such events are usually advertised on departmental homepages. Going to events like these are a great way tomeet real archaeologists and likeminded people.
Archaeologists are friendly people who love their subject. They want to tell other people about it and help themget involved. Never, ever be afraid to look up archaeologists who work in your neighbourhood and ask them for advice on how to participate. They may not be able to help you themselves, but they will know other people whocan help you and be able to put you in contact with them.A good starting point is either your local archaeologysociety or your local government archaeologist – both can be searched for online. If these people cannot helpyou, then your local university archaeology department should be able to help.
For those of you interested in taking the next step, considering not only becoming involved inarchaeology but possibly pursuing a career as an archaeologist, the next five steps are especially for you:
Start out by asking yourself what you want out of archaeology – do you really want a career as an archaeologist,e.g. to earn a living doing this? Or rather, do you simply want to become more involved in fieldwork? Understandthe implications of a career in archaeology from the outset – long years of training, limited job opportunities, lowpay and often short employment contracts – and place this against your other personal aspirations and alsocommitments. Talk about your aspirations with your family and what this lifestyle might mean for them, and berealistic – if you’ve always wanted a big house with a sports car sitting in your driveway then archaeology reallyisn’t the career for you. Once you’ve come to a decision then plan what you need to do to make a start in your career – training, experience and contacts.
Realistically, a professional career in archaeology begins at university. You might not like to hear this but there itis. Without a university degree in archaeology then you are seriously harming your chances of getting any job inthe discipline, let alone advancing your career as a professional. So if you’re serious about a career, then find outwhat qualifications you need to get into such a university degree course, find out what university you’d like tostudy at, and apply for a place.Remember that it is never too late to do this. Universities have students with anincredibly diverse array of backgrounds, ages, nationalities and experience.
Archaeologists who do well in their careers have multiple skills and fields of expertise. Multiple skills andspecialisms make you the most adaptable to change, the most able to apply for the largest number of jobs. Thismeans both archaeological and non-archaeological skills, experience and expertise.For those already at workwho are considering a mid-career move into archaeology in particular, it is well worth making a list of what you doin your current job, what skills you have already, and then seeing how these skills might apply to archaeology.
There are more archaeologists out there than available jobs – supply exceeds demand. Beyond expanding your training, skills and expertise, successful archaeologists volunteer to do things that make them, and their CVs,stand out, that provide opportunities for networking, publication and self-promotion. Early on in any career thismeans volunteering to work, often unpaid (but hopefully with at least some costs covered) on projects – both theexciting fieldwork components of any project as well as the much less glamorous but equally important pre- and