Exciting news… I have recently been taken on as a consultant by Tricolor Heritage Development and Design.
On Monday, we were interviewed for the first project I’ve been involved with and I’m pleased to say that we won the bid to carry out visitor consultation at Abbey Pumping Station – my favourite museum in Leicester! Seriously, if you ever get the chance, do visit the museum on a ‘steam day’, especially if you have a penchant for beam engines.
As you, dear reader, can probably imagine, I am absolutely delighted. Higher education is a tough business to be in. It has become increasingly apparent over the last few years and particularly in the last few months that academia is not a place I want to be – the lack of job security, the expectation that you will continue to research, publish and attend conferences in your own time (and often at your own expense), the sometimes unbearable pressures placed on early career researchers and lecturers, the sense of failure if you don’t immediately walk into a fantastic permanent position, and few opportunities to progress and establish a career, while all the time universities are churning out more and more PhD graduates into an ever shrinking job market…I can’t help thinking, sometimes, that it’s all just one elaborate racket.
So while, in the year I turn 40 (eek!), it is sad to be waving goodbye, at least for now, to the hopes and dreams of my younger self – everything I spent 30 years+ of education working towards (my career goal at primary school was to become a professor, strange child) – I am excited to be moving into a sector where I will be able to: i) make a direct contribution to museums and heritage organisations; ii) make good use of my skills, knowledge and experience, and iii) still research and write, and do all the things I’m good at and love while, crucially, earning enough to keep a roof over my head (fingers crossed). Here’s to new beginnings!
Image: Public sanitation exhibition at Abbey Pumping Station, Leicester. Photograph by author.