Monday, 20 June 2011

jobs (& other opportunities) in design history

In 2011 I spoke at the Postgraduate Design History symposium at the University of Brighton about finding work and professional development opportunities for design historians. I collected together some website addresses and other useful information and advice given by colleagues...

Jobs, career development and PhD opportunities University of Leicester Museum jobs site updated every Thursday A few jobs available on the Museums Association website Information about careers in archives Museum & archive jobs updated throughout the week - official careers site for postgraduates. It may be useful for giving some focus on where you want to be heading in the future. is another good website giving jobs in the academic sector: teaching, research and administration. You can get weekly job updates arrive on a Sunday and which relate to your areas of interest. Sarah Shinton is an independent consultant in Career Development for Postgraduate researchers. She has very useful website with encouraging advice, researcher profiles, case studies, information about careers within and outside academia and many other excellent links. is the UK organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff in higher education institutions and research institutes. It also has information on career opportunities outside Higher Education. - Careers Research Advisory Centre's programme of events for Undergraduates. Some useful links for post graduates. an upbeat American website with ideas of Humanities career paths outside academia. Gives advice about how to adapt skills gained in a Humanities degree to a career outside University, what businesses are looking for. Based in Washington, D.C., The Chronicle has an extensive list of articles and pages on academic and non-academic careers mainly from Humanities. - The National Postgraduate Committee is made up of postgraduate student representatives from educational institutions with postgraduate students. The NPC aims to promote the interests of postgraduates studying in the UK, while remaining politically non-aligned. Offers useful links and resources. - web resources for Humanities PhDs hosted by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in the USA. Has advice, lists of employers, job banks, discussion lists for Humanities PhDs.
PhD funding The Arts and Humanities Research Council [AHRC] – PhD funding
* Be sure you're not missing out. If there's funding available, apply for it, even if it's competitive. If everyone thought that they had no chance of getting the cash, nobody would get any money at all.
* Explore all possible avenues at your institution. There may be a research assistantship you can apply for, which will give you money and a fee-waiver in return for taking on academic responsibilities.
* Look into scholarships and bursaries from charities and trusts; often they're specific to a particular area of study, so you won't necessarily be competing against hundreds of others.
* Do not treat the advice you receive from other academics or your institution as infallible. Do your own research and telephoning to be absolutely sure that you are making applications to the correct places.

Networking: The key to a successful career!

(Tips taken from The Telegraph website)

Advertised jobs only constitute a small proportion of the total number of job vacancies. In fact, if you ask most people how they initially heard about their last job, very few would say they answered an advert. Most would say they heard about the job from someone they knew.

Networking can’t (and shouldn’t) replace talent. But if you network actively, you have a far greater chance of having your talent recognised. Judith Perle, who has just published a book called 'The Network Effect', gives her top tips on networking effectively to find a new job, make a career change or get promoted.

1. Make time to network
Don’t network only when you’re in a fix – make networking a habit to build a rich and diverse resource you can call on when in need.
2. Understand that giving is better (and often more effective) than getting
One sided relationships where they give and you take eventually turn sour. Flip the coin and find things you can give – information, an introduction, a quick phone call – that’s easy (for you) yet valuable (to them).
3. Connect people
Make a point of introducing people in your network who have shared interests. The more you are known as someone who knows interesting people, the more people will want to be linked to you, and the more effective your network becomes.
4. Value your acquaintances and friends
Friends often don’t have access to new information. So don’t disregard ‘mere’ acquaintances who can often point out opportunities that you hadn’t heard about on the grapevine.
5. Appreciate the iceberg
Most people’s networks are largely invisible to all but their closest friends. Remove your blinkers and connect with lots of different people. You can never, ever predict who knows who, and who will be able to introduce you to someone who could move your career in a new direction.
6. Build rapport
If someone doesn’t warm to you, they’re unlikely to help, even when asked. So build rapport with your contacts – by listening, seeking common ground, and helping out where possible.
7. Nurture your network
Even the most superficial relationships are based on trust, and that takes time to build. So make an effort to stay in touch, and strengthen the tie.
8. Network internally
Don’t stay stuck behind your desk, working away diligently but anonymously. Make a point of chatting to people internally – in the lift, at the water cooler – so that when your name comes up, you’ll always have an advocate.
9. Raise your profile
Blow your own trumpet, gently! Attend professional meetings, lectures and conferences, and get involved where you can. That way, people are more likely to think of you when an opportunity arises.
10. Practice makes perfect
If you find aren’t comfortable chatting to strangers, practice in an unthreatening environment: at the post office, in the supermarket check-out queue. After a while, you’ll be able to start a conversation with almost anybody, anywhere
Join a society The Design History Society is the leading national organisation that promotes the study of design history, and brings together and supports all those engaged in the subject - students, researchers, educators, designers, designer-makers, critics and curators. The Society aims to play an important role in shaping an inclusive design history. The Costume Society promotes the study of clothing and textiles: The society aims to encourage access to costume history, including contemporary dress in wide-ranging and object-based ways. Members include academics, collectors, curators, designers, re-enactors, students and informed enthusiasts across the world.
Tailor your CV for each job application
The bestselling CV writing book on Amazon is You're Hired! CV: How to write a brilliant CV by Corinne Mills (Paperback - 15 Jan 2009)
Make your CV stand out - some tips from The Telegraph website
Date: 09/06/2011
1) Maximise readability
It is essential for your CV to be easy for the reader to scan quickly and effectively. You need to separate different sections and insert clear section headings. Avoid long paragraphs; use bullet pointing to break up text into more manageable ‘bite-size’ chunks. It should be eye-catching and uncluttered. Check vigilantly for spelling and grammatical errors.
2) Include a Professional Profile and an Objective
These sections should summarise and emphasise your key attributes and your intended future career path. They should each only be a few lines in length but they must spark the reader’s interest. If you can’t successfully ‘pitch’ yourself in under ten lines then you risk losing the reader’s attention.
3) Include achievements where possible
If you can include an Achievements section then it can make an instant and dramatic difference to the power of your CV, enabling you to distinguish yourself from other candidates.
4) Keep your CV concise and to-the-point
Your CV should be informative – but also concise. In general, two A4 pages is a maximum.
5) Target/Tailor your CV
Greater success can always be achieved by tailoring your CV according to the needs of the specific role to which you are applying. It stands to reason that every job and every organisation are different, and every CV should therefore also be subtly different.
Propose an exhibition
Guidelines for Worthing Museum available online in the ‘how to apply for an exhibition’ section or contact the museum team,
‘Artists and crafts people should include details of the concept, and medium and consideration of the potential audience. We prefer exhibition proposals to have a definite theme. Previous historical exhibitions have considered the history of funerals, childhood, 18th and 19th Century costume, and archaeology’
Worthing has over 30,000 dress related objects in their collection!
Get published
Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research is an open access e-journal that seeks to be a forum for contemporary, cutting edge cultural research from a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas. We also welcome new article manuscripts in all areas of cultural research, as well as proposals for future theme sections. Fashion Theory is one 17 titles published by Berg, each title has a link with information for contributors, other titles include Textile, The Design Journal, Food, Culture and Society and Photography and Culture. Selvedge magazine, a non- academic textiles publication. Rates of pay -
Shorts –one page short articles-350 words, £10 per 100 words
Feature articles- maximum word count 2,500, £10 per 100 words
Book review – book can be kept as payment
Exhibition review – pay travelling expenses and receipts Costume – bi-annual publication for members of The Costume Society. Costume is a scholarly, refereed, academic publication presenting current research into contemporary and historic dress. The journal publishes articles that are primarily object-based, from a broad chronological period and with a worldwide remit; it maintains a balance between practice and theory and concentrates on the social significance of dress.
The journal also includes book and exhibition reviews and listings of new books and articles published during the year – all of which seek to reflect a diverse range of new material on subject. The Editors invite submissions of original manuscripts of between 4,000 and 9,000 words inclusive of endnotes. are always keen to hear from anyone interested in writing for us. In the first instance send a copy of your CV to the Web Editor, Richard Moss at
Suzanne Rowland 17th June 2011

1 comment:

  1. This is a really useful guide for early career academics