As a history graduate, it was always likely I would go into one of the heritage professions, but I did seriously consider other creative/literary options quite seriously, including advertising and technical writing. I am lucky that my role at Bradford involves so much marketing and writing! And I am using my skills to bring collections to people who might enjoy or learn from them, rather than to sell them stuff they don’t need.
I was also interested in medicine: particularly emergency medicine. You might think that this has nothing in common with my present job. However, I am responsible for salvaging the collections in the event of disaster. Emergency management is all about effective planning, staying calm, prioritising, and being decisive, whether the patients are actual people or wet books.
Anyway, what all these personal thoughts suggest is the range of skills that heritage professionals need, and the variety of work they can do. We develop management skills, marketing, fundraising, all kinds of IT, communication, presentations, and much more. Alongside these generic skills, we also know a great deal about our collections and our users. Conveying these messages to our employers and other funders is essential, one of the most important things we as individuals and collectively can do.