You probably know the stereotypes: studying your family’s roots is a great retirement project for Grandma. But those stereotypes miss a powerful reality. Your family’s roots can also help you (and your kids) build a career. From funding your education to networking, understanding where you came from can be a key part of developing the “work life” you want.
Did you know that there are scholarships available based on your origins? From the Harvard scholarships restricted to descendants to the scholarship offered by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, numerous scholarships are available to people descended from specific families or of a specific ethnic background. Delving into your family tree can help you pay for school – and start out your career with less debt.
Did you know family history can help offer career training? Some of the societies created for children, such as Children of the American Revolution, intentionally teach public speaking and leadership skills. While adults are available to support as “senior” members, children hold all the leadership positions. A chance to run a national organization as a teenager is a pretty impressive item on the resume and a great preparation for a future career.
Did you know family history can help you build a network? Relocating can disrupt the network of even the best connected person. But family history can provide you an easy way to begin building a new one. Many lineage societies, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution or the Society of Colonial Wars, are national organizations. If you move to a new location, you can transfer your membership and have a built in network of local contacts who can help you adjust to a new community.
While genealogy may be dominated by retirees, it doesn’t mean you should roll your eyes the next time someone starts sharing about your roots. Listen and pay attention. It may help you make the next leap in your career.