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Subject: Salaries


From: Barbara Appelbaum <aandh>
Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2003
I want to broaden a bit the discussion of salaries for younger
conservators.  Conservation professionals would benefit a great
deal--financially and psychologically--by pushing themselves to
promote their professional expertise and seeing what they do in more
business-y terms rather than as a labor of love.  We have expertise
just the way lawyers and doctors do--they enjoy their work, but do
not allow that to get in the way of making a living. We constantly
undervalue our own expertise, partly because we work in the
not-for-profit sector, but partly because of our personalities.

This is a problem even with other conservators.  I am in private
practice and often get calls from colleagues for information.  I am
happy to answer questions, but at times, I am asked complex
questions over a period of time--essentially I am being asked to be
a free consultant for a project for which they do not have the
expertise.  It is difficult for me to come out and say "If you want
my help with this, hire me."  In many cases, that is the only way I
can get enough information to answer their inquiries correctly.

In any case, conservators need to broaden their views and become
more involved with non-conservators in all cultural areas, learn
better how to explain the fundamental rationales for what they do,
and see with their own eyes the value they are providing for
custodians, museum-goers, and the world at large.

Fighting for decent salaries and working conditions is what everyone
in the workforce does at times.  Somehow we have to get over the
idea that it is embarrassing.

Barbara Appelbaum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:71
                   Distributed: Tuesday, May 13, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-71-003
Received on Tuesday, 13 May, 2003

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