TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2008-02 > 1202931094
From: "Elissa Scalise Powell, CG" <>
Subject: [TGF] viewpoint on Professional Genealogy
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 14:31:34 -0500
In many respects today's transitional genealogists have greater advantages
than those who transitioned 10 or 20 or more years ago. You get to look in
the window and see the profession in action through private and public
conversations, and through publications and websites that give advice. Most
of this was not available until this century and previous generations could
only guess at what it meant to be professional.
If by looking in the window it jars their sense of what they think they
should be viewing, then this reality check that helps them to picture
themselves as a working professional is worth it. It might save those who
decide not to pursue professional genealogy a lot of time and expense and
We all love doing research and think it is peachy-keen when we can get paid
for something we love doing. But with that comes several realities:
working to your client's schedule - not your own;
working within your client's budget - not your own;
writing up every piece of research that you looked at, whether positive or
negative, in language that your client will understand;
taking advantage of marketing opportunities when you have a full research
handling "mommy" or "family" guilt;
letting your own genealogy lapse because you want to help your clients.
These are just some of the "grass is not as green on the other side"
perspectives. If you find yourself working them out and it is okay with you
and your family, then you will be more apt to become what you desire. If any
of these things deter you, then perhaps the client research part of the
genealogy umbrella is not your cup of tea. No one says it has to be. There
are many other genealogy related fields that one can enter. Writing the
definitive family history on your own family is also a wonderful cause that
doesn't incur other people's constraints on you and you can tell the family
that it is for them that you labor.
IMO the hardest part about this stage of being a transitional genealogist is
mindset. Deciding on making this professional a priority over certain
things. You have to decide for yourself how far you are willing to go.
I was very fortunate that in my transitional days that my husband was very
supportive of my genealogical meetings and activities. One night I was
putting our young son to bed when he asked where Daddy was. I said Daddy was
at a meeting. "Oh, no," he said in his 4 year old voice, "Only mommies go to
meetings." That hit right in the heart.
It can be a great ride, but one that needs dedication, hard work,
cooperation from those around you, organizational skills, and yes,
sacrifice. And after all that, be careful of what you wish for, since you
will probably get it. <g>
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG
CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the Board for
Certification of Genealogists used under license after periodic evaluations
by the Board.
> -----Original Message-----
> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 1:39 PM
> Subject: [TGF] Fw:
> As much as anybody, I want to encourage new prospects for the field. But,
> IMO, we do them a disservice if we don't help them understand what it is
> they are taking on. We want them to succeed, not start and fail. The
> is that, in that process of learning what successful professional
> genealogists do (and have to do), if they feel it is best for them to drop
> their plans or postpone them, then they are probably making a wise
> If, once they know what lies ahead, they decide this is still what they
> want, then they'll have a far greater chance to succeed.
> Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
> Samford University Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research
|[TGF] viewpoint on Professional Genealogy by "Elissa Scalise Powell, CG" <>|