Sunday, July 20, 2014

Writing the End to a Story

                In 2014 I have been trying to get into a new phase in life. I have tried accumulating new skills, different industries, I mean everything but I am still stuck. I’ve listened to an empowerment coach’s podcast where the interviewer says to ‘envision the end.’ That’s it. I have been churning along but never truly define what the end (new job) would look like. There is freedom in knowing how it will end because I’ll at least have a roadmap guiding me down the road. Right now I am in the wilderness but describing in detail what the end would look like would be very helpful in me getting over this hump. 

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

What the PMI-PBA Pilot Deadline Has Taught Me

                I have just completed my PMI-PBA pilot certification Excel verification spreadsheet documenting all of my projects. I am moving on this application faster than my PMI-ACP certification application because the PMI-PBA pilot program has a deadline. It forces me to push through all of the mess that I am dealing with currently. After passing my PMP exam in June, I started studying for the PMI-ACP certification in July. However, with all of the craziness that I experienced for the past 11 months stopped me. There was never a prolonged peaceful time period so I never established a rhythm. This pilot program forced me to keep going regardless of the chaos. Right now the chaos is constant yet the PMI-PBA pilot program deadline is August 4th. August 4th is going to come and go whether or not I’ve completed the application or have taken the test. Understanding this, I’ve decided not to let work and people further obstruct me from my certification goal. I will not only submit my PMI-PBA application but will sit for the certification exam and pass it this October. I have bigger dreams and taking the PMI-PBA certification exam is the first step. I will use this experience to prepare for the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) exam this fall. Furthermore, clearing the PMI-PBA exam liberates my time and energy to revisit the PMI-ACP certification exam with a renewed mentality. By then I will be able to push pass the chaos and confusion and will even be out of my current work environment.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quick 1st Half of 2014 Assessment

                I must admit that I hadn’t expected to be where I am at today, June 21, 2014. On January 1, 2014, I expected to have my PMI-ACP certification but then PMI announced that it was having a PMI-PBA pilot program. Immediately I jump at the opportunity.  I must also admit that in the past 6 months I have become a Small Business Book Award judge, attended the White House spring garden event snapping photos, and have an article published.  With today being 9 days until the halfway mark, I do see myself accomplishing these key objectives:
·         PMI approving my PMI-PBA certification application
·         Completely outlining PMBOK chapters 5, 8 and 13 to prepare for the PMI-PBA
·         Finished reading BABOK chapters 2 and 3
·         Scored 80% on the RMC Project’s PMP scope, quality and stakeholder management knowledge area practice exams.
·         Completed Ed2Go Introduction to SQL and Advanced Excel 2010 online courses
·         Enrolled in the USDA Graduate School SQL course for in-person assistance
·         Expand my personal and professional network
·         Have fun the entire time
Although this looks like a lengthy list, I am already in the process of completing many of these tasks so I will meet all of these obligations before June 30, 2014. Furthermore, here are my prospective 2nd half of 2014 goals below:
·         Transfer the PMI-PBA knowledge and start studying for the Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP) exam by October at the latest. I think that I will finish it before then.
·         Get promoted
·         Seek more challenges
·         Travel more
·         Improve my SQL and Oracle programming skills
·         Pass the PMI-ACP certification test

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Showing Compassion for Yourself at All Times

                Sometimes I am too hard on myself wanting to do more. Someone today has let me know that I am doing more than a whole lot of people. Furthermore, once I know better, I do better.

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Monday, June 09, 2014

Transition to Mentor

I have been a member of a particular Linkedin test-taker support group for a couple of years. This week a person posted that he has failed the exam twice. I feel sorry for him because everyone else in the Linkedin study group has been passing.  I’ve never known anyone who has failed once let alone twice. I don’t want him to fail a third time because then he would be disqualified.  I know the pain of failing the CAPM the first time.  I’ve used that pain as motivation to pass the PMP exam the first time.  One of the study pages contains all of these study links. I’ve copied them for him emailing them privately.  Even though I have stopped studying for this exam to prepare for the PMI-PBA certification exam, I just want to be a blessing to someone.  This certification exam has a lot of cross-industry portability.  I want that man to be able to pass it and help his family have a better future. Heck, I just want him to pass and not feel like a loser.  After sending the email, it hit me that I am now a mentor, a den mother, if you will in this group.  I do have a considerable amount of influence, it’s due to offering people congratulations when they’ve posted passing the exam.  This is the first time that I have actually contacted someone and provided resources to a test-taker.  I am happy that I have been a blessing to this man and nothing more.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Preparing for the Project Management Institute's New Professional Business Analyst (PMI-PBA) Certification

Friday I learned from Project Management Institute’s Twitter that it is holding a Professional Business Analyst (PMI-PBA) certification pilot program.  This motivated to read PMBOK, BABOK and purchase a study book to prepare.  Unlike my PMI-ACP certification endeavor (which I will return to later this year), I have a lot more overlap with business analysis than agile.  I have a PMP, MBA, business analysis education and 8 years’ business analysis experience.  I would easily qualify.  

                After debating and expending much energy deciding whether or not to return to my office, I’ve discovered that I can copy and paste the BABOK to Word enabling me to create a chapter 1 summary sheet. There is a whole lot of information that I must grasp but I am ready to absorb everything in order to pass the PMI-BPA pilot program.  Though 61% is probably the passage rate, I am aiming for 80% and will accomplish this through using CBAP exam materials.  I do think that buying the Rita Mulachy CBAP flashcards and writing down a couple per day will help me become stronger in the business analysis area. Even though this is chapter 1, there is so many differences between business analysis and project management. I have to learn the lingo. My brain is expanding with blood circulating through parts of my brain I probably haven’t used since studying for my PMP last year. 

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Trying Something New in the Gourmet Department

     I have rested today (I think that 1-hour wait at Shake Shack with the employee misspelling my name as Katana instead of Carla has drained my energy!). I’ve slept in until 8am then have taken a nap from 2pm-3pm.  Here I am on a 4-day Memorial Day weekend with everything planned except for rest.  Today I have gone to the grocery store and will start packing my lunch just to see how it is like. I already know that buying groceries are cheaper than eating out but I just want to see how packing my lunch goes.  I might even improve my cooking and food preparation skills. 

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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Receiving a Career Blessing and Now I am on My Way!

Yesterday I received a LinkedIn invitation from someone with CBAP certification who is willing to refer me for my CBAP certification. This is huge because IIBA requires 2 recommendations to sit for the CBAP exam. These recommendations were my main hurdle but not anymore! Clearing this hurdle all but guarantees me earning two professional certifications this year. This spring I'll pass my PMI-ACP then CBAP. I am also applying for online adjunct faculty positions because I have a graduate school and more than enough experience to share. Furthermore, I want to be able to help people get on their way professionally because they are making an effort to improve themselves. Becoming an online adjunct professor would help me be a blessing to these students. That's why I am embarking on this journey.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why Not Me?

I have been daring to do more.  This month I have applied for a high-profile fellowship. I have asked myself ‘Why not me?’ Looking at the previous participants, I have the same education and experience. The only difference is that they have applied and I have not; therefore, I’ve asked myself ‘Why not me?’ Applying is great because it removes the boundary that only certain people can become fellowships. Why not me and why not be the first? I have transferred this same mentality while preparing for my TEDx talk.  My graduate school alma mater is cosponsoring a Tedx talk. Immediately I watch YouTube videos of previous Tedx talks to see what they are looking for. It is essential to do some research to improve my chances of being selected. I know that I have an in because of my education, experience and securing external distinction. Since I am a Small Business Book Award judge on the first try, I know that I can land a TEDx talk spot.  I have the education, skills and the life story that connects with the audience. Why not me? Who else if not I?