Making a Career as a Sociolinguist
Central to the MLC is the professional development of its students. When you’re starting to think about how to apply your training as a sociolinguist to an industry or organization that you’re interested in, where do you begin? How do you define linguistics and communicate your strengths? What is an informational interview? You’ve scored the interview – how do you prepare? The Proseminar, the MLC’s most unique course, takes an in-depth look at all this and more. Here’s a quick introduction to these topics — and some valuable to-dos to keep in mind: (Many of the resources linked to below are courtesy of our friends at the SFS Graduate Career Development Center. Thanks, GSFS!)
How to Begin
- See Professional Applications of Linguistics, friend of the MLC’s Anna Marie Trester’s presentation to the AAAL (American Association of Applied Linguistics). Spend some time getting to Know Thyself professionally. See if any of the organizations of interest seem particularly up your alley, and think about the steps you need to take for a successful career search.
- Get your hands on So What Are You Going To Do With That?
Get Out There
- When you are ready to get out there and start talking to folks, check out our guidelines for informational interviewing and for networking (invaluable tips from the MLC’s own Sonia Checchia, MLC ’09).
- Begin searching for jobs that you want to apply for. Keep in mind these tips for the job search, and of course you’ll need a ruse our resume resources and cover letter guide as you create your documents. Don’t forget to ask your professors for letters of recommendation early!
- When you have piqued the interest of your prospective employer, get some friends together to help you practice talking about linguistics. Have them vet your elevator pitch and your interviewing skills. Finally, never forget to write thank you letters afterwards.
- Give Po Bronson’s excellent book a read to put everything in perspective. And of course, when you have landed your job, let us know all about what you are up to!