Waiting for the results of a credential recertification application is a special kind of purgatory. On the one hand, you know you worked hard enough to earn the credential in the first place, but on the other hand, you start to question whether the past few years were actually good enough to pass muster the second time around.
I was in danger of losing my Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation not because I didn’t have the skills or the experience, but because I can be straight up lazy when it comes to doing anything for myself, including taking the thousand hours of professional development I needed to round out my application. I am exaggerating only slightly, because the meeting and event industry changes all the time, so honestly to stay really on top of things, I should have been logging some serious hours with webinars and industry events each month. My financial status has recently been rather prohibitive and my schedule is even less flexible now that I am taking my HR Management class, but ever since God made the internet, the Webinar has been its greatest gift. Yes, I know, cat videos, too. Calm down.
You will laugh when I tell you I had five years in which to log the aforementioned less than one thousand hours of professional development. Go ahead. It is absolutely laughable. It is extremely doable and I managed to cram it all into about two weeks over the holidays. I learned an incredible amount and I brushed up on some rustier than I realized skills. It was totally worthwhile and I’m glad I did it if for nothing else than shoring up my knowledge.
As I started filling out the application, I stopped focusing on what I hadn’t been doing and started seeing what I had done. I saw my role in a new light and realized I had added an entirely new skill to my toolbox with my recent experience organizing and facilitating webinars in my own work. Because I was so focused on how everything had been, I failed to recognize that I was gaining valuable knowledge and becoming more familiar with a format my industry is embracing more and more. I am now one of the few people in my organization that can work with not one, but five different vehicles for webinars. I have also developed templates and best practices for the planning and facilitation of these online and often hybrid meetings. I managed to stumble into something I thought I was afraid of and it benefitted me in ways I didn’t expect.
The bell ringer, though, was opening my email yesterday and seeing the words “Your application for recertification has been approved.” Cue me dancing in my chair at work and pulling a Rocky in my cube. People here already question my sanity, so not one eye blinked or looked askance. Ok, maybe one…or two. No matter. I earned my victory dance.
I’m mostly proud of myself for not actually giving up on me. I had every intention of letting those 3 letters after my name fade off into my other life and letting go of everything that went with it. It would have been the final departure of my former life. I guess everything has its own form of a death throe where the thought of expiration is enough to compel someone to desperately grasp for the breath that will stave off the reaper’s visit. Such was my last-minute decision to even see if I might qualify. I hadn’t even looked at the requirements. I figured there was no way due to the hardships I had faced in that five-year period it would focus on.
I was so very wrong!
I am so grateful to myself for deciding to try and would not have made it without my husband’s unending understanding of why I needed to watch a two-hour webinar on budgeting instead of whatever we had in the Hulu queue.
Sometimes, you really do need to just go for it. Forget what people will think and what might happen if you don’t get it. You will never get it if you don’t try. If you don’t get it, at least you can say you tried and that’s way better than standing there watching your life pass you by.