Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Got A Job

Dear Reader, here's just a short note to tell you that I am a happy blogger.

If you've followed the blog, you may have gathered that the Scandinavian labour market for archaeology PhDs stinks. I got my PhD three years ago, and since then I've applied for every job announced that fit my qualifications, from Kiel to Tromsø. There have been twelve such announcements in three years. The number of applicants has been staggering, and the jobs have been given to people of much more advanced years than myself, whose lists of qualifications are of course longer than mine. Simply put: it's impossible for an archaeology PhD born in the 70s to get an entry-level academic job, because colleagues born in the 60s want them too.

You may also have gathered that I am not entirely happy with my solitary scholar's life. The freedom is great, but it's lonely and demoralising. It's tough to be the only person in the world (except one's family), for years and years, who cares whether one gets out of bed in the morning or not. Also, subsisting on small grants as I have done means no pension and no health insurance. Finally, most people have a need to belong somewhere, to be a member of a tribe. I haven't for a long time.

So you can see why I'm happy to have found a academic-ish job! Starting October, I'll work 50% for a scholarly organisation in central Stockholm as an editor and administrator. The work promises a lot of communication with scholars and other people. And working there part-time will allow me to continue my research and take care of my kids.

The paperwork isn't signed yet, so I'll tell you details in October. Whoopee!

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Blogger Karen said...

That's fantastic Martin! Congratulations!!! I'm doing my happy dance (involves much butt wiggling). It sounds like this will be great - time with the family/steady income/chance to network and interact with fellow archaeologists and academics. WOOO HOOOOO!

06 September, 2006 14:33  
Blogger Martin said...

Thanks sweetie!

06 September, 2006 14:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratz there!

07 September, 2006 10:48  
Blogger Alun said...

Excellent news

07 September, 2006 11:07  
Anonymous pablo said...

I'm glad for your good news. But I hope the job doesn't interefere with your blogging responsibilities.

07 September, 2006 13:43  
Blogger Martin said...

Many thanks, everybody!

Pablo, I'm flattered by your concern! But don't worry. I do most of my blogging at home. And the new job will very likely give me a lot of new impressions to share with you guys.

07 September, 2006 13:50  
Blogger Hans Persson said...


07 September, 2006 14:21  
Anonymous Magnus said...


I don't doubt that archaelogy might well be one of the disciplines that suffer the most from this problem, but unfortunately the issue is even bigger. This problem affects almost every branch of Scandinavian academia. Also in my own field, physics, finding a position as research scholar is amazingly difficult. With only a Ph.D. you can forget about it, you have to do post doc abroad for several years even to be considered a serious applicant. Getting a permanent position (or semi-permanent, as permanent appointments have been more or less abolished) is well-nigh impossible.

The point of this long litany is that I believe we are facing a huge problem throughout academia, in all disciplines, and discussions about it should involve researchers from all fields.

08 September, 2006 16:17  
Blogger Martin said...

Thanks Magnus!

As I have said repeatedly on the blog, the problem in my opinion is that anyone can study whatever they want in Sweden, regardless of whether society has any use for those skills or not. It's a recipe for huge academic unemployment.

08 September, 2006 16:34  
Anonymous Henrik said...

We won't have to send you anymore canned beans, then...?


09 September, 2006 22:21  
Blogger Martin said...

Thanks Henrik!

Canned beans? I thought they were plant macrofossil samples. Does this mean that you don't want my 90-page report on 16th century Danish garden cultivars?

Maybe now I'll be able to afford cup noodles!

09 September, 2006 22:41  

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