If you are in HR chances are at one time or another you have thought about taking the PHR or SPHR exam. In fact, I bet you know people that have been pleased and disappointed with their results. Is the exam worth it? Do you really need it? I have heard arguments on both sides of the argument. I have had a favorable experience with the exam and I 100% believe it has helped me in personally and professionally. My tale of the PHR helped me show others I know more than the average bear when it comes to my day job.
I decided to take the PHR exam about 3 years ago. I knew I was moving to the Milwaukee area and I wanted to stand out. I wanted to be able to show prospective employers that I can learn, retain knowledge and am dedicated to my craft. 3 years ago? Yep, I have had my designation for about a year and a half now, are you doing the math? I re-scheduled my exam twice. I was so scared of not passing that I convinced myself twice that I needed to wait. So you re-schedule, make a promise to study and then…. Re-schedule again. Only when I was faced with no other alternative did I sit for the exam.
Looking back, I should have bit the bullet and taken it right away. As a career recruiter, I didn’t think I had what to took. Do I really know this stuff? How was I going to make the leap into more of a consultative role in talent acquisition without it? The answer was, I did know it. After flash cards, audio CD’s, 3 days of 4 hours of sleep/ 20 hours of studying even ear phones while I slept with the audio CD’s playing (I do not recommend the last two methods), I did know it.
If you are thinking about taking the leap, do it! I found holding the certification opened doors for me. It gave me pride and confidence. It was a confirmation to myself that I could go into other areas of HR with my head held high. Will I be sitting for the SPHR next, YEP! Am I selecting what Master’s program I am going to at this moment, YEP! Am I half crazy, YEP!
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Know you own study habits, how do you work best? Create a plan, take action! If you sit for the exam and you are not successful right away… big deal! You will know the content better than anyone the second time around.
Jen Ray Fun Fact: Jen Ray Fun Fact: My first name was supposed to be either Sally or Dorothy instead my parents named me after Jennifer from WKRP in Cincinnati. Thank you Loni Anderson!