As I was reading about mission statements it hit me how important a couple of sentences will become for every action I take as a museum professional. We will be guided by a goal that decides what is appropriate for our institutions. A well written mission statement allows for a large degree of freedom for the staff but there is still a limit.
It is daunting to think of trying to match all of my professional decisions with one particular mission. There are so many kinds of museums with different types of missions that I started to think about which interested me the most. When reading through all the examples of missions, a couple definitely popped out as something I would never tire trying to accomplish.
We are entering a poor economy, however, with a limited amount of employment opportunities. How important is it for a museum professional to find a job at an institution with a mission that is important on a personal level? Should we take a job that we are well qualified for even if the mission is not something that creates a feeling of personal excitement? It is another one of those difficult situations where money and ideals are in conflict. When it comes down to I don’t know if I would be able to get myself excited about the mission of a place like the toothpick museum, but if it was between loving toothpicks and not having a job I think the situation might change dramatically.