Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Genealogist in training vs. the military

So what do you do when you need to get the experience only possible by taking on clients, in this case on a pro bono basis, but you're constantly moving around every 3-4 years? That isn't really sufficient time to get the knowledge of the area you're living in down well enough to take on clients but it also doesn't help get you closer to the records that you may need to continue in your own family research. Welcome to my world. When we first moved to our current duty station about 3 1/2 years ago, we had quite a bit to figure out. Getting our kid in a preschool, getting settled in our own place, figuring out where everything was, etc. Your usual just moved in kind of thing. But then I re-focused on my own family research and later on genealogy in general and wanted to take my experience to the next level by taking clients but since none of my research has been focused on this area, I'm next to clueless about the records here so I wouldn't be much good even as a pro bono genealogist in this area. So there went my opportunity to expand my knowledge base. Now with another move within the next 6 months staring me in the face, I think I need to attack this differently. This time I'll try to get acquainted with the area I'll be in, get to know the records and the history, and get involved with the historical and/or genealogical societies there. If I get involved right from the beginning maybe by the time I'm ready to head out on the next move I'll have gained more of that experience and professional acumen that I've been desiring.

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