Personally, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions or diets since they often imply short-term lifestyle changes. You really need to shift what you value to make professional growth, learning, and certification a top priority. While this sounds like a big hurdle, in reality it doesn’t require a major lifestyle change.
It all starts by taking simple actions to get your career heading in the right direction. The first step is often the hardest since there are always a handful of reasons to continue putting off completing a class or certification exam. Your reasons may include limited money, family commitments, or maybe you’re just “too busy” between work and home life. Whatever your rationale includes, the benefits you will realize from a professional certification will outweigh the short-term sacrifices you may need to make.
After you complete the first step for your career, you will soon begin looking forward to the next opportunity for growth. Your desire to see what comes next grows like a snowball as you continue checking off each item. This momentum is exactly what your career needs to get out of a rut or to boost it to a whole new level!
If you still need convincing, read our top 5 reasons why certifications are valuable for your career. Any one of these reasons should be enough to light a fire in you to pursue professional training and certification.
So, if you’re ready to shift your career into a new level, there are steps you can take in 2019 towards earning a certification. These steps are recommended to be done in order, but you can skip around based on your priorities and where you’re at in your career.
5 Steps to Take in 2019 to Earn a Certification
- Identify the professional niche you are currently in or want to be in. If you haven’t thought about it, this may require time and research to narrow down your target profession.
- Determine your career goals within and possibly outside of your niche to define the vision for your future career. This can be done in parallel to Step 1 since it’s important to align your long-terms goals and desired profession.
- Discuss career paths and beneficial certifications with your manager or co-workers. This is a great way to validate your goals with people close to you. It can also open the door to new ideas or opportunities you didn’t realize where available. Your manager may also be able to offer guidance on what it will take to move up the ladder.
- Research and select relevant certifications that will help you accomplish your career goals. This should be fairly easy once you’ve got clarity on your desired professional niche and goals.
- Take online or classroom training focused on your target certification. This is a must do, regardless of the experience you have or how much you think you know. Most training courses are designed specifically to help you pass the certification exam. I highly recommend you not skip this step.
- Bonus for 2019: Earn your certification by sitting for the exam and obtaining a passing score. While this can be a stretch goal, it can certainly be achieved with the right exam preparation training.
So, are you ready to kick 2019 off right by taking the first step? Feel free to share any comments or questions below as you begin your journey towards certification.