Journey to Certification: Martha’s Story

In the first few days of 2024, I had the great pleasure of meeting Martha. She is participating in the SHRM certification program for HR professionals. We discussed her HR career, impressive skills, her learning journey and future career aspirations. This conversation was a fantastic kickoff for my professional year.

We explored the unique challenges HR professionals face in smaller companies, where their roles often stretch beyond traditional HR functions, sometimes even to office maintenance. It’s in these roles that HR professionals have the privilege and the challenge of personally impacting employee satisfaction.

Martha has done quite a bit in HR and wants to keep getting better. She has an MBA in Human Resources and other qualifications. Now, she is preparing to take her SHRM-CP exam. She has devoted time to studying and learning and is now practicing for the test.

Our conversation highlighted the value of SHRM certification in advancing HR careers. SHRM-CP/SCP is often more valued by employers than academic education due to its practical focus and extensive depth. The certification process is challenging, encompassing a rigorous study of extensive materials, including the BASK (SHRM competency model), comprehensive body of knowledge, flashcards, and quizzes. Martha’s strong academic history has given her great skills for learning. She has already learned all the main study materials. Now, with five weeks to go until her exam, she’s practicing test items, showing just how dedicated she is.

Our talk showed how important SHRM certification is for HR careers. Getting certified is challenging. Candidates must invest a great deal of time and energy into studying for the exam, including the SHRM competency model, practical HR knowledge, flashcards, and quizzes. Martha is good at learning because of her strong school background.

Her meticulous preparation, covering every aspect of the SHRM certification, underscores the breadth of the SHRM qualification. It’s not merely about learning strategies but about developing and implementing practical engagement tools that enrich people’s work lives. It’s about learning how to really help people at work.

Here are some things the SHRM certification is doing for Martha’s career:

  1. Being Recognized for Her Skills: The SHRM-CP/SCP is not just a trophy. It tells employers she is a knowledgeable HR professional. It has been a testament to her deep-seated understanding of human resources, marking her as a professional of high distinction in her field.
  2. More Trust in Her Skills: With this certification, Martha is seen as someone who really knows HR. SHRM-CP will solidify her standing as a credible and knowledgeable expert in HR.
  3. Career Advancement: Martha wants to be promoted, and she has a very good chance to advance her HR career. She feels that SHRM-CP will open doors to new opportunities.
  4. Network Expansion: Martha’s involvement in the SHRM program has significantly widened her network. Our own connection formed when I was teaching the class and she approached me with insightful questions, leading to our memorable meeting. Additionally, she’s been actively engaging with fellow learners during classes and is now looking to broaden her network further by connecting with other certified professionals on LinkedIn.

Martha’s approach demonstrates the determination needed to succeed in such a rigorous program. With her attitude, I have no doubt she will excel in her exam and in her career.

Here’s to stepping into 2024 filled with more inspiring meetings and successful learning!

About the author:

Anastasia Mizitova, HR Virginia Certification Director

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SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2024
06/23/2024 - 06/26/2024
11/04/2024 - 11/07/2024
SHRM 2024 Women in Leadership Institute™ (WIL)
11/11/2024 - 11/14/2024
2025 HR Virginia Annual Conference
04/13/2025 - 04/16/2025