Recruiting Your Superiors: Thoughts on Advancing in the Field

II’ve written a post for AASLH about actively inviting mentors and advisors into your life in order to grow in your field and career. You can read the introduction to the post below, and peruse the entire piece on the AASLH blog. Incidentally, I finished my final training session to become a mentor through the YMCA Reach & Rise program shortly after writing the article. I’m excited to continue seeking out experience professionals’ career advice as I try to be a dependable resource for a young person navigating their pre-teen years.

Earlier this week, I participated in the #AASLHchat on “Issues Facing Emerging Professionals”. Contributors shared so many good ideas, and you can see them all in the Storify.

But one question in particular really resonated with me: “How do you identify which skills you need the most?”

I think other participants in the chat hit the nail on the head when they suggested reaching out to experienced history/museum professionals and finding temporary or permanent mentors.

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As a formerly shy person, I spent most of my undergraduate and graduate years afraid to ask for help, guidance, or mentoring. I’d devote myself to any homework assignments or readings, trying to learn as much as I could, but limited my own opportunities for growth and career development by avoiding proactive relationships with more experience academics and professionals in my field.

I wish I could say I’ve mastered this skill since then, but I’ve still got a lot of room for improvement. Still, I thought I’d share what I’ve been learning about seeking guidance from both a popular young podcaster and a close friend of mine.

Read the rest of the post HERE

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