Monday, May 2, 2011
|My first staff photo for FPAN. Yes folks, that's me digging in my pajamas. Read below to find out why....|
|Meeting Chuck Meide on my first visit to the St. Augustine Lighthouse.|
I remember in my interview at the point where the job candidate is asked if they now have any questions (interview tip #1- ALWAYS ask questions!) I asked: what do you see as being the day to day tasks of someone in this position? The hiring committee surprised me only in having a singular answer. They didn't know. Besides the Coordinating Center, this would be the first charter center. FPAN was so new on paper, it had yet to be determined (even today, I may add) what the Network would look like flushed out and in 3D.
|Speaking of idols, Kathy Deagan on the right.|
|One of my all time favorite photos- map has 1976 start date up top!|
|First day I met many of my favorite people- Toni Wallace and Nick McAuliffe.|
The second amazing morning came on the final day. I went downstairs in the Hampton Inn to get some breakfast bright and early and bumped into the hiring committee in the lobby. I stopped dead in my tracks, shocked to see the deliberation happening right beneath my room. Second shock of the morning came when I backtracked and headed out the exit only to find the three other candidates pool-side, all surprised at the reception and all unsure where we were supposed to be.
What followed was a candid, earnest discussion with rhetorical questions: what the heck is FPAN? What would this job require? Did we even want the job? Truth is we were all curious, all using the interview as an opportunity to learn about the Network and the future direction of public archaeology, for Florida at least.
I'm really honored to have been chosen, but unlike other interviews of the past, I have the weight of knowing the competition and for carrying those rhetorical questions on daily. I want to go back five years ago and bring some answers. FPAN is a dynamic organization with the answers always in flux. That's part of what I love about it, and part of what can burn me out. To work for FPAN means you truly never know what you'll be doing tomorrow. It will require every skill you have and especially those you never knew would serve your archaeological career (singing, knitting, work study at the Cornell College development office, Admin Assistant for University of Iowa Division of Infectious Diseases...). And do I still want the job?
And the best part? I get to keep up with my Idol friends. I see Norma at least twice a year for FPAN Board of Directors meetings, plus SEAC and FAS conferences. Similarly, I see Andrea at FAS meetings and have followed her work in New Orleans. Maureen I see at conferences, in fact she was an organizer in Austin for SHA and SAA. Both times she was generous with her time between meetings and it was fun to catch up with families and future directions of underwater archaeology.
Other interview tips:
Do your research!
Know the place, the institution, latest events, key sites and resources, potential partners. Lay out the work plan for your first month.
Leave them with something they didn't expect.
For my interview I gave the committee CDs with project examples burned for them to review. Did anyone even pop it in a computer? I would bet not, but they certainly weren't expecting it.
Practice interview questions, practice your job talk. I was telling Kathy Deagan I practiced my job talk in front of my family at Easter. She couldn't believe I had it done before I flew down, let alone time to practice.
Pick a strong theme for your talk.
Thanks to NAI I know better now how to phrase this- people remember themes, not facts. The theme of my talk was: Public archaeologists can collaborate with communities to bring about positive social change. I spoke mostly from the hip, but my conclusion I read with emphasis.
Have fun and network!
Something I learned from my dad was that no matter what, any interview is good experience, and the people you meet could lead you to your next job. I see Norma, Andrea, and Maureen at least once a year and keep in touch. I have no doubt the day will come when I need a job from one of them, that's just the way archaeology works.
So here's to an amazing five years, and truly looking forward to the next five (at least!).
From the archives:
|Home Sweet Home.|
|BTW, no pressure giving a job talk in the opulent Flagler Room! Photo 2011|
|First Advisory Board Meeting! June 2006. John Whitehurst, Sam Turner, me with Trever in the belly, Dot Moore, Kathy Fleming, Carl Halbirt, and Dana Ste. Claire.|
April 17, 2006 St. Augustine Record article covering the public talks.
Text credit: Sarah Miller
Photo credit: Maureen Brown