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When is it a good time to get a professional certification?

I have had the privilege of facilitating classes for HR certifications over the years, with thousands of students going through my classes.  During this time I have been asked repeatedly when is it a good time for a person to get certified. The real answer is never. You ask what does she mean?  It is great to plan.  You sit with the calendar, put in all of your upcoming commitments, tell your family and friends you will not be available for the next 3 months as you are going to take all the extra time you have to study for the test.  Then life happens.  Work demands extra time you were not planning on, your family seems to need everything from you during this time, and then to make matters worse you seem to catch a cold.

Sounds like a good time to quit right? Wrong, these things happen and if you stop now and decide to go for it later something else will happen.  If you really want to get your certification then do it.  You will be able to find the time, yes I realize it is not easy but you can do it. When it is over with and you have that certification you will realize it was worth all the time and stress to get it.  Remember you know more than you think you do.

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