Advice for those beginning their careers

Kasia Delgado, 10.02.2014
Delegates get tips on how to progress in museum jobs
Speakers at the Museums Association's Moving on Up conference on Thursday tackled a wide range of issues that museum professionals face during the early years of their career.

Richard Wilson, author of the Anti-hero report kicked off the keynotes. He discussed how individuals can have an effect and instigate change themselves in their organisations and in the wider world.

Liz Hide, museums officer for University of Cambridge, spoke to the 150 delegates about original ways to take on leadership roles without being in a managerial position. She suggested that attendees look for and create new projects and programmes to lead within their organisation. She said: "leadership is about clear vision, motivating, a participatory approach, authority and respect."

In his keynote speech, Tom Andrews, chief executive of People United, discussed the "balancing of dreams and reality" required to set up a successful arts organisation. He said: "People United focuses on kindness and altruism but these ideas need to be balanced with research and theory. Otherwise how do we know our work actually makes a difference?"

There was pitching advice from Hilary McGowan, a museum and heritage consultant, who told delegates how to sell themselves. She emphasised the importance of clarity and passion in a pitch. She said: "Use three things to emphasis the point you're making. Who are you, what do you do? Why should be you be listened to."

Terri Dendy and Kristin Hussey, founders of the Ministry of Curiosity blog, explained how they were challenging preconceptions of the museum sector by focusing on social events and fun in cultural venues. They also discussed how delegates could use social media to a museum's advantage while being "sensitive to collections" and not endangering their professional reputation.

In the final speech of the day, David Anderson, Museums Association president and director of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, responded to an earlier panel debate on whether organisations discriminate against those without Masters degrees, saying: "I will go back and scrutinise the recruitment process of my own organisation so as not to block out those with talent."

He added: “I can honestly say this has been one of the most uplifting days I've had at an event in the museum sector in many years."

To see a Storify of the event, please click here

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Kerry Whitehouse
Graduate Trainee, George Marshall Medical Museum
19.02.2014, 09:57
I thought the day was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and I felt truly inspired. Thank you for producing a day to remember