When it comes to genealogy, it’s all about the passion. Almost every experienced professional genealogist started out in the field as a hobbyist.
Actually, it’s likely the very nature of the field that makes you want to pursue it as a career. There is a constant adrenaline rush as you make discoveries and break through brick walls. And while trying to find important information about your own family’s history, somewhere along the way, your hobby turns into a desire to do this work for others!
It is important to know that moving from skilled hobbyist to professional genealogist takes focus, skill, passion, and a LOT of hard work..
Here are some tips to get you started.
Join the APG And Apply For Certification/Accreditation
The Association of Professional Genealogists or the APG is an international organization that welcomes all genealogists. Current members include professional researchers, writers, archivists, librarians, and even computer specialists. The association also offers professional development programs to help genealogists build their skills—which can be very useful for budding genealogists!
Your association with these bodies will help you familiarize yourself with the code of ethics followed in the field and build your knowledge base. Moreover, it would let your clients know how dedicated and serious you are about your work.
Never Stop Educating Yourself
Genealogy is a heavily research-based field. This means that your education and training never really end. There are always new methods to learn and resources to explore.
Attend all the genealogy-related workshops and seminars you come across. Make sure to subscribe to genealogical magazines, journals, forums, and other educational websites, and do take the time to explore them thoroughly.
Make educational tours a part of your training. Whenever you get the time and the chance, explore local libraries, courthouses, archives, and any other places where you think you might learn something new. Maybe even take a foreign genealogy-related trip or two if you can manage it – this type of travel is very popular these days – and is a great way to combine learning about your past by visiting the places your family originally came from!
Keep Researching Your Own Family’s History
The highs you feel while researching your own family’s history are always going to be infinitely special—nothing can come close. That’s one of the reasons why you can’t stop doing it – it’s what got you into professional genealogy in the first place, and it’s what keeps the passion alive.
So, every once in a while, when you’re not working for a client, take time out to work on your own family tree. Every new discovery will inspire you to go ever deeper!.
Connect and Learn from Other Professional Genealogists
Genealogical research is a constant learning process, and there are no better teachers than other genealogists and experts. So, find and connect with them on online forums, and other platforms – both online and off – that have been developed specifically for genealogists.
They can help you learn new techniques, and can often help with tips and assistance on specific topics from time to time. And maybe someday, you’ll be experienced enough to help other beginners in the field!
Since you’re still new to this, in case you need help with a project, you can reach out to us at DavisDNA And Family Research.
Give us a call to learn more!