The field of genealogy has great opportunity for professional genealogists. Let’s take a look at your personal goals. Some decisions you’ll need to make about how you like to work. Then, consider whether your internal drive is motivated to become a business owner willing to take calculated entrepreneurial risks.
Do you like the sense of security and the benefits of working for an employer?
Or, have you always wanted the challenge of owning your own business?
Quite a few companies hire professional genealogists in a wide variety of positions. If you’d like to work for a company like Ancestry.com, LegacyTree, MyHeritage, legal offices, and hundreds of other small to large businesses, then it’s a matter of matching your skills and experience to the job you’d like to have and/or getting the education you need.
Some non-profit groups hire or train employees to be genealogists to repatriate citizens, discover paternity/maternity, and return children to indigenous people groups. These entities such as libraries, museums, genealogical societies, and some specialty organizations that work with specific people groups have a budget for purchasing courses and certifications for staff. Their goal is to provide a specialized service to the clientele they serve. Consider volunteering or working in one of these kinds of organizations local to you to gain skills as you prepare for a paid position. Many will hire volunteers who have shown their work ethic and valuable abilities while volunteering. Internships work in this arena and in for-profit companies.
Many companies have family history researchers, teachers, content writers, social media specialists, tech and website developers, website designers (the consumer side of website), translators, editors, event planners (even teams of event planners), collection librarians/managers, customer service, podcast/media producers, and more on staff. Most companies have such a wide variety that, with patience, a professional genealogist may find the corporate job of their dreams or a position that allows a chance to grow into that dream job.
How does a professional genealogist find a corporate position?
- Follow the companies of interest, particularly their job postings and blogs.
- Network online on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. while subscribing to their newsletters.
- Prepare your resumé, give it minor tweaks to suit the position.
- Watch what other positions are available. Pay attention to descriptions, contact information, details of what they’d like submitted, how to submit your application, and any contact names/emails/phone.
Once you discover a corporate position, take time to research it. Then, consider the skills from previous jobs and education. Include volunteer positions, particularly if that volunteerism is in the arena of the potential job. Employers are interested in skills from volunteer jobs if they’re marketable. Those skills aren’t all, though. People who are involved in their communities, have positive and helpful personalities, and don’t sit idle are of high interest to employers.
Some suggestions to avoid:
Avoid cold calling or mass sending your resumé.
Solution: Go in and meet people, take part in any public events, learn about the company you’re interested in as part of your employment research. Be familiar with the business or service so you can speak with an understanding of their goals.
Remember, some of the most desired traits in an employee are positive personality, teachable, motivated, and works well with others. Then, they’ll look at your experience and expertise.
If you need to brush up your genealogical skills, or earn a Professional Learning Certificate Genealogical Studies (PLCGS) to create a marketable resumé, choose a country-theme or topic of interest to study to shape the career you want with our combined certificates. Here are a few to meet your goals…
Call 800.580.0165 x1 if you have questions or need help choosing a path to becoming a professional genealogist. Our chat app on the website is also available to send a message. We’re real people who will respond directly to you as soon as possible to give you real answers. Your new career is at your fingertips.
What questions would you like me to address on the topic of jobs in genealogy?
Angela Breidenbach, International Institute of Genealogical Studies Executive Director, is a bestselling author of historical fiction, professional genealogist, and speaker. She’s a passionate educator.
Learn more at AngelaBreidenbach.com
Follow on social media @AngBreidenbach
The International Institute of Genealogical Studies offers quality online education with over 240 courses. Our wide range of courses cover specific countries, enhance methodology research, build skills to maximize your research time, and all count toward the certification you choose.
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