Confusion, fury, and speculation erupted when a recent announcement from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) that they are developing a new certification. The announcement from SHRM encouraged those who hold the SPHR or PHR certification to convert their certification to the new competency based certification, even though it is unclear what the new certification entails. Not only surprise rippled through the HR community, but surprise was also expressed by HRCI, the official administrator of the SPHR, PHR certifications. In the end, HRCI remains committed to the long-standing and well recognized SPHR and PHR certifications.
Dedicated to professionals who are currently navigating career decisions, this collaborative article was written by Tresha Moreland, SPHR, founder of HR C-Suite and Rosanna Nadeau, SPHR, Principal and consultant of Prism Perspectives.
3 career tips:
1) Pay attention to the market
Its what the market demands that should matter the most to those considering what credentials to pursue. Many people and entities have opinions on what you should do or earn. But if it is a desire to achieve an executive level position, set aside all the confusion of these new events, and look at senior level job postings advertised today.
Take a close look at what credentials employers are asking or requiring. Most senior level HR positions advertise they are looking for at least 10+ years experience, a master’s level degree, and a SPHR/PHR certification are preferred/required.
It is true the market shifts over time and we must adjust. But if you are currently unemployed or looking to make the next leap to a senior level position right now, take a close look at what the market demands. Your path becomes clearer after the market evaluation you’ve conducted.
2) Find a mentor
If you remain uncertain about which career direction to take, consider finding a mentor. A mentor can improve your work experience. The ideal mentor provides a safe and impartial “sounding board.” Mentors will also provide information based on their own experiences and expertise. This can be invaluable and help to avoid making career mistakes.
Consider talking with senior HR executives you know from present and/or prior work experiences. You might also find a mentor from within diverse groups who can support you in choosing and prioritizing the degrees and professional certifications that will best contribute to achieving your career goals.
3) Celebrate your accomplishments
Don’t let these recent events minimize your accomplishments. If you recently earned your PHR or SPHR celebrate it.
The SPHR and PHR professional certifications have been based on the HR body of knowledge, demonstrate strong professional knowledge and credibility for those who have successfully achieved these certification(s). The pass rates alone for these certifications indicate they are not just easily handed out. HRCI reports for December 2013 –January 2014, the SPHR pass rate is 57% and PHR pass rate is 59%.
If you recently passed or have earned a professional certification, be proud of that fact. In fact, any thing you’ve worked hard on and accomplished whether it be a degree or experience, celebrate it. Don’t let anything take your sense of accomplishments away.
Ultimately success requires that we continually pursue the knowledge and skills to be competitive. It’s important that we pay attention to what the market demands and trends are, ignore the distractors, and keep going for it with all you’ve got.