In the current economic climate, fraught with layoffs and plant closings, many people have started to think of ways of becoming more competitive and stay 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 certification. 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 the sceptics who downplay the value. They wonder if becoming certified will make a difference, and if it won’t, 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 resume writing skills. Although I had to cease from 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 resume writing skills and I registered for the Certified Resume Strategist (CRS) exam.
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 ‘resume-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 used 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.”
Daisy Wright is a Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Resume Strategist, and author of No Canadian Experience, eh? As President of The Wright Career Solution and an International Career Strategist she offers high impact job search strategies to professionals who are serious about their careers. To learn more about what Daisy does, visit her website: www.thewrightcareer.com or her blog at www.daisywright.com.