How to get a job in Archaeology, Part 3 2


In case you didn’t already know, I’ve been helping a friend find a job in archaeology. Writing a résumé was covered in Part 1. Targeted online networking was covered in Part 2 of the series. Here’s what happened in the first 6 weeks of the search:

Since I hadn’t talked to him in about a week, I Facebooked my buddy to see how the job search was going. Spring is almost upon us and most CRM companies start hiring archaeologists around in anticipation of the work to come when the snow thaws. March and April are important months for archaeologists.

Here’s what he said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So no job, but:

  • He’s got a lead with the Principal Investigator (PI) of the company he wants to work for,
  • The PI was impressed,
  • The PI told my buddy to send his resume on to the hiring manager and tell her that he’d spoken to the boss (Part 1 of this series covers resume writing tips. Or, you can see the Succinct Research resume-writing series)
  • My buddy also got leads with other companies (which, my friend can say he spoke to this PI and got the referral as an icebreaker that can lead to more networking [see Part 2 if you want to know about some networking best practices]).
  • And, the company is interested and they want to hire my friend when they have stuff coming.

This is both good and bad news. Good news: my friend has a chance to get hired at the company he wants to work for. Bad news: this company doesn’t have any work right now. That’s the story with CRM—feast or famine.

My friend is actually in a pretty good position. If the PI is a straightforward kind of guy (which, his reputation says he is), my buddy is close to the top of the list for future work. This isn’t so bad since my friend isn’t moving for a couple months now. And, he got a referral to other companies that may have work. Not bad for a few hours typing on the internet and Linked In.

What Next?

Because he knows CRMers rarely land jobs without an uphill battle, my friend has been using this same technique to apply for jobs at a couple other Bay Area companies. He was tentatively offered a part-time position. It’s on-call and only 20-hours a week, but that’s better than nothing. This position is with a new company that was very interested in knowing what his acceptable wage was. The whole wage question gives me a somewhat bad impression (I’ve been known to be wrong, but it seems like this one may not pay off in the end).

  1. On-call and part-time isn’t really a “job” because it might not be steady enough to pay the bills.
  2. On-call might mean night monitoring on random days or 3-hour jobs that don’t even cover the tolls and gas. This randomness may also cause problems in my friend’s “real life”.
  3. The company is new. They may not have many contracts. And, no offense to CRM startup PIs, my friend may have weeks of downtime between work.
  4. Asking about acceptable wages seems sketchy. Why didn’t the PI just say how much he could afford to pay?
  5. The wage question is also unfair and may be a setup. My friend might not get the job if someone else is willing to work for cheaper.

Like I said, this may legitimately result in a long fruitful career with a startup that takes off like a rocket. My friend may find himself a principal investigator in the near future and get to work on a number of career/life changing projects. You never know.

I advised my friend to say he’d work at the high end of the pay scale for Bay Area archaeological technicians. In order to get this higher pay, i suggested that he stress his skills and experience as they apply to this company’s previous projects. Before he answers the pay question, he needs to get a little more information on what the company’s specialties are, as recommended in Parts 1 and 2 of this series.

The search goes on…

In less than a month, my friend has made some valuable contacts in the Bay Area. This was an area neither he nor I had any solid contacts in. He’s also gotten some leads. He has gotten one job offer so far, but I hope he can get a better one. The first month went pretty well, but the search continues.

I would really love to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments, write below or send me an email.

Small Archaeology Project Management is now on the Kindle Store. Over 225 copies were sold in the first week! Click Here and see what the buzz is all about

Learn how my résumé-writing knowledge helped four of my fellow archaeologists land cultural resources jobs in a single week!

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2 thoughts on “How to get a job in Archaeology, Part 3

  • Jennifer Palmer

    Great advice for landing a job in CRM! It sometime takes a little legwork, but putting in that effort can make a big difference.

    I’ve always cringed a bit at the “How much do you want to be paid?” question. More often than not it seemed to translate to “How low of a wage can we get away with paying you?”. I’ve had some success throwing a question right back and and inquiring what their standard range of pay is, low to high end. The worst situations have been where a potential employer has been hesitant to give such details up front… usually a harbinger of negative things to come.

    • SuccinctBill Post author

      Glad you liked the post. The “how much will you work for” is a harbinger, but it’s also a melancholy aspect of CRM work. Sometimes PIs underbid and the side effects trickle down. In this case, I think the company is new and they’re trying to break into the market. Either way, it’s a bad situation for my friend.