As we get close to wrapping up 2019, we hope you can look back on the year with a sense of accomplishment. And while you review your year, we imagine there have been seasons of peaks and valleys. As you ponder those moments, maybe these observations can fuel some goals for the coming year.  What plans can you make now to help accomplish those goals?   

Emily Wolf One of our Palmer Group employees took the time to share her story about an important professional goal she set out for herself.  

Last year I took the exam for the Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification. I set this goal for myself back in 2015. At that point, I was looking for entry level HR jobs and noticed this was a requirement for many of the positions. I realized this must be of value for most employers to require the certification for their HR positions. After doing some research, I learned to receive this certification I would need to take a competency-based exam. The exam would test my knowledge of the HR field and how to apply that knowledge in job scenarios. 

Even though it was a big goal of mine, I pushed off registering for the exam. I thought maybe I didn’t have enough experience within the field, I didn’t have enough time outside of work to study, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend the money for the study materials and exam. Also, the exam seemed very intimidating, so it was much easier to think of all the reasons not to move forward rather than the positives of receiving the certification. 

In the spring, I finally took the next step. I either needed to commit, or I would never wind up doing it. I had researched the exam for three years along with study materials and tips for the exam. One of my coworkers had also recently studied for the exam, so I asked her several questions as well. She recommended registering for the study group offered by the Central Iowa Chapter of SHRM. 

The study group turned out to be extremely valuable. I was provided with a manageable study schedule and resources along the way for questions. I wound up studying each evening for about an hour or two and then would study for a few hours every weekend. The leader of the study group was able to give us an idea of the types of questions that would be on the exam. It was extremely helpful to have that expectation. Heading into the exam, I felt nervous yet prepared. 

Looking back, taking the exam is something that I should have decided to do sooner, but I’m very grateful that I did go into it, supported by research, advice, and preparation. I passed the exam and gained more knowledge of the Human Resources field throughout the process. Receiving the certification has made me more confident in my current role. The study group leader challenged us to think of better approaches to day to day scenarios as well as unique situations that may come up. 

Even though it may seem like a daunting task, choosing to work towards a professional certification is a great investment in yourself.  It is something that can help you in your current role and will continue to pay off in the future. Challenging yourself with new information may also help your team as you share the information and can better the company. 

We are thankful for a staff at Palmer Group that takes on new challenges to better their skills and meet their professional goals. We are committed to making lives better, and that starts within our own office. If you have further questions on the SHRM exam, professional certifications, or other matters related to employment, please connect with us today. We would be happy to hear from you and assist you in any way possible. 

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