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A C AREER IN P RACTICE F IRST S TEPS FOR A NTHROPOLOGISTS Riall W. Nolan Purdue University February 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "A C AREER IN P RACTICE F IRST S TEPS FOR A NTHROPOLOGISTS Riall W. Nolan Purdue University February 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 A C AREER IN P RACTICE F IRST S TEPS FOR A NTHROPOLOGISTS Riall W. Nolan Purdue University February 2014

2 W HY T HIS W EBINAR ? There are more opportunities for anthropologist practitioners than ever before. Practice is the largest and fastest-growing sector of anthropology, and demand is increasing. At the same time, training in anthropology does not usually emphasize the practice option As a result, some of our best anthropologists are not well prepared for the demands of practice.

3 H OW O UR D ISCIPLINE IS S TRUCTURED Inside the UniversityOutside the University Applied Anthropologists Practicing Anthropologists Academic Anthropologists

4  It isn’t just what you know, it’s what you can do with what you know  Commitment to, and acceptance of, social science as a mechanism for change and improvement  Orientation toward client problems and opportunities  Willingness and ability to work with diverse others toward solutions P RACTITIONERS T HINK A L ITTLE D IFFERENTLY FROM A CADEMICS

5 H OW P RACTICE IS S TRUCTURED Main Practice Options or Bases Freelancer Business Head Private-sector employee Public-sector employee Non-profit employee University Employee

6 K EY C HARACTERISTICS OF P RACTICE Orientation to change and improvement Primarily client-focused Collaboration with others New learning/new specializations More than just research Work inside organizations Work as a series of projects Significant problems, real consequences Responsibility for results

7 R ESULTS M EANS “G ETTING T HINGS D ONE ” Solving problems Producing results Getting along with people Helping them to get along with each other Generating and using resources efficiently Finding new and better ways to do things

8 T HREE S IMPLE S TEPS T O G ETTING H IRED 1. Get on the List 2. Stay on the List 3. Get Chosen Visioning Networking Info. Interviewing SWOT Analysis Portfolio Prep. More Networking More Info. Interviewing Interviewing Negotiating

9 Sector Setting Function Base S TARTING P OINTS : Y OUR C AREER V ISION What general area do you want to work in? Where do you want to be located? What do you see yourself doing? Who are you working for? What type of organization is it? Your Values What things do you feel strongly about? How do you strive to live? What do you respect in others? Your Interests What do you like to do? What do you already know a lot about? What would you like to know more about? Your Skills What can you do that is useful in several different areas? What things do you think you’re particularly good at doing?

10 C OMPONENTS OF A P RACTITIONER ’ S J OB Base: Government Corporate Non-Profit Freelance/Sole proprietorship Small business University Sector: Social services Public administration Agriculture Environment Int’l development Manufacturing Education Marketing Planning Function: Management Production/implementation Design Evaluation/assessment Data collection/analysis Needs assessment Advocacy Policy formulation

11 A NTHROPOLOGICAL S KILLS IN THE J OB Q UEST You know how to quickly find relevant data and extract its significance. You can pick up the salient points of “local culture” in a setting or organization. You are not daunted by difference. Instead, you’re curious about it. You are skilled at asking good questions. You are comfortable with ambiguity. You can modify your frameworks as you learn. You’re not just interested in answers. You’re also interested in what the questions are.

12 N ETWORKING T O I DENTIFY O PPORTUNITIES Networking provides connections, information, advice, and access:  Introduces you to role models and mentors  Provides guidance as you search for organizations and opportunities  Allows you to safely test your assumptions and expectations against reality  Can provide an entrée into specific agencies

13 A NTHROPOLOGICAL M ETHODS Y OU ’ LL FIND U SEFUL IN THE J OB H UNT Domain Analysis: figuring out how grad programs are defined, structured, and arranged, and identifying the values and concepts which drive them. Informational Interviewing: figuring out what the right questions to ask are, and how to ask them. And then figuring out what the answers mean. Life Histories: looking at the “career arcs” of students in the program, and afterwards.

14 R ESEARCHING O RGANIZATIONS T HROUGH I NFORMATIONAL I NTERVIEWING What does this organization do and how does it do it? What are working conditions like here? What qualifications do you need to work here? How do they make hiring decisions?

15 D OING A SWOT S CAN INTERNAL FACTORS EXTERNAL FACTORS Threats Opportunities StrengthsWeaknesses Comparative Advantage Investment/ Divestment Damage Control Mobilization

16 P UTTING T OGETHER Y OUR R ESUME A resume is not a CV It is a brief account of your skills and accomplishments It has only one purpose: to get you an interview It is not about you: it is about you in relation to someone else and their needs

17 C REATING Y OUR R ESUME  The best predictor of future performance is past performance  Therefore, stress what you have accomplished, not just what you know  Of particular value: –Presentation and communication skills –Project and team management experience –Creative leadership and problem-solving –A range of research skills –The ability to “get things done”

18 I NTERVIEWS : W HAT T HEY W ILL A SK Y OU Why are you here? What do you bring? What are you like? What will it cost us? Why did you come to us specifically? What are you seeking from us? What do you already know about us? What makes you stand out? What are your key strengths, and how do these relate to what we do and what we need? What’s it going to be like to work with you? How will you fit in with who’s already here? Is there anything about you we need to know? Apart from the money, what else will we need to provide, or change, if we bring you on board? Do you have particular needs or preferences?

19 E XPLAINING Y OURSELF IN THE I NTERVIEW Pick 3-6 of your best accomplishments. Include difficult or “challenging” situations. For each: –Outline the problem, tasks, issues or opportunities –Describe your strategy or approach –Explain the skills and abilities you used –Emphasize the anthropology in what you did –Describe the outcomes you achieved Your actions are central to the story, but be sure to acknowledge the work of others. Connect your examples to your listeners’ needs.

20 W HAT D O A NTHROPOLOGISTS C ONTRIBUTE ? Social knowledge – we put culture into the picture Contextualization and integration– we look further, for broader connections Synergy – we work well with other disciplines: e.g., engineering, medicine Versatility -- we don’t just do “research” – we plan, design, and manage. Innovative -- we often find things that others miss. Social -- we are very good at working with people.

21 F URTHER R ESOURCES AAA Career Center: and CoPAPIA Report Nolan, Anthropology in Practice Nolan (ed), Handbook of Practicing Anthropology Briller Kedia, Domains of Practice etc


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