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Woman changes careers to work with dead people

Dec. 28, 2010

Glendale — For me, 2010 was the year that dead people showed me the light.

I had a 14-year career in human resources. My last job was as the head of human resources for a small airline. When that airline stopped flying in 2008, my job went with it. I had just given birth to my second child. The economy was collapsing, and I was at a crossroads.

So I started a blog about job-hunting. I'd spent 14 years hiring people, and I thought my advice might be useful to the millions of people looking for jobs. I blogged for a whole year, and then I stopped. I had realized that I enjoyed blogging, but I didn't enjoy talking about HR anymore. I needed to make a change.

In the meantime, I had re-discovered the two big black file cabinets in my office. They were full of family history. I had been an avid genealogist in the 1990s, when I was single and childless. In 2000, I got married, and then my career took off, and then I had two children. I hadn't really focused on my research for nearly 10 years.

It was time.

In January 2010, I re-launched my blog, Clue Wagon, to talk about my research and my career change from corporate HR executive to professional genealogist. I've been taking classes, visiting archives and stomping through cemeteries. Instead of spending my days hiring and firing, I work with dead people. They're much lower maintenance, and they never invite me to three-hour meetings or fill up my voice mailbox.

I'm amazed and grateful for the events that brought me to this point.

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