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Name: BEVERLEY EAST, MGA
Location: Washington, D.C.
Duties: Examines and analyzes handwriting
It all started with the search for a new job. “I applied for a position [at an executive recruiting firm in London] that analyzed its applicants’ handwriting,” says Beverley East, a former headhunter. After being hired, she was surprised to find that she really clicked with her new co-workers. “I asked to look at my report and I was amazed.” The results described her to a “tee.”
East developed an immediate interest in handwriting analysis and sought to meet her analyzer, Ness Shirley. After seeking Shirley’s advice, she took a few courses in England. She then decided to go for a master’s degree in graphology. By the time she moved to the United States and started her own handwriting analysis firm, Strokes and Slants in Washington, D.C., the analyzer, Shirley-whose dead-on description helped her get that other job-became her business partner. East now verifies the authenticity of signatures and the handwritten portions of documents, such as personal and business checks, wills, contracts and medical records, for British and American companies and organizations.
Her firm also renders services to individual clients. In addition to conducting skills assessment, personality profile and compatibility analysis workshops for professionals, she teaches introductory courses in handwriting analysis. She has just finished writing a book, Finding Mr. Write (Random House, $19.95), which will show readers how to identify a potential mate through his or her handwriting. “I’m one of the few black women in this line of work,” she says. “I’m really enjoying my career.”
Salary: The average graphologist can earn anywhere from $35,000 to $65,000, says East. “It’s not a well-paying field at the start, but interest is growing. There’s more opportunity every day.”
Training: East, a native of Jamaica, earned a communications degree at the College of Distributive Trade in London. In 1987, she earned a master’s in graphology at Chicago’s International Graphoanalysis Institute (IGAS), the world’s foremost school dedicated to the study of handwriting. She went on to earn her certification as a qualified questioned- document examiner.