Certifications vs. Military Work Experience

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By Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty, President & CEO

Exiting out of the military isn’t always easy. We spend two to 30 years of our adult life learning how to manage and complete projects or programs, with expectations of landing the right job when we transition as a civilian.

We prepare through the Military Transition Assistance Program (TAPS), believing we’re doing the right thing. Yet, once on the trail of veteran status, we find ourselves lost … lost between the words of “what now, and what just happened?”

I can admit that I’ve been there! Things happened so quickly my head was spinning, and spending time trying to figure it out, I only felt worse. I sought multiple trails for gaining employment only to find out some form of degree or certification is required as proof of experience.

The frustration of not being qualified for positions where I exceeded the expertise and qualifications required, became old. Yet, nothing would close that gap except my aspirations to take control of my career, become qualified, and create choices for what I aspired to achieve.

Society has a way of labeling people and creating a false identity for them to understand how to relate. But in reality, it causes division, through discrimination, and separation. It’s not easy hearing your experience doesn’t equate to that of someone who meets a standard of being book-smart but who doesn’t hold any practical value.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2017 job outlook states that only “5.1 percent of candidates’ work experience typically doesn’t factor into their decision when hiring a new college graduate and 61 percent prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience.” Meaning, it’s better to have some form of educational presentation to accompany your skills.

Could it be that appearing in front of a hiring manager without proof of investing in one’s professional advancement (regardless of hands-on knowledge) equals to high school education? Could having a bachelor’s degree without hands-on experience be just as equal? I think it’s safe to say to stand out and continue to set ourselves apart we must be willing to continue investing in our future no matter what our position (i.e., employee, or entrepreneur). We must always seek ways to improve our game as a veteran or civilian.

Otherwise, it’s possible to fade into the “unqualified quadrant.” It’s like preparing for promotion. It’s a cyclical process and requires one to advocate for their future.

One sure way of elevating your career is by transferring your previously acquired skills of managing projects or programs to becoming a CAPM Certified Candidate.

Why not? It’s the easiest way to transform your current abilities into functional skills most employers are seeking.

Here are some examples of positions that become possible when candidates possess experience and project management or Agile certification: Digital Program Manager, Program Assistant, Jr. Project Manager, IT Application Project Manager, Project Manager Engineer, and the list goes on.

If you’re interested in elevating your career, visit www.getcapmcertified.com, and register to become a Certified Jr, project manager. A new window of opportunity will open utilizing your life-experience or military skills.

Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty

Sistah Soldier is an inspirational leader who helps veterans, women, and minorities step into the call of God for their lives using their creative skills. She’s the CEO, host, and executive producer of SHE VET iNSPIRES Television Show and the executive recruiter for SHE MediaTech™.

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