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Is It a Good Place to Pursue a Career?
Staff Development: Historically, heavy focus on recruitment of part-time employees and interns. Jobs have been offered to those who got a foot in the door as an intern or part-time employee. The question of whether that job resulted in a salary that met industry or quality of life standards could only be answered by the people who received the offer. - Roadblocks to career momentum. There are ways working here can impede the development of your career as an archivist or information professional. Internally: Management appears to make paths to promotion available, but those paths are incredibly tortuous. Externally: Heritage Werks bases its archival standards on academically accepted archival disciplines, but it also uses a proprietary system of archival standards that doesn't 100 percent mesh with the universal standards used by museums, archives and academic institutions. This leads to development of archival practices that may not be helpful in landing a job at an archive, museum, library or university. It could also lead to formation of bad habits. - Little formal training and few resources. The tools and staff needed to do the trade were limited and management has little time to teach new hires. Instruction and project management were sometimes delegated to new hires fresh out of school. - Lack of communication. Very little guidance is given on projects. Managers could change their expectations for a project at the 11th hour, sometimes requiring massive reallocation of resources and manpower. Communication from managers could sound really unprofessional and loaded with personal baggage. Sometimes, it led to shouting. - Leaking experienced and professional staff. Heritage Werks has HISTORICALLY hired project managers with significant experience in archiving, but it failed to retain them. This, in some cases, left the day-to-day organization of dense, valuable, collections of information to employees who were fresh out of grad school and employees whose only practical experience in archiving came from internships. The young, eager interns and remaining rank-and-file staff from professional backgrounds are highly skilled and great at archiving. But it begs the question: How much value can be unlocked from a collection of historical things if the leaders organizing the collection don't have a strong background in the organization of history?
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