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ARCHIVES-NRA  October 2010

ARCHIVES-NRA October 2010

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Subject:

Employment 'debate'

From:

Stephen Clarke <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Stephen Clarke <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 08:47:15 +1300

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (120 lines)

Hi all

I guess the only thing left to 'debate' is whether you went to Public School, Oxbridge or the Old School Tie your father wore. Of course these considerations would never impact on your employment prospects, we are a meritoractic, egalitarian society now; therefore things like gender, race, connections and background would never colour a potential employers' decision ;o)

Stephen

  
-----Original Message-----
From: Brass Paperclip <[log in to unmask]>
To:  <[log in to unmask]>
To: Brass Paperclip <[log in to unmask]>

Sent: 21/10/2010 6:17:19 a.m.
Subject: Re: Male spanner in the works re the job market debate



Okay, so I was going to sit on my hands and hope that this discussion  would 
fade out but seriously. . . Snarkiness, sniping, and now  gender bias? Really? 


People who go on to do post-graduate work  in  Archival Studies do so of their 
own volition. We all go through the  same expereince of looking for work, 
selling our qualifications (and to  an extent ourselves) and working our way up 
the ladder. It can be  wearying, frustrating, and full of heartache looking for 
work.  And ooh, do you really want to pity be pitied as the poor males in the 
profession because they find themselves up against more women than men?  Poor 
men in archives, so sad for you to have one of few fields where you're 
out-numbered. Of course, not getting a job has nothing to do with one's personal 
demeanor, one's ability to sell themselvs or to self-promote.   Rejection is 
hard, no one likes having to queue up at the Job Centre, and yes, it does chafe 
a bit when experience does not win out over the next ingenue but that is how it 
goes. There are so many metaphors to mix and so many cliches I could type in 
response to a huge amount of the whinging and sniveling I've heard on this list 
of late. 


I  can only speak for myself about why I became an archivist (I'm nosy, am  
addicted that smell of dust and acid-free boxes, knew from experience  that 
neither a corporate life or military career were for me) but I  certainly knew 
enough about the profession I was going into to know that  the pay wouldn't 
always be great, the commutes to some jobs would be  worse  than others, and 
that there might not even be a job straight away after  finishing my course.   
But I also know that is true of a great many  professions and that our 
profession is far from unique in that respect.   I have chosen to make the 
compromises necessary to do so in my  professional and personal life and can 
only speak for and of my own  experiences as an archivist.  Yes, there appear to 
be a rise in the number of people  studying in the profession and yes, that 
means there is going to be more  competition for the work that is out there.  
But no more so than in  more conventional sectors. And yes, we're in the middle 
of a recession.  And yes, the belts will have to be worn a bit tighter this year 
for  those of us who are currently out of work or are looking to move into  (or 
even break into the profession). But, I have to agree with Rachel Hardiman: 
after years of having too few of us in the profession, if we have to go through 
a few years of waiting for even ground, then so be it. 


Last time I checked, people  go into the profession AFTER completeing a first 
degree and know  full-well what they are getting into. And if they don't know 
full well,  the information is there  for them to do the research. They choose 
to apply to the course (one  assumes, knowing what the job market looks like) 
and they choose to  spend the money on pursuing their chosen vocation. The 
profession makes  no promises about there being space at table and nor should 
it. 


Respectfully
Brass Paperclip


________________________________
From: Alan Davies <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wed, 20 October, 2010 17:09:05
Subject: Male spanner in the works re the job market debate

Hello fellow disillusioned qualfied archivists (especially males),
 
Considering 70% of archivists are now women;
 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/nov/21/archivist-career-by-numbers
 
the inbalance between the bums on seats production line of archivists,  
with declining chances of a job afterwards looks even more bleak for us  poor 
males!
 
After working as a museum curator for fifteen years, then six years in  charge 
of a local authority archive and deciding to have a change for a  year or so 
(three years ago) I have not been able to get back into the  profession. I had 
studied by distance learning at Liverpool. 

 
I have had five interviews, and in all the posts women were appointed,  
including one fresh off the archives course with no experience.
 
All I can say is that there are going to be a lot of back injuries in the  world 
of archives in future if male archivists decline in numbers. We do have  our 
uses!
Grim Up NorthContact the list owner for assistance at 
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