Jamie Glavic presents a fantastic discussion on the role cultural heritage professional in the coming years.
Originally posted on Museum Minute:
Close your eyes and think about the museum professionals in your life: your colleagues, your friends and your partners in crime. They’re passionate people, right? And driven. And pretty darn smart. However, passion, drive and smarts aren’t all we need in our professional lives. We need fair compensation, feasible (if still challenging) expectations and opportunities for further professional development and enrichment to not only help us navigate our own museum-centric career paths but to also become more effective contributors to our organizations, thus furthering their missions and serving the community at large.
I love working in a museum, and I am thankful for the opportunity, network, luck and happenstance that has been my path in the profession. That being said, I want to dive a little deeper into the “structure” of the field: what we look for in new hires and what to look out for as a professional – the “dun, dun, DUNs” (all dramatic like) of a museum career. To start this discussion off, I’d like to explore two perspectives, The Museum of the Future‘s ”A job description for future museum professionals” and Solving Task Saturation for Museum Workers‘, “Expectation Inflation: “DO YOUR JOB, AND THEN SOME”
Jasper Visser’s blog post, “A job description for future museum professionals,” discusses 21st century skills, lists museum professional qualities and challenges the notion of “experience is required.” First of all, the 21st century skills debate is a personal favorite of mine. Perhaps it’s because I’m a part of Generation Me – “I can do this, I can do that and I bet I could succeed at x, y, z.” We’re also guilty of, “anything you can do, I can do better” – I blame the 1990’s Gatorade campaign with Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm. But, I digress; let’s return to 21st Century Skills. What are they? Basically, to have them you should be a filer (organized), flutist (talented), work to become fluent in Finnish (challenge seeker) and a Futurist (techie). Okay, not really – but what makes 21st Century Skills so unique (particularly in a museum setting) is their function of connecting traditional roles of the museum in the community to the evolving and ever expanding reach of future/digital potential within communities AND vice versa. Yes, I said vice versa. The future can only truly be successful when we take the time to understand the past: where we come from and why we exist, all while recognizing that change is inevitable. Basically, the outlined 21st Century Skills set of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation are all skills needed by successful museum professionals as the field continues to evolve.