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IfA 2012 Conference - Is it a worthwhile time/financial investment?
#11
I feel that I should make a comment here... to show the other side as it were

I went to the IFA conference last year in a similar circumstance. I work as a digger and have now just finished my MA. I was researching community archaeology, which gave me a focus to told to people about, but everybody was very friendly.
I spoke to all levels of archaeologists, managment, those who were successful in getting IFA bursaries, consultants etc. I was told on more that one occasion not to introduce myself as 'just a digger'. I felt that people respected me and noticed me for making the effort to come and talk to them. It also turns out that talking to management types was much better for making contacts than those in the same situatuion as myself- after all, who is the one going to offer me the job or has the experience to pass on?

On the issue of cash it does seem expensive, however I managed to convince my company to pay me for the days as normal and the IFA waived my fees when I explained the situation (they have a limited budget for such things but there is never any harm in asking). I gained by going, I learnt, I made contacts, but i did have to take a deep breath and put myself out there. I have used those contacts and the experience and am contemplating going again this year!
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#12
It is great to hear that you had a good experience at the conference and its nice to give a much more rounded veiw of the situation and well done for passing on info about bursaries

I was however a little disturbed by some of your post - I fear your attitude in introducing yourself as "just a digger" is just what Kevin was talking about - it shows how you feel about the role not how it is seen by others

Quote:after all, who is the one going to offer me the job or has the experience to pass on?

and have you considered that as a relatively new digger other "just diggers" also have a hell of a lot to teach you too? They have been in your situation and often have a lot of experience to pass on - not only about fieldwork but about the lifestyle, getting work, and just keeping going!!

and I think you underestimate how tight knit the digging community can be - when someone gets a job with a company they will often give you the heads up as to where there is work, when is good to send cv's and recommend you to their bosses. I have often been asked by management do you know so and so they have sent in a cv are they worth hireing etc.
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#13
The only networking that has really paid off for me was with people I know outside of commercial archaeology. Keeping in touch with academic friends has provided a number of interesting fieldwork opportunities abroad over the years.
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
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#14
Sith Wrote:The only networking that has really paid off for me was with people I know outside of commercial archaeology. Keeping in touch with academic friends has provided a number of interesting fieldwork opportunities abroad over the years.


Good point Sith.....there is a distinction between 'networking' as in the sense of a double glazing salesperson i.e cold calling and 'networking' as a result of networks that have built up as a result of previous involvement and interaction. I was of the opinion that the original mail was describing the former, and apologise if there has been a misunderstanding between the two forms.
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#15
I wonder how the civil servants got on this year with screwing money out of other civil servants. Last years accounts http://www.archaeologists.net/sites/default/files/node-files/2010annualreport.pdf

showed a loss of ?118,987 (after bank interest and corporation tax) with the balance sheet showing their reserves left standing at ?310,337.

For all those thinking of joining you might like to think about saving yourself a tenner

Quote:[SIZE=3]8 COMPANY STATUS[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]The company is a private company limited by guarantee and consequently does not have share capital. Each of the members is liable to contribute anamount not exceeding ?10 towards the assets of the [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]company in the event ofliquidation.




[/SIZE]
I think that they should stop writing that their principle interest is

Quote:[SIZE=3]PRINCIPAL ACTIVITY[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]The principal activity of the company is the advancement ofthe practice of field archaeology and allied disciplines.[/SIZE]




And admit that it is a civil service curators organisation.

They don?t seem to pay very much in pension contributions - how did they manage that?
Reason: your past is my past
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#16
Very interesting Unit - but kind of irrelevant to this thread Wink
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#17
1. you must have tenners to burn
2 maybe this is an agm with something that looks like a conference wrapped around it. At some point its going to call an extraordinary agm as well. Mean while poor students will join and go to one "conference" and think that they will meet some big boys but might be surprised that none of the big boys will have dirty finger nails and that they should really work for eh, some trust or become a curator.
3 I work as a digger and have now just finished my MA,- I managed to convince my company to pay me for the days as normal and the IFA waived my fees, was told on more that one occasion not to introduce myself as 'just a digger'.
Reason: your past is my past
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#18
if one introduces oneself as 'just a digger' then one probably is

but i wouldnt use my own money to go to ifa conference - ever
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#19
I definitely agree wioth those saying that you shouldn't introduce yourself a s 'just a digger'. You're no more 'just a digger' than you would be 'just an infantryman' or 'just a midwife'. it's an important (some might say the most important) part of archaeology.
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
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#20
Perhaps I was a little misleading, I have been digging for a few years and have an existing network of friends and colleagues, but the IFA conference helped to give broadened my horizons a little. I think if you are willing to make the effort then people will help you out. I like to think that my fellow diggers will help me out as much, in fact probably more, than the people I met at the IFA conference but that it is important to keep your horizons wide and make the most of any opportunity. If you wish to move into a different area or specialism it can be hard to go through existing contacts. Management types should not be ruled out because they are management; I think they are normal people at the end of the day? Wink.



Going to the IFA conference gave me confidence I perhaps might not have got elsewhere. I introduced myself as just a digger at that moment because that?s what I thought people would want to hear, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear otherwise. I?m sure you will all be pleased to hear that I do change my job title depending on who I?m talking too and what I want Smile
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