Category Archives: Vocation

Network Weaving Vocation

Well, Here’s How *I* Pay Rent with my Anthro Major

An urban anthropologist at work.

An urban anthropologist at work: may include testifying on urban issues for City Government.

 

I identify as an anthropologist, among other things. Anyone who ever studied anthropology, me included, needs an answer to, “What job can you get with an anthro major?” In jokes about useless majors, it ranks up there with art and philosophy. In 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott took on the whole discipline, noting, “We don’t need them here.

Amy Santee, another applied anthropologist, writes about just this question on her blog, Anthropologizing. She has a series of posts titled, “Anthropologists in Practice.” I was pleased for the chance to reflect more on my anthropology training — and to answer the question of how I use an anthropology major to pay my rent — when she invited me to do an interview for the series.

Network Weaving Vocation

Co-Files and Pollen

Image credit Marie Ketring

Image credit Marie Ketring

I’m honored to have been featured by Pollen in their latest profiles of CoCo members, Co-Files: Part iii.

 

“So that’s my thing:  pulling different elements together and helping them work as a unit in a really smart way.”

 

You’ll have to scroll down a bit through the profiles to fine me, but if you do you’ll see how I describe Network Weaving in an informal conversation/interview.

 

 

Vocation

Process vs. Product

I recently realized that one of my hobbies provides a perfect example of how I approach my work.  I finished two projects in the last week, a sweater for my mom, and a sweater for myself.

Sweater for Mom

Sweater for Mom

My sweater

My sweater

How does knitting relate to consulting?  As knitters will tell you, there are two aspects of the hobby:  process and productread more »

Vocation

An Incredible Invitation

Speaking at Luther CollegeI was invited to my undergraduate alma mater, Luther College, for a one-week residency as a Vocation Visitor. I was on campus April 10-16, 2011. While on campus I gave this talk, spoke in 12 classes, and met with several student clubs, individual students, faculty and staff.

The Luxury of Limited Means: The Freedom to Choose Your Own Route

It’s easy to get sucked into a life to eventually discover yourself on a path you may not want to be on – with responsibilities that make it seem impossible to change directions.

I feel lucky. When I graduated from Luther I headed off to Africa for a job and adventures I couldn’t predict. In a sense, that gave me a couple years to punt on growing up until I was grown-up enough to realize that I wanted to choose my future, not fall into it. I was also unsure enough about what I wanted that I hedged my bets. 18 years later, my life is one of responsibility, meaningful work, and rootedness. I also have the same feeling of freedom and opportunity as when headed for what was then Zaire.

I share stories of:

  • how living overseas and my time at Luther shaped my view of the world,
  • the atypical ways I approach daily logistics like paying the bills,
  • how an intentional choice to limit my means has resulted in freedom (financial and otherwise), and
  • of the ways I have been able to align my values, life, living situation, and work.

I also share some ideas people can use to get started if they want to choose – to design – their own route through life. Even if it already seems impossible to change directions.  (Audio after the break.) read more »