Former funeral worker fights stigma
Former funeral worker fights stigma

Mark Jordan
Oceanside, Calif.

I had been a funeral director for 10 years, but then the industry started consolidating. Larger conglomerates pushed many of the small funeral homes out of business.

As a result, I was let go back in November. I've since tried to utilize my skills to find another funeral director position in the San Diego area, but I found nobody was hiring, period. You just don't see funeral jobs being posted.

I came across a professional retraining program at the University of California, San Diego, where we're learning how to 'repackage' ourselves. With that training, I'm trying to reposition myself to use my skills in either hospice work or in selling life insurance.

I know I have a lot to offer. I work incredibly well with people, helping them work through tough decisions when dealing with a loved one's death. I'm very professional, and have even handled funerals for high-profile murder victims and a former U.S. president.

Yet there's still a stigma I have to overcome. People have negative ideas about funeral workers, so I'm trying to rebrand myself to make my experience a little more acceptable.

Last updated July 19 2011: 5:37 PM ET
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