Some might get discouraged from the statistics shown by the BLS, but I was not one of them. I didn’t pick this degree because I wanted to be guaranteed a job, I chose it because I loved it. Although, I am certain that my career will be historical in some way, there are a lot of ways to go about that. As the American Historical Association showed, historian can find jobs in museums, publishing, academia, contracting, archives, preservation, etc. There are a lot of options for us, so we shouldn’t ever get discouraged and depressed when we hear it’s competitive. Getting a job anywhere is going to be competitive, it’s not unique to historians. Staying positive is going to get you a job a lot easier than if you are discouraged about it. Some of the readings actually encouraged me, such as the American Historical Association. Academia is one of the areas I am interested in finding a job, but the section on consultants and contractors really caught my attention. Working for the various entertainment outlets would be ideal. Also hiring myself out as a contractor to do historical research was another career which interested me. So the options are very open for historians in my opinion. Competition just means they are not going to allow anyone to get the job. You have to be proficient in your field, and you have to be passionate and dedicated. Competition weeds the less passionate, the less proficient, and the less dedicated out, so in a sense we should not get so discouraged from it.
The short articles from Stroh and Beatty provided good tips on how to achieve the goal of getting a historical job. Stroh said he looked for a positive outlook and enthusiasm. He wanted to hire those that wanted to learn. Companies don’t hire the down and outer, they hire the positive learner who wants to contribute, not complain. This is where being humble comes into play. Even experts in their fields don’t know every single thing about that particular field, every day is a learning process. I agree with Stroh that enthusiasm and a desire to learn are good things to look for when hiring someone for a historical job. I find that lots of people who do not enjoy history had unenthusiastic teachers. Even people who are not history buffs, or who had no interest in history before, enjoyed classes with enthusiastic professors, or enjoyed tours with enthusiastic guides and museum employees. Evoking that passion to those you are trying to educate really impresses them. Beatty showed me that I am on the right track in getting my MA because it places me above those competing for jobs without an MA. So while it can be easy to get discouraged by looking at those stats, it will only make the process worse. Staying positive and enthusiastic about your opportunities is the best way to make it in struggling job markets.