Certification Has its Privileges…Jump on Board!
By Daisy Wright.
In the current economic climate where career change has become the norm, many people have started to think of ways of becoming more competitive and staying ahead of their peers. While some are enrolling in certificate, diploma, or degree programs, others are earning certification in their specialized fields. As a career professional – self-employed or not – what are you doing?
It’s a given that nurses, doctors, engineers, dentists, accountants, and other professionals require some form of a credential. This typically indicates that these individuals are skilled, knowledgeable, and competent, no questions asked. Certification, while not mandatory in many fields, shows a commitment to personal and professional growth. It is a mark of excellence. In some circles, certification is seen as a mini college degree demonstrating that you have successfully completed the required course of study, and have reached a certain level of competence.
Although many people champion the value of a certification and focus on the intrinsic value that it brings, there are skeptics who downplay the value. They wonder if becoming certified will make a difference, and if it won’t, they ask, why bother? Let me tell you why you should bother. In 1998 I earned my CPRW certification because I realized I needed to enhance my résumé writing skills. Although I had to cease using the CPRW designation since I was no longer a member of the organization, I still thought I “knew everything,” especially as I was moving more and more into career development.
It took me some years to finally decide to upgrade my résumé writing skills and I registered for CPC’s Certified Résumé Strategist (CRS). Even after that, it took me almost a year to review the study guide and sit the exam. What an eye opener it was! I started to chide myself, wondering why I had not done it before. Lots of things had changed in résumé-land over those many years and the CRS certainly filled in the gaps. Not only that – clients feel more confident when they know I am keeping abreast of current trends in my profession and it’s nice to add another certification to my name.
I tell my story to illustrate that I was once sitting on the fence, probably like you. Maybe you would like to earn a certification in your field of expertise, but keep saying that you lack the time or the funds. Why not perceive it as an investment in yourself? Ben Franklin once commented that “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”