For my final assignment in my Career Counseling class, I was to interview a person in a field that I would eventually pursue. Since I have no intention of actively pursuing a career at this time, I thought I would just pull random information from the internet, as well as outta my ass, to complete the assignment. But a week before it was due, I had a brilliant idea.
At knutaf's pad during PAX last year, I remembered hearing Occams talk about his occupation as an "exhibits receiver" of sorts at a museum. I'd never really considered that field of work, but I figured this would be as good as any other way to get to know the guy better. And since you all already know and love him from his hypnotizing blogs as THE collector of wayward trinkets, lost souls, and geek memorabilia, I thought it wouldn't hurt to share this insight into to the daily life of Hugh - SCP Archivist candidate of the year:
What activities, duties and work do you do every day?
I ensure the safety of the incoming art exhibits for an art gallery. I update and add to the digital catalog for the permanent art collection. I keep Lo Pan and his minions from taking over Chinatown.
2. How were you trained for this career?
I received my Master’s in Library Science with a focus on Archives. This gave me the educational foundation in which to perform my duties competently and continue learning on the job. I also killed the Shadow Queen and proved my strength in order to wield the Burning Blade.
3. What is the salary range for people in your line of work?
33,000 entry level up to 65,000
4. What are some of the fringe benefits you enjoy?
I have an office to myself which allows me peace and quiet. Working for a university, I get mandatory holidays such as Labor Day and Memorial Day. I also have access to the Demon Archives.
5. What are the positive aspects of your work?
Working with art and artists. Bringing in new exhibits to show the public. Continuing to learn and grow as a museum and gallery professional. Finding out the myth of Voltron was real and that I was the Blue Lion pilot.
6. What are the negative aspects of your work?
Working with artists who can, at times, not be on a schedule you wish them to in terms of getting art and paperwork back to you. Difficulty in acquiring traveling exhibits that contain controversial subject matter due to the sensitivity of groups on campus. The fact that all the water fountains on campus only seem to have room temperature Sunny Delight.
7. What are some of the major trends you see in this career field? What predictions can you make about this field in the next five to ten years?
Everything is heading in the digital direction. Analogue cataloging, that is notebooks, print out, etc is becoming less and less common and maintaining solely digital archives is becoming the norm. I see the use of tablet computers, especially for on-site condition reporting of works becoming much more common place. Museum professionals to get those crazy typing hands from Ghost in the Shell.
8. Is there a lot of competition to get into this field?
There is. Lots of graduates in the museum professional field, especially in the Northeast. Not that many jobs, especially with the education cutbacks due to the economic downturn. I suggest we implement a Thunderdome arena system for job applicants.
9. What are the strongest skills a person must have to do well in this career?
Attention to detail. Patience. Aesthetic sense, that is, to be able to design an exhibit. Computer knowledge for cataloging data. Level 80 Tauran Shaman.
10. What personality traits do the most successful people in this career have?
They notice small details. Have logic-driven minds. Meticulous. Patient. Quiet. Pyrokinesis.
11. In what other fields can a person with your training go?
Cataloging, Registrar, curatorial assistant, basically any field in museum studies or archives. Religious sock puppet theatre.
12. If you had it to choose all over again, would you still enter this field? Why or why not?
I would. I enjoy the work that I do. It allows me to create something tangible and enjoyable with new exhibits and at the same time preserve the legacy and history of the LSU Student Union Art Gallery with their archives and the permanent art collection. Plus, since “Ghostbuster” isn’t a real job (yet) I will settle for my second choice.
13. What is your next career move?
To continue learning and growing in my current position until a time in which I could move into a museum or educational institution dealing with sequential comic and comic book art. That is my dream goal. Also, will probably invent some new kind of sandwich. Something with bacon and mushroom but it hovers in the air.
14. Where can I get more information about your career?
You could try the website for the American Society of Archivists (http://www2.archivists.org/
) That is the premier archival organization in the United States. Also, http://www.museumprofessionals.org/
is a type of hub for museum professionals to discuss their field. Great place to network as well as look at current job listings.
15. What advice can you give someone who is trying to choose a career?
Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. What do you enjoy doing and how can you turn that into something you could make a living out of? You may love art but not have the ability to create art. There are still a variety of fields you can go into. My stick figures look like cooked spaghetti but I am still able to make a living working with art and exhibitions.
Network. No one is going to ask who you are. Introduce yourself. Attend conferences when you can. Shake hands. People remember it when you put yourself out there. If you are having trouble finding a job in the field you desire, do volunteer work or something to show potential employers that you are keeping up to date in the field and have a vested interest even if you are paying the bills doing something else. Lastly, if nothing else, you can write potential careers on a dart board, put on a blind fold and throw a dart. It worked for Einstein.
Eternal thanks once again to Occams for the lovely read and inspiration, and to the Destructoid community for housing such remarkable specimens. I like to think the world is a better place with you all there, fighting crime with boners 'n shit.