>> NAZIA: Welcome. I am Nazia Hussain. I
am a brown-skinned, female with black hair. I am sitting in a room with a window to my
right. Welcome to Deep Hanging Out…Digitally: Social Media Strategies for the Contemporary Job
Market. Webinar outline is here. The presenters we have today are Ingrid Ramón Parra, the
founder of PowerofAnthro.om. We also have Adam Gamwell, co-founder of Missing Link
Studios and host of This Anthro Life podcast. Next slide, please.
This is a webinar series "Acquiring New Skills for your Job Search – A Three-Part Webinar Series."
Next slide, please. As you can see, sorry. Go back one, please. Thank you.
As you can see, this is part 3, the final of this Career
Webinar Series. Deep Hanging Out…Digitally. On this slide, you can see that there were two
other webinars that were presented this month, on September 10 and September 17.
These are now available online at the AAA website.
Next slide, please.
I will review some webinar logistics. We are using a number of features to
make this webinar accessible to everyone. We are providing closed captioning. The icon is
at the bottom of your screen. Presenters will be providing visual descriptions of themselves as I
just did and the slides they will be going over. A reminder to the presenters to please announce
themselves before they speak. Please turn off your video and microphone unless you are speaking.
Open and use the chat function also at the bottom of your screen. Please write the word question
if you have a question. I also encourage everyone on the webinar to go ahead and answer any
questions that gets posed and/or offer resources. By Tuesday of next week, you can visit
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slide decks; three, resources; and four, answers to the chat question and answers.
Should you have any questions or concerns during the webinar, please notify
Nell, our accessibilities coordinator, through the CHAT room.
A shout out also to
my co-coordinator, Elizabeth Bradley, who helped organize and help coordinate this webinar.
Thanks also goes to the members of the AAA staff who are supporting these career webinars: Scott
Hall, Nell, Gabby Dunkley, Daniel Ginsberg, Shawn Ifill, Jeff Martin, and Ed Liebow.
Next slide, please. This is my visual description. I am Nazia
Hussain. My pronouns are she and her. I am a brown-skinned female with black hair. I am
sitting in a room with a window to my right. Next slide, please.
So here we are, with Deep Hanging Out…Digitally: Social Media
Strategies for the Contemporary Job Market. Our presenters will guide us on how and
why digital and social media engagement is vital to the modern-day job seeker and how
you can utilize anthropological tools to make your next career move.
Next slide, please. This slide shows the webinar outline that you may
have seen displayed on your screens, if you joined the webinar before we started.
will be speaking for a total of about 25 minutes or less. During the presentation, please
open and use the chat to ask your questions. After the presentation, we will do our best to
answer as many of the chat questions as possible. For those questions that remain unanswered, we
will respond to them and post the questions on the AAA website under the September 24th
webinar. We hope you enjoy today's discussion. I now turn the webinar over
to Ingrid Ramón Parra and Adam Gamwell. Next slide, please.
>> INGRID: Welcome, everyone. I'm Ingrid Ramón Parra. This is my
visual description. I am a Latina with short, dark hair, and today I am at my home office, and there
is a yellow wall behind me. Next slide, please. [siren in background]
>> ADAM: And hey, everyone.
My name is Dr. Adam Gamwell. I
am a white male with a shaved head in my mid 30s, and I am sitting also in my home office with
bookshelves behind me. Next slide, please. >> [honking and sirens in background]
>> INGRID: This is Ingrid speaking again and introducing our webinar here. So
I apologize for any background noises. There's an ambulance sounding behind me. Um,
so today, we really want to share with you, Adam and I, an approach that
was really successful for us, as people recently on the job market, and really,
it's an approach, a very anthropological approach, to being successful on the job market, and
there's a couple of reasons why we believe this works, and the first really is recognizing
that academic job market and the non-academic job market have different approaches.
those of us really invested in academia, the job market feels very familiar, and it can
feel very linear. But non-academic job market is opposite of that. It's very highly variable.
It encompasses a lot of different fields, and because of that, it can feel overwhelming,
and for some of us, it can feel unfamiliar. We believe that candidates should update
their strategies to reflect the contemporary job market.
Strategies that worked five or ten
years ago may not be as successful today, and part of that is because engaging with digital
platforms is really required for success. At minimum, you have to — you look for positions
online and apply through a digital platform. But really, what Adam and I want
to suggest is that you should do more than that, and engage digitally
in a more meaningful and strategic way. We believe that thinking of social media as a
landscape that's very dynamic and full of cultural spaces really facilitates an anthropological
approach, and we believe that in of itself is a really effective job market strategy.
Next slide, please. And in doing so, we've highlight distinct
benefits of this approach.
The first one is that you learn to articulate your value through an
increased awareness of how to make your expertise understood across different fields. Often times,
those of us who have a lot of academic experience, we don't know how to translate this experience
to other people and how to translate our value, and inversely, other people may not
understand our experience. So really, it is on us to be able to explain how we add
value to different organizations or institutions. We believe that you also become informed about
what positions are better suited for your skill set, and what positions you're excited about and
can see yourself doing or wanting, and in doing so, we believe you'll get greater empowerment
and confidence about your professional identity, about the — your professional possibilities
and feel more empowered and have more agency around your professional future.
Next slide, please. >> ADAM: All right, hey, and this is Adam jumping
So this slide is titled, "Getting Started with Social Media," and so kind of what Ingrid was
pointing out is that if you're looking for a job that is not on the academic track, that things
can feel quite nonlinear, and one of the ways and strategies that we found that has been helpful
for us in terms of putting ourselves out there and building a sense of who we are professionally
and letting people see the work that we're doing has been through social media, and when you
think of social media, obviously, we may think of platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and
that is — that is what we're talking about. But one of the things about these platforms
is that often times we may think about, "I use Facebook to post photos of my family or
my kids or hanging out with my friends.
I don't think about it in a professional sense," and you
may look at Twitter and think about these short little tweets that are 240 characters and really,
how useful can that be in terms of finding work? But what we want to point
out is that there actually is a huge amount of value in using
social media as part of your strategy, and one way that we want to encourage you to think
about social media is rather than thinking about them as strictly platforms, you might think about
them as content that you and others are creating. And so, there is Facebook.
There is Twitter.
There is LinkedIn. There is Instagram. But when you think about these from a content perspective,
it's a question of, "What are the kinds of things, ideas, words, you know, what are the kinds of
ideas and words that people want to put out? What ideas they want to share?"
And from this perspective, then, you can think less about what platform should I
be on? Do I need to be on all of them? Cause that obviously can feel quite overwhelming since
there are a lot of social media platforms, right? TikTok is probably the newer one
that people are thinking about, right? But the idea with this in terms of content is
you can think about seeking quality content that's really going to help you understand and
engage with pertinent topics and thought leaders in the job fields that you want to enter, and so
we'll talk about strategies in case that sounds confusing in terms of if you're not sure what
field you want to enter or who you should be listening to or reading about, but thinking about
just what kind of content draws you in.
So again, getting started with social media at this high
level is about seeking quality content that helps you understand what kind of work is out
there. What is the work that people are doing? And as I mentioned a little bit before, you can
engage strategically with social media. The idea is you do not have to engage with every single
platform. You don't have to be posting on Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and Instagram because
that is overwhelming. We would agree with you there. So the idea is to kind of build a sense of
strategy about what it is that's going to get you around the kind of content that's going to help
you understand the field you want to get into. Next slide, please.
So, and this slide is titled, "Creating a Job Strategy," and so what we can do here is start
identifying the kinds of work that you would like to do.
For example, if you love doing research,
which many of us as anthropologists enjoy, that's what our training is in for the most part,
do you want to work in design? Are you interested in the visual fields, such as graphic design
or maybe even video production? You know, are you drawn to YouTube videos or Netflix content,
for example? Are you interested in management, or administration is another thing to think
about. A lot of anthropologists will go into higher ed administration, for example. Or these
kind of skills can be translated elsewhere, too. So the plan is to just begin identifying the
kinds of work that you're interested in. You don't have to nail it down to one thing but
thinking about these broad categories. Again, like research, design, or management.
When you think about these fields, you can also then learn about the types of positions that exist
and then use that to look for open positions. A quick spoiler alert: we'll say that LinkedIn
is a great platform and a space of content for finding professional work and professionals trying
to share ideas about their different fields, and so we will say that you can think
about, if you want to see open positions, LinkedIn is a great place to go, but
it is not the only place to look. You also want to understand that fields have
their own sets of meanings and cultural values. One example here is that empathy is
a value in the design fields, and so you're going to see the word empathy used a lot.
You may think of empathy in terms of, you know, caring for somebody else or feeling what it feels
like to be somebody else, you know, feeling what somebody else's experience, for example.
design, they talk about it this way, but it's really used as a method of getting quote/unquote
inside the head of someone that you're designing for, and so, it may not be the exact same idea
or the same definition of the term, but the idea here is that fields themselves will have
their own sets of meanings and cultural values, and so by looking at how people are talking
about their fields and their work on social media will give you a sense of what these sort of
sets of meanings and cultural values are. And then a fourth bullet point about this
"Creating a Job Strategy" is letting other professionals know about you professionally.
This is why social media is so valuable for you as creating content.
You can share a
professional opinion on LinkedIn. You can write a blog post on Medium. You could even
get in a Twitter conversation. The idea is, as Ingrid pointed out before too, that this is
about engaging, and so you want to then put your voice out there, and that can be as simple as
starting to like different tweets or favorite them, like people's posts, as well as then once
you feel you have your sea legs a little bit more, you can then start commenting or adding into
the conversation, too. Uh, next slide, please. And so as we said, this slide is
titled, "Accessing Platforms Based on Content." And so again, we said one way to
think about this is that there are platforms such as, we have these listed in the
slide here: LinkedIn; Twitter; Medium, which is essentially a self-publishing blog
platform; Facebook; Slack groups, which is a chat program that many of you probably know, but
that the interesting thing about Slack is that companies might use it internally but then a lot
of professional or professional interest groups also use Slack, and so if there's people that
are interested in a design field, for example, there's one called "Ethnography Hangout" that we
can share later, too, that's for ethnographers looking for work and trying to talk about latest
ideas in the field.
There are Google Groups, which are kind of like old school forums but
used today, so they're sort of current school, too, I suppose, that are also great ways of seeing
threaded conversations. There's Reddit, which is a long, longstanding internet giant of just
basically user-generated content of people sharing stories, links, ideas, asking questions
of each other of community members on every topic imaginable. So there is a Reddit, subreddit
for anthropology, for cultural anthropology, for design anthropology, for archaeology,
for bioanthropology. You name it. It's there. There's of course podcasting.
small plug for This Anthro Life and other anthro-focused podcasts that are dedicated to
helping people think about careers and that's one of the things that we value, as well as
Instagram, right? Which is a, obviously an image-based platform but a lot of companies are
using Instagram to share media and to get the word out about their work, and so this is another way
just to think about how are companies using it. So the idea is that each social media platform
will feature unique content. Thinking about what kind of content is going to be most useful
for your career goals. So, for example, if you are thinking about design or something in
the visual field, then Instagram is an important content space, cause it's seeing how people
display and share information visually, right? If you are thinking about any kind of other
platform, audio work, for example, or audio-visual media, podcasting can be helpful.
Reddit is useful
for everything, which is actually quite nice, and so now we will go to the next slide,
and I'll turn it back over to Ingrid. >> INGRID: Thank you. This is Ingrid speaking.
So this slide is called, "Start Hanging Out." Deep hanging out, we're going to do it digitally.
The goal here is to learn about the types of positions you might be interested in. So as
Adam said, LinkedIn is really excellent for finding open positions, and when you look through
these, really pay attention to the job title, the types of skills in the description,
and the type of experience that is wanted, and when you do that, you kind of get a couple of
things, and one is you start seeing how certain people differentiate between very similar titles
or how even one title is conceived of differently in different spaces. So you start gaining
— sharpening your eye to the nuance of skills and experience and start thinking about
where you fit in within all of that nuance. Once you do that, we suggest you find other
people that have roles that are similar to your skill set, and again, LinkedIn is really
great for this because it gives you a snapshot, not only of someone's education, which helps
you find people who maybe have done masters or Ph.D.s in their field or tangentially-related
fields, but it also gives you a little bit of a work history and a snapshot of how this person
moved in and out through their experience and where their path is, and it gives you
an idea of how you can potentially also carve your own path or what your own professional
path may be, so LinkedIn is really great for that. Professional websites, there are a lot of people
who have strong professional preferences — not preferences, presences.
A strong professional
presence in personal websites or portfolios, and they share resumes, their materials, points of
views, and this is a really great way to get an in-depth look on how to approach professional
identity, and we suggest you start following content creators that align with your professional
interest and your preferred fields. Again, LinkedIn is becoming increasingly more social,
and we suggest you like and share and kind of read through different — the different postings that
are available there.
Twitter is also really great. It's — what's great about Twitter is that
there's a lot of exchange back and forth. It's very dynamic. So not only do you get a
point of view of the poster, but you also get just the conversational dynamics that happen
through this content, which gives you an opportunity to engage or what I like to do, lurk.
Just read and learn and see what people are talking about and thinking through and what
are points of consensus and points of tension and start learning about the nuances of the fields,
and Medium is also a great one for more in-depth kind of five-minute articles about practice. I
would really suggest to you look at Medium as well for that but also because a lot of
people post job interview strategies for very kind of hard to get positions.
So you also get some of that backstage look on how people approach hiring and finding people
for their teams, and that's been tremendously helpful for me, personally.
Next slide, please. So once you've done that, and you found
people that you're interested in following, we also suggest you find thought leaders
and field experts, and your goal here is to identify professionals that are leaders
and are actively creating content digitally, but also in book form, which I know is one of our
favorite forms as academics, but what we want to do here is find social profiles of people that
have spoken at large, professional conferences in fields that interest you, and really great
place to start is the EPIC Conference.
So go on the EPIC website. Look at current and
past speakers. See where they're going. Find their LinkedIn profiles. Connect
to them, hopefully they accept you, but really start doing that kind
of digital curating and following. The Qualitative Researcher Consultation —
Consultants Association — the QRCA — is also really great for finding people that are
doing qualititive research outside of academia, and you can also find conferences that are very
just broad field based. Let's say you discovered the field of design research, and you're really
excited about it. You can easily Google design research conferences, and so many will come
up, and you can start finding people that way, and what's interesting about the
moment that we're living in now, is that a lot of these conversations are actually
online now, which means you can really start attending a lot of these conferences and get a
sense of the topics and the people that are there. Usually for an affordable or minimal
fee. So we are living in an age where we can experience these types of
conferences in our couch, or on our desk. So once you've kind of looked through the kind
of conferences, circuit, you also want to find industry authors, people who are seen as having an
authority on particular fields or topics.
A few of my favorites are Sam Ladner — she writes a lot on
practical ethnography in business, how to do and sell ethnography outside as part of research
for different companies and organizations. I like Syd Harrell as well. She writes on
practice — being a practicing civic technologist, so she works in the civic sector and at the
intersection of technology. There's many more, so many more, but those are just an example,
so start looking for those folks as well, and of course, find business and practicing
anthropologists through LinkedIn, but here's a great opportunity to actually
harness your in-person network as well. Ask around your department or ask colleagues.
There is always — we always know at least one person who is succeeding out in
industry, so start finding those people and start making those connections.
Next slide, please. And really an important thing about being
successful, as we anthropologists know, is you have to be able to speak the right language
and say the right words, which is the title of this slide here, and what you want to do here
is you want to learn about field-specific terms, issues, sets of meanings, and cultural values
in your field of interest.
As Adam said earlier, empathy, for example, is something that is a
big value in the world of design and research, and recently, we see a new value of delight
coming, so there are new and old values going in and out of all of these fields. So it's important
to know which ones are the ones people are engaging with now. So one, you speak the
way they speak, and two, you don't sound outdated in your experience. You don't want
to bring up something that people said, "Okay, we don't really — the last time anyone has
said that was ten years ago." You want to feel like you have your hand on the pulse of the
different fields that you're interested in. And so, you have to identify the topics that
people are talking about and writing about in your preferred domain of work.
If you see certain topics being engaged with a lot, then it'll signal to you that that's
probably something important for you to know, and importantly, for the platforms,
you should also explore how to maximize the search functions of each platform since
each platform is different, and there are some similarities across functions.
start exploring how to find information. So for example, how hashtags work, any mentions,
the use of filters, suggested connections, really explore the platform and see what
the possibilities are for you to find content and to find people.
So that the goal really is for you to be able to understand and communicate
in a way that other people understand as well. Next slide, please.
>> ADAM: All right. So this is Adam back again. The
title of this slide is "Collecting Data," and so building on what Ingrid is sharing there
about learning the language, one of the ways of doing that is by what we might call collecting
The goal here is to understand how people and organizations are presenting themselves
professionally across various, different fields. What you can do here is collecting
samples of publicly available resumes and portfolios, and if I can,
I'll make a plug for the previous webinar with AAA that Ingrid and I helped out on that was
actually on resumes and portfolios and CVs, and so, if you want, on this — on the AAA website
where we have these webinars, you can actually see examples of our former resumes and portfolios.
So there's one way to find them, but other people have these listed, too. You may find them on
their websites that could be linked from their Twitter profiles or from LinkedIn is obviously a
good place to see job experience from people, but the idea is, when people put out resumes to share,
it's not because they're the greatest resumes or the most important CVs or portfolios, but there
things that are people are willing to share in a professional sense, and that's — that's an
important piece of data in and of itself. They feel this is worthy of sharing, and
so therefore, it's worth checking it out. Another thing you can do is understanding
organizational branding, and what I mean by this is not the logo of the company — although,
again, if you're working in visual design, you probably want to know that — it also depends on
if you like a logo, I suppose — but branding in this sense is how an organization presents itself,
and so you might think about press releases.
When they're talking about a new research project
they have going on or a new design or a new award they just won. How are they talking about
this? Are they putting their press releases out on their website, on their Medium blog, on
their Twitter? Maybe on their Facebook, right? What social media accounts are companies
using. This is something important, too. If you — if you have, you know, been on social
media at any point in the past 15 years, you have probably seen that companies used to have a lot
of Facebook pages that they would really focus on. Nowadays, that's not so much, and this is speaking
to Ingrid's point that what companies use change over time, and it's important to be aware of
Facebook still matters a great deal. It still has like, you know, a few billion
people that use it, but you see companies a lot more focusing on Medium blogs now and on
Twitter and certainly on LinkedIn and Instagram, and so just being aware of where and what social
media accounts companies are using, and so again, flipping it, as Ingrid was saying before,
if you have a sense of thought leaders, you know, whether you find them from looking
at social media, reading about them on blogs, checking out books, watching TED
Talks, you can have a sense of where, you know, what platforms that these thought
leaders are putting themselves out on. And when you're putting these things together,
you know, yourself wanna say, "How do I promote my own thinking and how do I look
professional, too?" You can recreate the sets of these kinds of materials that reflects the
aesthetics of the fields that you're pursuing. This is also something that Astrid — or not
Astrid, sorry Astrid — that Ingrid and I shared on our previous webinar about how portfolios and
CVs and resumes look differently depending on who it is and what field you're trying to get into,
and that's — that's super important to realize. So by seeing how people present themselves online when they have publicly available
information like portfolios or CVs, you can have that.
You can borrow the aesthetics
and that then helps you establish yourself as understanding what are some of the sets
of meanings that people have in that area. Next slide, please.
Another way to do this is about identifying projects that inspire you.
This is a tactic that I have used for years, and the goal here is, it's quite simple. It's just
taking notes of projects that inspire you, and this could be a neat design project that was done
in a community that was helping elderly residents vote, or it could be helping disenfranchised
communities have access to food.
It could be just a really interesting new toy that you
thought a company developed and they have an interesting way of doing it. It's just finding
projects that you feel drawn to, and this is to me one of the best ways of — a bit about
following your nose, following your passion, cause as anthropologists we all have a huge and
varied set of interests, and it can often feel a bit overwhelming to figure out what it is that
we should do with all those interests, right? So this is really just about finding projects
that you dig that are interesting to you, and getting involved, if you can, in terms
of just seeing how they're being written about or how they have been written
about or shared about on social media, whether there parts of companies or individual
entrepreneurs, or whatever it is, and this is, you know, we can attach this idea of finding
projects that inspire you.
In relationship to the categories that we've talked about above touches
getting a sense of who are the local experts or thought leaders that are working in these
fields that are doing these kinds of projects. What language are they using? Again, are they
using empathy or delight? Are they talking about research, qualitative, quantititive? Are they
saying theoretical ideas? Are they feeling very grounded? Do they seem more like an NGO or more
of a for-profit business? Whatever it is, right? How are they talking about their work? What
kind of data are they using? Do they put out reports or white papers or academic journals or
magazines or podcasts? What are the — how are they publishing about their work is this idea.
And of course the artifacts that goes along with this.
What are the things that they're making?
Next slide, please. And one of the other main last pieces
that we'll share with you right now is about becoming visible, and the goal with this
is just to create a professional online identity, and so this is what we're talking about when we
think about social media platforms as content that you create versus the platform itself.
This is about you putting ideas out into the world. This begins with simple engagement,
like liking a tweet or, you know, doing a hand clap for someone's article on LinkedIn
that you think is inspiring or interesting as well as then moving into actually creating
your own content, and this can be as simple as putting out a tweet, jumping into a conversation
on Twitter, answering a question that a community member has on Reddit.
Cause I guarantee you, if
you look on Reddit, as I said before, Reddit has so many sub communities, you will know an
answer to some question that somebody else does not, and you can be a really, really
helpful community member in that space, and Reddit is actually one of the lowest barriers
to entry in terms of getting engaged on the social media area. Because again, it's a lot of
question and answer based in the very community. So this helps you become visible. It
helps people then come to recognize you as someone that is willing to help the
community, to engage, to answer questions, and then also becoming visible is about being
where employers are, right? Cause obviously we're talking about social media as a job search
and job finding strategy, and so thinking about where creating the kind of content and
putting content out is going to be most useful. So obviously as I said, we would find LinkedIn is
one of the best places for content consumption and creation because a lot of employers are on there,
but the reason I keep talking about Reddit is because I know of employers that go on Reddit to
ask questions of people, or they'll be on there to find answers to something else, and they will then
see who is active in the community.
So the point is, don't only think about LinkedIn. LinkedIn
matters, but there are many ways in order to sort of be a visible community member and someone
that is a viable, you know, job candidate. And the other thing about this about becoming visible is
about sharing a professional point of view, right? This can be something as writing a blog post on
Medium, as we said. You can retweet something, and again, sharing on LinkedIn, but the idea
is to, again, start getting comfortable putting content out there. You do not have to start out
with an academic article or a book, and if you did, good for you, but I have never done that, and
most of us probably will never do that, right? So then — starting about engaging, and the nice
thing about social media is you can start small, and it can be as simple as liking a tweet, right?
The idea is to just get yourself to start engaging and helping yourself become visible by becoming a
member of community, right? It's the same way that you want to make sure that you're there for your
You give them a call to check in on them, or see how your friends are doing. Shoot
them a text saying, "Hey. I'm thinking about you." It's the same kind of idea. You're just putting it
out into a bit more of a professional community. And next slide, please.
>> NAZIA: Thank you very much, Ingrid and Adam. Those are
very thoughtful and poignant, you know, summary points to take home for all of us jumping into a
new career or even just job searching right now. So right now, we'd like to open up the chat
Q&A, and if you have any questions, you may able to — you may be able to come off mute right now,
and ask your questions directly to the presenters. >> DANIEL: Hi. I'd like to jump in, I guess, at
this point. My name is Daniel Ginsberg. I'm the Director of Education and Professional Practice at
the AAA. I'm a male-presenting white person with glasses, a black collared shirt, and asymmetric
haircut, and I'm sitting in front of a virtual background.
It's uh — if
you know the film Spirited Away, it's the train tracks to Zeniba's house.
So if people do have questions, I would encourage you to put it in the chat, and
I've been monitoring the chat through the whole conversation, and I wanted to sort of aggregate
that and pose some questions to the presenters. I'd encourage people to continue engaging in the
chat if you have other questions that come up or even to answer other people's questions as they
come up. There's always a lively conversation in there.
But we do have 70 people on the
line, and so in the interest of not having everyone jumping in, I'm going to ask people to
stay on mute and with their cameras turned off. So that said, one thing that I noticed really
strongly coming through in the chat is that people are identifying a lot of barriers to
entry in social media. So I've got a couple of them in my notes, and I want to bring them up
one at a time, and see if you could comment on it. One of them did get a response already.
question was, "How do you make time for social media when there's just so much content coming in?
It really feels like drinking from a fire hose." If you open up Twitter, even — I'm not sure
what it looks like if you haven't subscribed to it these days because I've been on Twitter since
2008, but when I open up Twitter, I could just scroll all day long. How do you either make time
for it so that it's something you can approach but also limit it so that it's useful to you and
you don't end up getting completely sucked in? >> INGRID: I can — I can answer some of that, and
then we can hear Adam. This is Ingrid speaking. So I think about it as a trade off. The last time
I was on the job market was 2018, and I approached the job market in just a very hectic way, just
finding positions that were open and applying. That was basically it, and I realized that I spent
so much time just applying and finding positions and never getting any call backs that the way
that I conceive of it now is I wasted a lot of time doing that, and I could have allocated some
of that time to be more strategic, which includes basically what Adam and I outlined in this
So that was kind of my trade off. I became more strategic and maybe
I applied to less positions, but the positions I did apply for, I had more
success and chances of getting a call back or an interview or being offered a position.
So it is a trade off. It is a time investment, and yes, if you're not good at managing your
time or if you get sucked into a Twitter thread, you can kind of spend a lot of time on it more
than you'd probably like. So there has to be some discipline with the engagement, but I
do think that what you can get out of it, which is that feeling of empowerment, I
think a lot of us who leave academia or are in the processing of — of the process of
transitioning, we often feel like frauds. When we were like faking it out in this other
world, and I think engaging with these strategies, you actually stop feeling less like a fraud
or fake and start recognizing the fact that you have something of value to offer, and you
start doing belter and engaging with people and interviews and with your materials and so on
and so forth.
So there is a trade off. There is a time investment. It can get out of hand
if you don't discipline yourself, but in my point much view, I think it's definitely
worth it to have a strategy that includes engaging with social media. 100%.
>> ADAM: Yeah, that's a really great point. This is Adam jumping in here real
quick as well, and I appreciate that question. I certainly feel the time crunch, and there is, as
we've said, so many kinds of platforms out there, and there's so much. Twitter is perhaps the
best example of a fire hose of social meda, right? Because the tweets are 240 characters.
They're short. They move very quickly. So to be honest, I would say that
Twitter is actually one of the more difficult platforms to feel strategic
about, for me personally I will say, just because it feels like it moves so quickly.
Two things that I have found to be helpful. One is Medium as I've mentioned,
and I'll keep mentioning Medium. It's — it is a blog platform so it does — it's,
you know, different reading content, which could be one minute to, you know, depending on how
much time you want to spend reading an article, but like all social media platforms, what I like
about Medium is that you can then put what you're interested in and then you can follow certain
either specific articles themselves or authors or sort of collectives, and then Medium learns over
time what it is that you like to read, and so then it begins to suggest things.
You know, I get a
daily digest, for example, a one email of, "Here's things that we think you'll want to read today." I
don't read all of them ever, but it usually gives me one or two pieces of content to read, and then
from that, I could spin-off and check something out on Twitter, for example. That all said, I
also love Twitter, and what I found with help for Twitter is that there's aggregators. I
mentioned this in the chat somewhere — that's somewhere in there — in that one of them
is called rightrelevance.com, for example, and what you do here is you say, "I'm interested
in anthropology," and you can kind of search for whatever you want, and then that aggregates
stuff that people have talked — that are talking about anthropology, so then you kind of
get a digest.
So it's almost like hacking social media a little bit to see how to find topics
around things that you're interested in, and something else that I imagine Daniel has done,
too, is that, when you follow a certain person, Twitter then suggests other people that are like
them, and that's one way to then just take notes of why is Twitter suggesting these other people
to follow or another, if you click on a company, I say, I like IDO, or the American Anthropological
Association, it'll suggest that you also follow NAPA, for example, right? So taking notes of how
it suggests things to you tells you a little bit about what the algorithm thinks you're into, and
that's another way to then, you know, get a sense of how to more strategically do it, but yeah,
agreed. We feel your pain. It is — it's a lot. So aggregators are helpful, and then obviously,
like, putting your interest into the algorithm, and then it'll help kind of refine what
it is that's helpful to pay attention to. >> DANIEL: This is Daniel again. Thanks for that.
I think, you know, thinking about Twitter and the challenges engaging in Twitter, it — it feels
very Democratic in the way that on LinkedIn people lead with their professional status.
feel nervous talking to someone who's very much more senior, but on Twitter, a lot of that is
very flattened, for better and worse. You know, you'll have people just random anyone coming
up and questioning your expertise unprompted, but also, you know, in my personal case, I got
within sniffing distance of two different postdocs entirely through Twitter, which is a story I
can share another time if anyone's interested. And I think what that speaks to this is a point
that came up in the chat that Keith Kellersohn raised, and I'm naming him by name because he was
a presenter on an earlier one of these webinars here. He says, "Being visible is important.
No time to be self-conscious. Just do it." And it requires, I think, that kind of putting
yourself out there to be able to make a best use of some of these platforms, but that speaks to
another concern that I'm hearing from a lot of people in the chat. For example, one person said,
"Can you give me some examples of the — how not to reach out to people?" When people have
tried reaching out to you, and they really failed at it.
It speaks to a fear, right, that
if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it wrong, and maybe it'll be worse than if I had never tried
at all. I'll give people a bad impression of me. Someone else asks, "How do employers evaluate
the social media presence of job applicants?" And so there's a sense that, you know, people
are going to Facebook stalk you when you apply for a job, and they'll turn up all sorts of seedy
things from your past that you rather them not know about, which if you're going to be engaged in
these online spaces at all is — I don't know how different people use these different platforms,
but that feels like a legitimate concern. So I guess there's a lot of, nervousness around
doing it right.
Making a good impression. Making sure that you don't embarrass yourself in front
of people that you don't even know are listening. So if you would have any advice either
for handling those or just for getting over the fear that you might do those things.
>> INGRID: I can speak to that because I've been rejected so many times. Yes, rejection, it's
going to happen. And it's okay. And I think that's one of the great things about social media is
that there's different levels of permanency. Different levels of the pain of rejection, and
other times you can actually be anonymous as well. So for example, I also really love Reddit like
Adam because I created a professional account to follow professional things, and
people don't really know who I am, but I'm engaging and asking questions a
little more freely than I would, and I get an answer, questions that the other people pose as
So that's one very low stakes, anonymous way of getting very personalized conversation going,
are the Reddit subthreads, and I really love that. Now, with Twitter, yeah, you might be able to
say something that someone may not agree with, and again the sense that I'm
taking, I think maybe Adam as well, for this presentation is that
you're engaging professionally. So don't say something that you would be
embarrassed about later. Don't say something you don't feel 100% confident or sure about. Don't be
too incredibly controversial is my point of view, engage with respect, and if you say something
and someone else doesn't like it, it's okay, because in three or four days, that Twitter will
be, you know, that Tweet will be who knows where in the, you know, timeline of things.
also not — the stakes aren't so heavy with that. I think the stakes are a little bit heavier
with LinkedIn because people engage with a greater level of professionality on LinkedIn,
but even then, I would say share something that defines you professionally, and that should keep
you from sharing things that might make you feel embarrassed or judged.
So I think get rid of the fear because the sense of empowerment that you get from engaging
is going to just kind of offset that. Like don't get anxious, get empowered. And it's okay if
people don't like everything you say. It's fine, and it's okay if you reach out to
people, and they don't message you back. That's happened to me so many times, but
eventually something will give, and you'll see that, you, like you just said, you know, you got
to two post-docs just exclusively through Twitter, and even just yesterday, someone messaged me
because I congratulated them on a new position on LinkedIn, and I haven't met this person in
real life, and they told me, "Hey, if you see any careers that you want on Instagram, let me know."
So effectively saying, like, "I can give you an employer [indiscernible]".
So those things are
getting me closer to people and things — in positions that I'm interested in. Yes, there's
a risk of the negative side effects of rejection or people not liking what you say, but I think,
again, the trade off is worth it for what you can get out of it, which is more genuine
professional engagement. So don't be scared, be wise, but do it is my final word.
>> ADAM: Well said, Ingrid.
This is Adam jumping in here real quick. I actually
— I'm also gonna note I'm just looking at the chat while we're talking too, and Keith
Kellersohn, once again, said something that's helpful in this space — just to drop in that
I was thinking the same thought, and that is, that if you're like nervousness is normal, right?
And it's kind of — it feels a bit like anxiety provoking to try to reach out and maybe put some
ideas out there in a professional context, if you're not sure what that looks like, but I want
to echo Keith's idea. Here to I was thinking this same thought that any company or hiring manager or
recruiter that is going to be really judgmental, you should ask yourself if that's even the
kind of place or culture you want to work in, and so that is actually if you think about
it, that's actually part of your research process. Like, if you find that you're nervous
about a company because they seem super stiff, or they seem like they're not — they don't
have a lot of leeway, or they seem almost, I mean, unfun, as its own way of thinking
about it, too.
Ask yourself if that's a place that you want to work. If you're already
nervous about talking with them because of they seem a certain way, think about that, right?
And — I — that's not like the only thing you should do, of course, but
that's — this is something that I have thought about for years, too.
I, similar to Ingrid, I mean, I've been more or less on the job market for two-ish years. I've
been working for myself, kind of self-employed, and I recently picked up, more or less,
a full-time job a few months ago. So I understand what it's like to be
on that job market continuously, and also just, what it means to hustle for work,
you know, for yourself. And, uh, a lot of it is really this idea of you will get comfortable
the more you kind of put yourself out there, and one thing or one specific strategy that I have
done that feels better whenever — if — if I'm not sure how I should communicate, or whether it's
worthwhile reaching out — actually, I'll give you two things: one is that engage respectfully,
like Ingrid said, but also just engage positively. You know, start with saying, "I really loved what
the point you made about X." Right? Use it as a complimentary space to, you know, help that person
that you read their work or read what they're talking about and that you agree and think it's
an interesting idea.
I wouldn't start off with a, you know, "I disagree with you. I think this is
a bad idea." You can do that, but it's kind of easier to start off in a complimentary and a,
you know, again, always being respectful space, and it helps the other person then think, "Oh,
cool! This person is paying attention, and we're kind of in some level of agreement." It creates
a positive association, which is a nice thing. The second thing I'll just point
out real quick is that if you're asking or if you're reaching out for
somebody and asking them for something, it is important to consider one,
asking them a specific question. Just kind of saying, "I need help with my job
search" doesn't — it doesn't help anybody cause again, if you think you're time crunched with the
social media strategy — that's true cause a lot of us are — imagine then how the other person is
gonna feel when you're saying, "I just need help in general." How are they going to help you in any
— any easy way, right? It makes a lot of work or a lot burden on them to do something for you.
So think very specifically what it is that you want help with, or what you're trying to figure
out, and so come up with one specific question: "I'm working on my resume, and I'm not sure
if this line is very clear about what I'm looking for for my career.
My goal is to say this.
Here's what I've written. Does this make sense?" Something very specific like that then doesn't
require a lot of time on the other person's part to then give their wisdom, right? So think about
how to ask a very specific questions in that case. And then with that, too, just realize that
sometimes when we're asking for advice or help or reaching out to people, what we're actually
doing is asking them to do something that they would get paid for, and that's totally fine.
But realizing sometimes people don't respond because you're actually asking them to do what
they do for work, and if you're saying, "Hey, can you look at this thing for free or help
me with this for free?" They may not respond, and it's not because they don't care or they don't
want to help, but there is just a recognition that like what they do for work is actually what
you're asking them to do, but you're not saying, "I want to hire you for this." So just consider,
too, what it is that you're asking people to do when you're trying to reach out and get advice or
And now, I do want to caveat this by saying I know this is separate than like jumping
in a conversation on Reddit, but this is going to be part of it. As you get to know people and
put your ideas out there, you may ask for advice, and we all should do that. We should be looking
out for mentors and people that we can look up to and talk with, get information from, but just
being aware of asking specific questions that they can answer, you know, without doing a huge
amount of work on their part, and then obviously that work can increase as you spend more time with
them, and then secondarily just being aware of, if you're asking them to do work for free.
That is just something that — that we have to think about.
I'll leave it at that.
>> INGRID: Can I add something to that, Adam, if you don't mind?
>> So I think in terms of reaching out to people, something I realized and that kind of warmed my
heart is that there are — there's like a loose community of academics out in industry, and I
found that we really have a love for each other, so that I sometimes specifically find people
who have PhDs in social science or humanities, and then I message them, and it may be to
just say, like, "Hey, I see that you have this experience. I love seeing anthros in the
wild" — whatever, and "Can I connect with you?", and usually it's — I get just such positive
reception across the board from people, and I think it's because there's a shared experience
of leaving this space and going somewhere else that creates this sense of community, and I have
had people be so generous with their time with me, and I usually ask for a 15 -inute, like,
Focused around a very specific topic, and it's never, "Hi, can you give me a job
or employee referral?" Because that's a little too on the nose, but it's usually along the lines of,
"Hey, I see you doing this work, and, you know, I'm trying to get more equipped in you know qual
— quantitative methods. Can I have 15 minutes of your time?" or something like that, and sure, most
people don't say "Yes," but enough people say yes to where I've had a lot of conversations
with people I've never met in real life, and it's been really great.
So I also suggest
finding people who have some kind of PhD related to your field or research interest and connect
with them on that basis, on that commonality, and start finding that community of people who
live out in industry but have an academic soul. So find us, and, you know, connect to us,
and it's a vast network, and it's really exciting, so don't be afraid to reach out.
>> DANIEL: There was a request in the chat for a story, a specific example of how you can get
a job using just connections, and so, I hate to do this as the moderator, but if you'll indulge me,
I can briefly tell my story of the two postdocs. It's, it's — I know the spirit of this
webinar is meant to be about people looking for transitioning outside of academia, but my
story is really smallest possible transition of what it would have been if I had got these
It would have been a transition from a PhD in linguistics to a postdoc in a school
of education. Jumping fields is a smaller jump than jumping out of academia altogether,
but I think it's a similar kind of networking that can take place to get you there. In my
case, the dissertation I was writing was about interaction and mathematics education, and so
I was doing a sort of para-ethnographic work, if you can call it that, by finding progressive
math educators on Twitter and following them to see what they were talking about in the field, and
it gave me some really great examples, expanded my thinking of what's possible in math education
in ways that were useful for my research program at the time, that I don't need to get into right
The point is that I got to know people, and I would engage with them in these conversations
on Twitter, and I would say, you know, um, "It sounds like you're doing this and that. It
feels really ethnographic. I'm trained in that. I do a lot of discourse analysis. Here's what that
might add to it." And we were just having these conversations online and like sharing
perspectives, sharing references, and that kind of thing, um, and so one
of these people that I was connected with is a professor in the
education school at Vanderbilt, and she just tweeted one day, "There are —
applications are open for the doctoral symposium that comes in advance of the International
Conference of the Learning Sciences." And I was like, "Well, I've never heard
of this conference, but I'm at the right stage of my career.
I should check it out"
I did check it out. I got funded to go to the conference. I went it was really cool.
I got to read — meet a lot of people who are not anthropologists, didn't go
to the conferences I was going to, but I was citing a lot of their work, and
while I was there, I also happened to meet someone who was the PhD advisor of another person
that I met on Twitter as a contact from someone I know through non-academic, you know, like, three
degrees of separation to these people, but we ended up hanging out, and um, long story short
— too late — they ended up collaborating with me on an NSF grant for a postdoc, which we went
through two rounds of the funding cycle on that, and the NSF didn't see fit to pay us for that,
um but if they had, then I wouldn't be where I am right now, so I have no regrets.
The point being
that that came about entirely through Twitter. Um the other — the other postdoc is this same
professor at Vanderbilt said at one point, "Oh, I've got a grant coming in, and we need
someone who does discourse analysis." And I said, "Ufortunately, I'm not free to move to
Nashville, but if I had been at a different place in my personal life and had a different family
situation, that might have been an option for m. So both of these are examples of the kind
of thing that can happen through social media that feed back into your professional world,
but also expand your horizons in ways that can be really productive. So uh thanks for that.
Thanks for that point of personal privilege. We've got, I guess, just a moment to wrap-up
so I just wanted to ask if there are any final thoughts from our presenters, and
then we can turn it back over to the original moderator.
>> INGRID: Sure.
I'll speak. So my final thoughts
are: get excited. I know there's a lot of anxiety and angst and fear around the job market,
especially during this time. I completely acknowledge that, and if it makes anyone feel
better, I'm gonna be on the job market next year, but I — I say get excited because my experience
as an anthro out in the real world is one: people really love anthropologists. I — they
don't always know what we do, but people have a very positive kind of schematic image about
anthropologists and social scientists really out in industry. So just know that people do like us
out there. I would say tone down a little bit of the kind of behavioral attitudes that are maybe
unhealthy that we learned in academia. It's not about being the smartest person or using the
most obscure academic jargon and pointing out how you know you've read or done so much. It's really
about what you can offer and what you can do, so I think there's a little bit of an
identity shift that should also happen that applying these methods in this presentation
kind of helps you achieve, because it's more about the value and what you bring than your academic
So don't rely on your accolades. Rely on your knowledge and all the methods and
the things you learn through using the methods in this presentation, and I can assure you that
you're going to have just a much better quality experience on the job market if you do these
things. If you work and think strategically, engage with respect and intentionality, and
really have agency and invest in yourself as a professional with an identity to build, that
will yield a much positive experience, and I say this as someone who did it completely wrong
and really failed, and then finally wisend up, and then did it right, and now, I feel so much
more empowered to be on the job market next year. So invest in yourself. Try these
methods. Reach out to us on LinkedIn, and I think you're going to be — you're going
to find a better experience so, be excited! That's my last word.
>> NAZIA: Thank you so much, Ingrid and Adam, for a
Here is a summary slide of what our wonderful presenters have told us today.
Be strategic about the job market by using an anthropological approach to
understand different fields. Use digital platforms as part of your job
market strategy to find positions, learn about field values, engage with thought leaders,
increase your network, connect with prospective employers, and share a professional identity.
And three: harness digital platforms to increase confidence and success.
Next slide, please. As some closing remarks, uh, please
complete your evaluation of this webinar. It will be emailed to you. You may see the
postings of this — this webinar on the AAA website. Again, number one, you will
see the career webinar recordings there. Number two, the powerpoint slide decks will be
available for you. Number three, a list of all the resources our presenters have shared for you.
And number four, answers to all of your questions. Please stay on the lookout for
more career-related offerings. Online workshops are coming early in December.
Next slide, please. As you can see, this was "Deep Hanging
Out…Digitally: Social Media Strategies for the Contemporary Job Market," and coming
in December 2020, we have some amazing webinars lined up: "Breaking into Design: A
Workshop," "Setting Up Your Own Online Business," and "Communicating your Research to the Public."
So please be on the lookout for these webinars. Thank you so much.