Museum professionals from across the country (and the world!) are sharing their stories about workplace culture. Below are some survey responses.
All I can say is that if I leave my job, I want to go to a place with more money – more money equals more possibilities. I hate to be crass, but many of our current institutional problems could be solved with more revenue. It is so hard to work at an institution that says do more with less. Talking to my boss is as effective as talking to a houseplant. When working as the head of a busy department, we made it through some very busy, crazy summer days. It felt good to lead a team that worked together for our patrons. I might consider staying where I am. But for right now, I look for new jobs on a daily basis. Any museum that celebrates learning and has interesting co-workers. Oftentimes it’s the externalities of the job that make it worthwhile – who you meet, what you learn, where these people lead you in terms of professional and personal experience. All positive work experience can’t come from the hierarchy and co-workers and tasks. You have to find other things and celebrate them and PLAY IN THE POSITIVE SPACE. Some days I am tearing my hair out, but others I am so happy to go to work to learn something new. Having been a museum professional for 15 years, I can only say that serious changes are needed, and most of them should come at the board and leadership levels. The “museum game” has been cemented for quite some time and needs to be shaken up. My direct supervisor is unresponsive and often times appears to be too overwhelmed to care about things; HR is known to have the ear of senior managers and I don’t trust her with private information. I feel comfortable talking with the executive director, but no change would come from my concerns so I don’t feel it would be useful.Have you weighed in through the survey? You can also send me your stories for inclusion in the study!