So how bad is the job market pt 2

Posted on July 10, 2008 under public history jobs

More symptoms of job market blues:  The public history job market is so bad that a museum thought it was acceptable to include this in their job posting:

“PLEASE NOTE: This position is PART TIME and will remain so for the foreseeable future. If you are NOT interested in PART TIME work, please do not bother applying. This was a major problem for us the last time we hired for this position. With both collections positions open we frankly do not have the time to waste on people who are really looking for full time.”

Two things jump out at me from this post.  Since there is a large pool of folks applying for every history museum job out there  1) Even small historical societies think that it’s perfectly acceptable to put up a hostile addendum to their job ad (don’t waste our time, duplicitous seekers of a livable wage!) and 2) even small historical societies think it’s perfectly fine to conduct a national search for a part-time job in a small town far from possibilities of other part-time employment.  (Though I’m shocked at the language in this ad, I do understand that most small historical societies can’t afford to pay many employees and that finding people willing to move to small towns for these jobs is not easy. ) These are dark days, folks.

2 Comments on “So how bad is the job market pt 2”

  1. Suzanne, I think you are overreacting here–and I am normally a big fan of overreacting. I googled the original job ad and (link below) and it is for two jobs–one full time, the other part time. I think they distributed the ad nationally because of the full time job and the part time description just sort of piggy-backed along.

  2. Point taken, Larry; that’s right about the post’s original context. But it’s also clear that part-time jobs are an increasing trend in the public history job market, particularly the emergence of the “part-time executive director” (someday I’ll crunch some numbers on this from the AASLH job board). It’s disturbing to think of public historians having to take two or three jobs in small institutions, like adjuncting but with even less status. But anyway, regarding this particular ad, politeness is free.

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