Becoming a professional genealogist online is not a difficult chore, however, it does comes with some important hurdles that must be overcome. Continue reading more about how to become a professional genealogist online below.
Your strong interest in your family origin has led you to track down your ancestors. Maybe now your other family members and friends are asking you to do the same for them. This leads to the following two questions:
- Are you ready to research for others?
- Does this make you an online professional genealogist?
Let’s find out!
A professional genealogist online is a qualified and trained individual who is paid for their research. If you are thinking of embarking on this journey, it is important to gain genealogy experience that will propel you to a professional level. Consider whether you possess the necessary genealogical and business skills that will make you a reliable genealogist online.
Genealogical Skills to Become a Professional Genealogist Online
By doing a self-assessment, it will be easy to find out whether you have the right skills to become a professional.
What Are Your Genealogical Skills?
When finding out how to become a professional genealogist online (a) determine whether you have knowledge of the area where you live (b) knowledge to conduct an excellent search (c) the necessary skills to access online records.
What Is Your Genealogy Specialty?
If you can speak foreign languages then you will be able to conduct wide searches. Also, find out whether you are more skilled in researching different record types such as religious records, court records or even publishing family histories. This will make it easy to establish the expertise you will have as a professional genealogist online.
Even when working online, it is essential to have the right business skills. This includes time and financial management, customer service, marketing and business writing. Ensure that you are well-capable of managing your time with other commitments and are able to consistently meet deadlines. Scheduling your workload will ensure that research is carried out efficiently.
Once all these factors are determined, you are now ready to begin your journey on how to become a professional genealogist online.
Here are other steps that you should take:
Register For Online Courses
There are many genealogical research certificate programs online that will enable you to better your skills and become a professional. Remember, when genealogical research is used to trace ancestry or find historical discourses, the results must be irrefutable. Therefore, you need to be well-equipped with the best research methods and technologies.
There are online courses that employ lectures, practice activities and online discussions that will better prepare you for your profession. Registering for an online course is the best way to seek certification on how to become a professional genealogist online.
Study All Professional Genealogical Publications
Professional publications such as the Genealogical Society Quarterly will help to familiarize with research articles that have been written by other professionals as well as discover appropriate online research methods.
Joining the Association of Professional Genealogists is the best way to be part of a positive network of professionals. With a current membership of more than 1,100 genealogists, you will be able to get an immense amount of knowledge for your newly chosen career path. Learning the genealogy code of ethics will also let clients know that you are serious about your work quality.
Continue Discovering Multiple Genealogical Research Resources
Although there are numerous genealogical resources online, it is always best to diversify with other resources such as courthouse records and library resources. This will give you a better understanding of how to conduct deep research and what your end results should entail. Transfer this knowledge to your online work and better yourself as a genealogist.
Consider Your Writing Skills
To successfully present your research work to all potential clients, you must be knowledgeable of proper writing styles, citations, and grammar. Once you have polished your writing, submit an article for a case study for possible publication. This will give you a good insight as to what should be improved.
Network With Other Online Genealogists, Librarians, And Archivists
The best way to develop your skills is by connecting with other professional genealogists online, it will be easy to keep abreast with new information, research skills and will also receive helpful advice.
Make A List Of Your Goals
Genealogy is a wide professional field. Therefore, it is always best to think about what interests you and the online resources that you have the best access to. Do not take on a project that will be challenging in terms of resources.
Remember, professional genealogists do not necessarily do all client research, some are authors, editors, adoption specialists and equally deal with other related fields.
Subscribe To Genealogical Journals
Needless to say, we can always learn from someone else’s research. A genealogical journal will give you unlimited access to case studies that are continuously published as well as an abundance of articles that will further develop your skills. You will always learn something on every page.
Learn To Abstract And Index Records
As a professional genealogist online, it is essential to learn how to abstract or index a group of records. This will automatically better your skills and allow you to gain a deeper understanding of online records. Such projects will always enhance your credentials.
Continue Researching Your Own Family History
Your desire on how to become a professional genealogist online began when you were researching your own family history. Even if you take on other projects, do not stop researching about your origin. This will equally make you a better professional.
However, remember that it is not unusual to focus more on your own family history than research associated with other clients. When becoming a professional, it is best to learn how to budget your time and dedicate equal time to all research projects.
The steps to on how to become a professional genealogist online have the common theme of education. This is why the profession is so attractive. After all, there is always something exciting to learn, find or share. Practice your research skills every chance you get, take an online course and ensure you are accredited. This will be beneficial in the long run.