Sunday, May 24, 2015

Managing Positive Change

                I am experiencing a whole lot of (positive) change yet it is still change so I must effectively manage it. This morning I have downloaded like three change management books to adequately prepare for it. Though I have been in DC for 9 years and have experienced a lot of change (both good and bad), right now I’ve learned to do a better job and dealing with change. Having renewed my PMP certification, I approach the latest change as a project. Hey, I’ve mastered project management why not apply my transferable skills towards change management? Once thing is for certain, I will have a process in place instead of trying to figure it out all willy-nilly.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Renewing My PMP Certification

Yesterday I renewed my PMP certification by scoring 94% on my Ed2Go High Speed Project Management final and 97% on my Ed2Go Introduction to Business Analysis and Achieving Success with Difficult People finals. Once I obtained my certificates of completion, I got Ed2Go’s REP number and entered all of my personal development units (24 apiece) and viola my PMP certification was renewed until June 2019. 

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Step-by-Step Inch-by-Inch

I have completely typed PMI BA Practice Guide’s chapter. This is the biggest chapter and I am happy that I have overcome this obstacle. Tomorrow I will start typing chapter 5. My original goal is to complete chapter 5 by Saturday but starting tomorrow is even better because I’ll have a head start and will be able to take the Rita Mulachy PBA online domain exam on Saturday instead of Sunday. The online simulator is based on the BA Practice Guide so I know that my test results will mirror my actual performance. Scoring at least 75% on the simulations is my goal because it gives me significant wiggle room (61% is the minimum passage rate. The PMI-PBA exam has 200 questions just like the PMP. I know that I am more than capable of answering 150 questions correctly.). I have one month and I know that with Rita, I will pass the exam.

                I have also caught up on my Ed2Go Intro to Business Analysis course by finishing quiz 11. Quiz 12 and the final exam will be posted Friday. I will print them completing quiz 12 then highlighting the final exam. I will complete the final Saturday. Next I have completed Achieving Success with Difficult People quizzes 6 and 7. Tomorrow I will complete quizzes 8 through 12 and highlight the final. During Memorial Day weekend, I will finish these two finals putting me 2 steps closer towards renewing my PMP certification. PMI requires 60 personal development units (PDUs). Each Ed2Go course gives me 24 PDUs so when I complete these two courses, I will have 48 PDUs. High-Speed Project Management will be my only outstanding course. I will work on it after Saturday’s two finals completing my final exam on Sunday. When Memorial Day rolls around, I will have 72 PDUs completed and be able to use my PMP all the way until June 2019!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Making Inroads towards My PMP Certification Renewal

                Today I’ve made a dent into my Ed2Go Introduction to Business Analysis course completing lessons 1, 3-10. Tomorrow lesson 11 will debut and I will complete it along with my High-Speed Project Management courses. Since I’ve last written, I’ve learned that Project Management Institute will change its certification renewal process December 1st and I want to get my renewal out of the way. PMI requires 60 personal development units over a 3-year period. I am enrolled in 3 courses at 24 personal development units apiece which squares my renewal away before June. Although I have done well academically and professionally, completing my PMP certification renewal in May is a very big accomplishment. I would have ended my first five months on a high note! 

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Employing the Three Cs to Improve Your Personal Career Brand

Now more than ever it is imperative that any professional has a personal career brand. It is no longer, just do your job and update your resume. The average person will have in between 7-10 jobs in his lifetime. You must actively manage your career to find the next job; hence, the importance of creating and maintaining a stellar personal career brand. The three Cs necessary towards creating your best personal brand are clarity, consistency, and constancy. The combination of these three guarantees that you’ll attract the people and employers in your target market. defines clarity as ‘clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.’ It is essential that you get clear about who you are, but, more importantly, who you ARE NOT.  Clarity provides you with an opportunity to thrive as a specialist rather than merely survive as a generalist. It is better to know what you are not because you create clear boundaries. You don’t want to transmit mixed messages, thereby, diluting your brand. Clarity communicates a clear message of what you do. For example, if you are in HR, you don’t want people coming to you about sales & marketing. The next step is to identify your competitors.
Scanning the professional landscape to see what your competitors are doing, and more importantly, are not doing is critical towards how you’ll position yourself to stand out. Learn from your competitors’ mistakes and capitalize upon the areas that they aren’t already in. Being the first mover in an unsaturated area, lets you become an expert. For instance, if you’re in HR but there aren’t as many people working with newly returned war veterans, then this is a niche where you can employ your transferable skills and become an expert. Once you’ve used clarity to identify your competitors, you can then you can focus on marketing your competitive advantage to the world.
Your competitive advantage is the one thing that you do better than anyone else. Having a clear definition of this advantage will attract more people and opportunities. In HR, you do compile benefits packages in a way that new employee understand? Your ability to translate industry-specific jargon into layman’s terms without diluting its content is your competitive advantage. You can convert this into a special niche being seen as an expert. Once you’re seen as an expert, more people will come to you. The next C is consistency.
The word consistency is defined as ‘steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.’ In order to keep current in this increasingly global and competitive landscape, you must be consistent. This means consistently communicating the same message offline and online. Take some time to review how your professional brand comes across these two sectors because it’s imperative that you are consistent in both areas.
Make sure that your resume and LinkedIn profile are the same. If you’ve attained a new certification or a promotion, list them on both your resume and LinkedIn. An outdated LinkedIn profile creates inconsistent messaging. If you’ve been promoted from HR Specialist to Senior HR Specialist, you must list this change on both documents. Recruiters who might be interested in you for one job, may not know that you have a new job or certification. It would be bad for your professional reputation if a recruiter contacts you about a specific position but learns that you’re in another position. Recruiters talk with other recruiters who work at the company that interests you. You don’t want this kind of mistake to precede you before applying for a job. Putting the most recent information on your LinkedIn page guarantees that recruiters can see if you are the best fit for a potential job. The next C is constancy.

Finally, constancy is defined as ‘uniformity or regularity, as in qualities or conditions; invariableness.’ Being highly visible online & offline to your target market is indispensable in today’s marketplace. There are many ways to increase your visibility to ensure that the right people see your talents. Offline opportunities include joining meetups, alumni chapters, and professional organizations. In addition, you can be visible through business cards and stationery. Handing out your personal business cards is an effective marketing tool generating high visibility. Furthermore, you can send thank you letters using your own stationery. Regarding online visibility opportunities, you can register for LinkedIn professional groups, follow people on Twitter or like Facebook pages of companies of which you want to work. Moreover, you can also start a blog. For HR, you can write about interviewing new applicants, dispensing benefits information, handling attrition and completing retirement packages. A great way to merge the offline and online visibility tools to achieve constancy is by creating a communications plan.
Implement a communications plan where you consistently brand your message. Your plan manages how, what, why, when, and where to deploy your offline and online strategies. For instance, you decide to post one HR-related article in your LinkedIn feed. This daily task keeps your profile active attracting employers and recruiters.  The important thing here is to stay consistent. Your communications plan ensures that you regularly do something constructive towards promoting your personal career brand. Incorporating three Cs of clarity, consistency and constancy guarantee increased demand for your personal career brand.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Making Strides Towards Renewing My PMP Certification

                I am making strides towards renewing my PMP certification by completing all 8 (that’s 4 apiece) of my Ed2Go High Speed Project Management and Achieving Success with Difficult People courses. With 12 courses, I am 1/3 of the way done which is a great feeling because I will be done by late May. 

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First Step Towards Renewing My PMP Certification

        I have officially started my PMP certification renewal process through enrolling in Ed2Go’s High-Speed Project Management and Achieving Success with Difficult online courses. Combined they have 48 out of the 60 personal development units needed to renew my certification for another three years. Even though my PMP expires in 2016, I might as well get started now because I feel like it. I don’t want to wait until the deadline in order to renew the certification because something always happens. 

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