Supporting a career in heritage

I have been back and forth about writing this post for a few months now, because it seems to open a cultural can of worms.

A while ago I wrote a post giving advice for people who wanted to pursue a career in the cultural sector. The result was a barrage of criticism and cynicism.

This post is not about the ‘advice’ I was given or the advice I gave, but to address the negativity surrounding the topic in question.

It is true there really is no one size that fits all, but to tell young people to give up and that I am ‘much more likely to find a rich husband’ than get a job in heritage is quite frankly pathetic.

Perhaps I am more likely to find a rich husband, but so what. What’s that got to do with my career? This is not the message we should be sending to young people who are desperately pursuing their dreams. If anything this only made me work harder, and now I might not have that rich husband, but I do have the job I have always dreamed of.

I have witnessed friends and colleagues in internship or volunteering positions being made to feel hopeless because of online criticism. Yes there are issues with this culture, but answer me this: what is the solution? The real solution? How do we give every qualified person a job? How do I rewind 5 years of my life, several failed interviews, months of working for nothing and endless sleepless nights?

Or perhaps I should ask ‘What can I do as an individual to make significant changes within this industry?’ Because trust me if there is an answer which allows me to do all of the above, then I would be all over it.

These ‘commenters’ clearly had something to say, but in the blur of all of that abuse, no one gave me any real advice or suggested a solution. Perhaps there is one floating around, but after the first barrage of negative comments I just ignored you.

Yes we should be realistic, and anyone with a brain knows that it’s a difficult and challenging industry, but there are many industries in the same league, so should we discourage half the working population into just giving up.

Let’s be realistic but encouraging. Let’s support each other, share ideas and more importantly, perhaps that solution?

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