In early 2008 I was still working as a reference librarian at Harvard Law School Library. This was my second stint at HLS, the first being 1993-1996. I was filling in for two librarians, with whom I had worked and greatly admired, and who had retired after 30+ years of service. That left me as the only reference librarian with just a master's in library science and no law degree. But I was the night librarian, so that seemed to work since I had to be more of a generalist anyway since the rest of Harvard came to the law school after hours. I was offered a permanent position. In the legal sense I wasn't, but there was a wink-wink nudge-nudge sense that a position had been created for me.
Then a series of unforeseen events happened. The director of the library retired after 28 years of service. A new director was hired who was not a librarian. My job offer was rescinded. The reference staff was to have law degrees hence forth. So by May of 2008, I was unemployed. I didn't think anything of it at the time and thought I would easily find a new position. But we were living in the September 1929 of our time. I never found the next position.
Months went by. I did the psycho-babble thing and thought--this is a sign--this is leading me to do genealogy full-time as a researcher. In order to do that I felt I need a credential, more than my writing. Hence, the C.G. I always thought it looked classy on a person's byline. Joe Genealogist, C.G. I joined the Association of Professional Genealogists as well (they only ask for money--no requirements at all). I still think I wanted to write more than do research. However, with just the APG registration, I got two heir-finding jobs from law firms.
So, I got the application. There are fewer certificates now. There use to be Certified Lineage Specialist (CLS) and a bunch of others. In any case, that's why I applied.