Why I chose to pursue the PMP certification

About three (3) weeks ago, I found myself sitting in my office feeling like a puddle of stagnant water. My arm hair was starting to look like moss; I realized that perhaps I was fading into the monotony of a no-growth life.

So, I reflected on my career trajectory and learned that I like being part of healthy change. I’ve always been an advocate of and agent for positive growth. Throughout the various roles I have filled, the one constant has been defining an outcome, determining the steps to achieve the outcome, and then achieving the desired outcome. Whether I’ve acted with a person attempting to improve his or her life or I’ve acted with a large-organization to improve their technology platforms, the tools and knowledge I’ve employed have largely been similar.

During my career, I’ve worked with several people with the initials, “PMP” behind their name. They stand for “Project Management Professional” and I’ve held that title several times in my career travels. Several years ago, I too carried those letters, but let my certification expire. It seemed like a lifetime ago and as I sat reflecting on my stalled career, I realized that I had the desire to carry those letters.

I applied for the “PMP” credential with the Project Management Institute, was approved to take the certification exam, I registered for the test, and then embarked on a three week study mission. I bought two (2) books: 1) the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge; and, 2) Head First PMP. Once I had the study materials, I then proceeded to read all about the new test and how much harder it was than prior tests, which made me study all the harder.

It never ceases to amaze me how fast time travels and before I knew it, my scheduled exam date fell upon me. The books were right: The exam was no joke. It took a lot of thought and analysis and I used as much of the four (4) hour allotment as I could. I completed the test, clicked the button to end and submit my responses and then became drenched in sweat as I awaited my score.

While the previous three (3) weeks blurred past me, the minute or so that I waited for the news of performance seemed like a wretched eternity. I don’t handle failure well and I was doing my best to prepare for the potential that I didn’t pass. But, that potential wasn’t realized: I passed the PMP Certification Exam and can now use those letters, PMP, after my name.

I don’t know what’s next in my career, but at least I proved to myself that I am still capable of positive growth in my own life. I am ready to change jobs; I don’t like feeling ineffective or stagnant, which I do feel these days. Perhaps the PMP will open new doors so that I can do what I do best: Lead towards healthy change.