sharing opportunities.

Pocket Full of Stories

Approach your next career event – be it starting a new job, gearing up for informational interviews, prepping for tenure review, creating a cover letter, or launching your book/ album – by having a set of stories at the ready.

It only takes an hour.

Together, we’ll have a chat on zoom. We’ll kick things off with a story finding exercise to get your work memories rolling. Then, you’ll share some of what you found: images and memories of projects, colleagues, and collaborators that form key moments from your work life. They reveal patterns and they are the raw material for a handful of stories.

We’ll then spend some time engaged in active story listening putting your stories into conversation with your work values, as revealed through an inventory that you will have done ahead of time. 

After the dust has settled, we’ll share a guide indicating which stories are doing the most work for you (and thus merit a coveted spot in the pocket).

You’ll show up to your career moment not only with a pocket full of stories, but with the peace of mind of knowing how HOW your stories are doing what you want to DO in that moment.

Read More About the Pocket Full of Stories Approach to Story Finding


“You helped me to tell my story in a way that felt right and true for me and that also connected with my audience.  I really appreciate your help and support! Thank you!”

“It was totally FUN, but it also felt like I was discovering patterns in my work that were giving me some glimmers of insight into how I work and what kind of work I really enjoy”

“Thank you so much for the pocketful of stories session last night. I am still thinking about it this morning — you were able to draw out of me some ways of articulating those career values I have identified concretely and specifically in ways I don’t think I could have done on my own. I look forward to getting your notes and feedback from the session but am already off and running, thinking about how I might retool my standard cover letter and resume to make them show more of the person behind the job.”

Starting with the character/values assessment was especially illuminating. Rather than fishing for examples from my resume (as has often been the case with interview prep), I felt that the stories emerged organically and authentically and—more importantly—they stuck! Throughout the process, your insightful follow-up questions allowed me to sift out overlooked yet valuable nuggets of experience, while linking together professional skills and creative pursuits in productive and unexpected ways. I will refer back to these portable “story seeds” often, and can already see them bearing new fruits.

job: User Experience Director, Population Research Center

As Director of PRC, this position leads the research and outreach activities of the Center, including budgeting, supervision, and strategic planning. This will be a variable full-time equivalent (FTE) appointment starting at .75 FTE with the possibility of increase to 1.0 FTE, dependent on grant funding and/or possible teaching positions. This position is excluded from representation due to assigned management and supervisory responsibilities.
The anticipated start date for this position is 7/1/20, but an earlier start date is negotiable.

Minimum Qualifications

Master’s degree in applied demography, social geography, sociology, economics, or related field.
Two or more years progressively responsible experience managing a research team and research projects.
Evidence of knowledge of demographic analysis and forecasting methods.
Excellent communication skills.
Successful completion of a background check.

Preferred Qualifications

Ph.D. in applied demography, social geography, sociology, economics, or related field.
Five or more years of progressively responsible experience managing a research team.
Excellent communication sills.
Successful record of attracting funding.
Experience and ability to teach in the applied demography certificate.
Key Cultural Competencies
Create an environment that acknowledges, encourages, and celebrates differences.
Function and communicate effectively and respectfully within the context of varying beliefs, behaviors, orientations, identities, and cultural backgrounds.
Seek opportunities to gain experience working and collaborating in diverse, multicultural, and inclusive settings with a willingness to change for continual improvement.
Adhere to all of PSU’s policies including the policies on Prohibited Discrimination & Harassment and the Professional Standards of Conduct.
Environmental Stewardship
Contributes to a culture of environmental stewardship, practices resource conservation, and actively works toward achieving long-term sustainability goals.

Seniority Level



  • Non-profit Organization Management
  • Higher Education
  • Education Management

Employment Type


Job Functions

  • Research
  • Analyst
  • Information Technology

CL Mighty Network Testimonials

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.

job: people scientist

at Humu Mountain View, CA (Humu HQ)

Are you interested in championing a product that makes work better? The science is clear: happier employees are more productive and stay at companies longer—everyone wins!

Who we are

Humu sends intelligent nudges to every person within a company. These small, scientifically-backed suggestions help each person build better habits, work smarter, and connect with their colleagues—and are the most effective way to drive positive change throughout an organization. We are a behavioral change start-up founded by Laszlo Bock, Wayne Crosby, and Dr. Jessie Wisdom, and a growing team with diverse backgrounds and expertise in the People and Product space.

What you’ll get to work on

Humu’s Nudge Engine® deploys thousands of customized nudges—small, personal steps—throughout organizations to empower every employee, manager, team, and leader as a change agent. Over time, our nudges grow increasingly aware of the timing, messaging, and motivational techniques that inspire individual employees towards action.

Where you fit in

We are committed to change the working world for the better by bringing greater meaning and happiness into everyone’s working lives, everywhere. We are passionate about our mission, and excited to grow our school of fish with people who want to do the same – and people who will bring in their different perspectives to help us continue to shape our team and product. If this is you, we encourage you swim into our candidate pool!

The details

Role and responsibilities:

  • As a member of the People Science team, you will ensure that Humu is built upon solid science and research
  • You’ll use research and data to derive insights and drive behavior change within organizations
  • You’ll partner with Humu’s clients to deploy the product and ensure success alongside partners in Sales, Customer Success, and Product & Engineering


  • Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) in a field that uses analytics to understand human behavior (e.g., Organizational Behavior, Social/Personality Psychology, Behavioral Economics, Industrial/Organizational Psychology)
  • Passion for applying social science research to solve real-world organizational challenges
  • Experience analyzing data from surveys and experimental research in a business or academic context (applied experience is a plus, but not required)
  • Demonstrated knowledge of statistics and statistical software (e.g., R, SPSS, Stata)
  • Strong communication skills with a growth and learning mindset
  • Ability to translate data into insights for a non-technical audience
  • Ability to navigate ambiguity and solve problems in a fast-paced environment
  • Experience in text and/or social network analytics is a plus, but not required

Career Camp Testimonials

Testimonials key on a white keyboard

I have no doubt that the work we did at Career Camp helped me to get some clarity regarding what I wanted to do in this post-teaching phase of my career, and your advice about interviews and cover letter writing was also invaluable. There were a lot of stages in this hiring process (seven stages in total, a combination of work tests and interviews), and I found myself telling plenty of stories in the interviews. Having done much of the groundwork around the campfire, I felt well prepared for the process. Thanks for helping me get to that place!

-participant in summer 2017 career camp

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 betatester

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 betatester