A Handbook for Independent Museum Professionals
Do you love museums? Do you believe in their wonder and power? Do you want to contribute to a wider museum community? Do you want to build a satisfying independent career?
Museum Mercenary is for you. This book is for anyone who believes in museum work but struggles to find satisfaction in traditional museum jobs. It is for those who want to be challenged and inspired by a wider network of colleagues. It is for the creative, committed, and curious who want to live fulfilling lives while building meaningful careers. It is for those just hitting the job market, for those looking for a mid-career shift, or those wanting to contribute after retirement. It is for those who hope to balance making money with making a difference. Museum Mercenary shares how a dedicated museum worker can launch and sustain a successful and satisfying career as an independent museum professional.
Supporting local bookstores keeps the book industry and communities healthier. Indies are big supporters of small books, new voices, and local talent and many serve as important community spaces — just like many museums!
Members of AASLH receive a discount from Rowman & Littlefield
“As a former independent museum professional, I can say this book is a phenomenal resource. It lays out a realistic view of the joys, pitfalls, and promise of freelance life, an important and growing sector of the museum field. Well done!”
— Dan Yaeger, Executive Director, New England Museum Association
“Considering setting off as an independent museum professional? Or maybe you have already taken the plunge. You may even have a few years of experience. Wherever you are in your career as a freelancer, you’ll find great advice in Museum Mercenary to help you shape and grow your practice.”
— Laura B. Roberts, principal, Roberts Consulting
This book is a toolkit for anyone looking to build a career consulting for museums. It provides practical advice about establishing your business, building your network, and managing projects to ensure long-term success and satisfaction. This book will help you answer key questions, such as:
• How do you market your services and find clients?
• Which skills should you develop and how?
• How do you manage taxes and insurance?
• What professional standards should you follow?
• How do you plan for the future?
• And, most importantly, how do you do all of that while doing museum work that makes you proud?
Museum Mercenary bridges the gap between guides for doing great museum work and guides for building a successful freelance career. It prepares you to become freelance professional engaged in transforming the museum field. Use the tips, tactics, and activities in this book to navigate freelancing and then get back to the business of meaningful museum work.
GUIDE FOR MUSEUM FREELANCERS - BUSINESS TIPS & TACTICS - BUILD A CAREER - NETWORK - FIND JOBS - PITCH IDEAS - BUILD A CLIENT BASE - MANAGE PROJECTS