Megan Smolenyak2 is a real life history detective who loves to solve mysteries. You might have spotted Megan or her handiwork on Top Chef, Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, Faces of America, Good Morning America, the Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, PBS and NPR.
Her news-making discoveries include uncovering Michelle Obama’s family tree, revealing the true story of Annie Moore, the first immigrant through Ellis Island, and tracing Barack Obama’s roots to Moneygall, Ireland. Formerly Chief Family Historian for Ancestry.com, she also founded Unclaimed Persons.
Megan is the author of 6 books, including Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing and Who Do You Think You Are? (companion to the TV series), and conducts forensic research for the Army, BIA, coroners, NCIS and the FBI.
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One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now
“I got myself a virtual assistant right out of the gate . . . Even if you don’t think you’re ready for one yet, explore the possibility.”
Take Time for Your Life by Cheryl Richardson
“In terms of genealogical careers, do what excites you.“
For your action item today I want you to think about where your career is going to be in 5 or 10 years. What will the world of genealogy look like then? How would your services change if all records were online? Or if all genealogy clients asked for DNA interpretation along with their researched family tree? What if the main demand was for heir research or perhaps mineral rights? What other directions might genealogy go in that might not be obvious now? Also, think about your interests and your passions. If you research, for example, colonial Pennsylvania, what can you do to ensure that your business will continue to grow and make use of new technology? Can you harness photos or videos to find a new way to share the results of the research you’ve done? Or perhaps can you find new ways to work with professionals from other disciplines such as archeologists, biographers, or k-12 text book writers.
So what I’m suggesting is that you take a morning or evening walk and allow your mind to consider the future, your future. Think about it now so you can be ready to create it for yourself or to grab opportunity when it comes.
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