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2023: Highlights



In the first half of 2023, I was determined to exit archaeology due to a lack of career perspective. I applied for countless jobs where I thought I was qualified. For 80% of the applications, I never got an answer.

Later, I learned that I should rewire my mindset from academia to the real world where a longer-than-2-pages CV is a NO-NO! The reality check showed me that being overqualified is not an advantage for recruiters, but a solid reason for rejection because “she can do better than this job”. I managed to pull myself through this difficult period of no-replies and rejections with the help of countless people and organizations: Joyce Power & the small support group she initiated, the female factor, PWN Vienna - Professional Women’s Network Vienna, Women of Vienna, Wirtschaftsagentur Wien - Vienna Business Agency, özlem Taskin önen & each attendee of the ’ancient forms’ classes, my partner & my friends who witnessed a lot of ups and countless downs through the year.

Sometime in June, I understood that quitting archaeology was breaking my heart. So, I decided to create my job as a self-employed archaeologist. This is when 2023 became even crazier: I made a business plan, and I joined workshops & programs that would help me understand the legal, administrative, financial, or marketing backgrounds I would need to establish a business. And I did it!

I did it because I have amazing people around & I met hundreds of new people who helped me on the way.

For all the above, I am grateful, but I am also exhausted. 2023 caught me unprepared in quite some cases and pushed me to the ground when I least expected it. But I survived. And I managed to do things I never imagined I could do. Below, I wrote an overview of what I remember doing this year.

Meanwhile, let us rest and recover. ♡


· Establishing my business as a self-employed archaeologist: I love archaeology

· Teaching: 32 archaeology & ancient pottery classes (4-semester courses)

· Organising: 6 cultural events & tours; 2 temporary exhibitions (July & December)

· Public presentations: 2 open stages (Body Image & Sexuality – also moderator; A Brief History of Wellbeing)

· Academia: 1 published article, guest lecturer at the Facultatea de Istorie - Universitatea din Bucureşti 

· Volunteering: moderator, admin & event organiser for Women* of Vienna; mentor for Early Career Archaeologists / EAA Community (thank you Bianca Preda-Bălănică)

· Learning: Canva, ChatGPT, Google Career Certificates, Wix (creating my website), TikTok, etc.

· Creating content: circa 300 designs, videos & presentations with promotional texts for social media, websites, posters, flyers, workshops, etc; co-applicant for an EU project.

· Me-time: started Kung Fu training 2 to 4 times per week, overcame my fear of climbing, restarted therapy, overcame life-threatening health diagnostics, and walked 2.6 million steps (2100 km).

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