#10 Shovelbums Series: Introduction

A couple of years ago I had an idea for a book.  I imagined it would be in the form of a book from the Rough Guide series of guide books.  It would be a guide book for new and current practitioners of contract archaeology, a.k.a. Shovelbums.  

This comprehensive guide to contract archaeology would include a brief overview of the history of different regions of the country, how to get a job, what to say to potential employers, how to live comfortably and affordably in a hotel room, and all of the other issues that come up in this field.  

I’m often talking to co-workers about living in hotel rooms and traveling all year long.  We frequently teach each other about ways of coping with life on the road and what we like and don’t like about it.  It seems like everyone has a different way to manage their vagabond lifestyles.  If we could all learn from each other’s successes and failures and combine our knowledge into a guide book for new and old Shovelbums then maybe we could reduce the high turnover that our field has.  

In my experience the number two reason that people get out of CRM is that they are unhappy with living a temporary existence and don’t like living on the road.  The number one reason is usually money, or the lack of it.  I can’t do anything about the money but quality of life can be improved with a few simple tips.

Since I don't have time to write a book I'll present the information in an ongoing series of blog posts.  I plan to follow this post with a series that will be aimed at the beginning Shovelbum.  I’ll start with what should be in an effective CV, where to look for jobs, and how to get that job that you really want.  There are a lot of questions that you will be asked in a phone interview.  What new people don’t know is that there are questions that you can ask your potential employer as well.  If you’re not looking out for your own best interests you could get taken advantage of.

I am by no means an expert on any of the things that I’ll talk about in this series.  It’s just really important to me that these things get out to people so everyone can be happier with their personal lives and therefore happier at work and more productive.  If anyone has any suggestions or opinions or additions about these entries then please, leave a comment.  I’ll include any additions or corrections to modifications of the post in question or in future posts.