Following my relocation from Western MA to Western NC, I had shared with Julie my desire to one day become an archives tech, library tech, or public records clerk, and asked:
So, the big question is: without going back to school for a Master's degree, how can I best prepare myself to be marketable from what you see in the field?This was her response:
Thank you Julie for all your support over the years!
This is so perfect for you so I hope it works out! The best advice is to volunteer. Sign up for Genealogy Random Acts of Kindness. Find out if you can get on a researcher for hire list at public, academic, state libraries and historical societies. Since you have a full time job with varying schedule, volunteering would be tough. Try for events or projects that don't have to keep to certain shift. Indexing is one that is always needed and can be done on your own schedule. Start going to library and archives conferences--state and regional ones. They usually have special rate for the unemployed which in Mass we define as a non-library job. Having a finished product such as an index or finding aid to show off at an interview is necessary. Does your family reunion group keep a website or blog that you contribute to? Maybe start a blog of all your genealogy research as a way to show off your skills? We recently interviewed someone for a reference job who had little experience but she kept a blog of what she read alone and with her kids proving her readers advisory would be fantastic and her writing skills were great. Of course, I would always be happy to give you a glowing reference for your research skills, knowledge of and love of genealogy, newspaper research, persistence, helpful, friendly, customer service attitude! I wish you all the best!