One of the greatest battles I’ve had to fight in my search for jobs related to history is actually finding entry-level jobs. There are very few helpful guides for historians seeking work who aren’t Ph.D holding applicants with ten years’ experience in a specific field.
So once in a while I will find a job opening that seems to be entry-level (or fairly entry-level) that might not show up on one of the more obvious historian job sites. The American Historical Association is helpful for finding teaching gigs, but let’s face it, you’re not going to get a job as a professor in this climate. If you want a job outside of academia, you can go to Virtual Ph.D or Beyond Academe, but those jobs all expect that you’re a post-doc or something.
What if you have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree and you’re looking for work? All those museum job sites only seem to list Director or Vice President positions at museums. This could be that most museums simply don’t have a large staff, but especially in big cities this just isn’t true.
I just recently stumbled across this job, so I thought I’d share it with you since I cannot apply for it at the moment. Hopefully it helps you, and in turn helps the facility by helping them locate a great employee.
The Port Huron Museum in Port Huron, Michigan is looking for an Education Assistant/Program Coordinator. The job posting deadline was November 29th, but I was kindly sent the job posting anyway a week after the date. That tells me either they haven’t found a candidate or perhaps not enough people are applying. So that presents an opening to you.
Port Huron is a relatively small town on Michigan’s east coast, with a bridge connecting the city of 30,000 with Canada. Specifically, the city of Sarnia, which is much larger. I’ve never been to this museum, and I’m not associated with it in anyway, but it seems pretty cool. They operate a few facilities and the fact that they’re hiring tells me that there is some sort of community there that supports cultural things. Unfortunately, most areas don’t have the discretionary spending to justify the existence of paid staff at museums beyond the leadership positions.
So take advantage of this. It’s 20-30 hours a week, 3 to 4 days a week. Naturally, it includes occasional weekends and evenings, but what job doesn’t these days? It also requires an Associate’s Degree, which is refreshingly fair in a really unbalanced job market.
E-mail the museum for a PDF job posting. They’re probably still looking for someone with a background in museum work or history. Like I said earlier, I wanted to apply for this but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be possible for me to move. But if you’re in the area or looking for adventure, it could be a great opportunity for a history graduate looking to break into the field.
Anyway, I hope this helps a struggling public historian.