professional development


The Western Museums Association (WMA) is excited to announce the addition of a new annual award: the WMA Impact Award. Created by the WMA board, this new award is focused on recognizing mid-career museum professionals.
"Mid-career professionals are the foundation of the museum profession. They've dedicated themselves to making museums thrive and succeed, stayed in the field when faced with...

By Hillary Ryan, Communications and Programs Strategist, Western Museums Association
Let’s face it, for many people museum work can be lonely work. That’s one reason that it is great that there are so many interesting, educational and inspiring podcasts available. Tune it to one of these while you are working this week and let us know what you think. Also if you have a podcast, you’d like added...

by Hillary Ryan, Communications and Programs Strategist, Western Museums Association
No matter what point you are in your career, figuring out how to navigate the ins and outs of your job, as well as preparing yourself for the next growth opportunity can be greatly assisted through mentorship. Research shows that women and people from traditionally underrepresented groups do better than the...
By Kate Skelly

Burnout is a problem in all sectors, but non-profit workers can be especially vulnerable to workplace fatigue. Many museum workers face expanding job responsibilities, long hours, and stagnant wages. Koven Smith does a good job of outlining the current spate of museum worker fatigue in his blog post, “Why are we so tired?”.
 
Becoming overwhelmed at work is not only bad for you,...
Professional conferences are a fantastic arena to learn and grow through attending sessions, networking with peers, and exposure to organizational, theoretical, and geographical perspectives. However, taking advantage of this type of opportunity often is a matter of finances.
The Western Museums Association (WMA) offers the Wanda Chin Scholarship to assist member’s financial needs and ultimately...
By Alexa Beaman
In preparing to present as a part of the panel “Defining Leadership Across Generational Divides” at the Western Museums Association 2015 Annual Meeting, I reflected on moderator James Burns’ question of how established leaders can work together with emerging leaders to build a stronger profession and stronger institutions. And with that I also thought, how could I provide insight...
By Anne Rowe
Professional conferences are peculiar gatherings. It took me two conferences to figure out that it’s not important whether your next session is in the Tango or Tierra room. What’s really important is this: once you find the right conference room, whom are you sitting next to? Nobody prepared me for this reality so I will try to save you some time with one tip as you prepare for the...
By Kristine McCarty
This post was written by a recipient of a Wanda Chin Scholarship to attended the 2013 Annual Meeting
 I never wanted to work in a museum.
Not that I was against it—the thought had just never occurred to me.
Almost two years ago, a position for an intern opened up at the Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH) on the campus of Idaho State University. The position was a paid...
By Sue Lafferty
“I made some incredible connections! I reconnected with old friends and felt great to be able to mentor the newcomers during the conference.”
“I came away with a renewed enthusiasm for a career in museums and ideas to enhance the mission of my institution.”
“I am always so impressed by the spirit of community and reflective practice you and your team are able to cultivate at these...
By Meris Mullaley
This post was written by a recipient of a Wanda Chin Scholarship to attended the 2013 Annual Meeting
How many times have you thought, “If only I knew then what I know now, I would have done [blank] differently.”
While perpetual second-guessing is not a productive way to live and work, my recent career change from field archaeologist to museum educator has given me the...

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