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5 Lessons Learned from Becoming a PMP

Professional development can be a challenging goal, such as when one earns their Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Bruce Harpham writes at Project Management Hacks outlining the five lessons learned on his journey to becoming a professionally certified PMP.

Five Lessons of PMP Certification

  1. Knowing why a goal matters
  2. Learning to identify role models
  3. Adjusting the plan of action
  4. Proactively managing exam day
  5. Celebrating success

To build and sustain motivation for a goal, take the time to write down reasons why you are interested in the goal. Perhaps you’re after increased income, or simply want to hone your skills and capabilities. When you encounter challenges, you can review the list, and this in turn will give you the necessary inspiration to move forward.

Earning a PMP is a highly structured process. Without the proper materials to provide that structure, you’ll need to dedicate more attention to networking and to learning from those who have firsthand knowledge of the topic. Ideally you’ll have access to role models or the invaluable assistance of a project mentor. That mentor could come in the form of an accomplished PMP or even an exam simulator.

Sometimes a course correction is necessary, but if this correction benefits your educational goal, switching tracks is your best bet. Practice tests are a good indication of what’s to come. Apply what markers best suit your individual learning scenario, and adjust as needed.

Furthermore, you can always find ways to reduce the uncertainty and risk of the upcoming situation. Without preparation, seemingly minor details could catch you off guard. At the very least, being unprepared may make the process stressful, ruining the sense of accomplishment that comes with such a victory. Try visiting the test center in advance, arrive early, and take the day off to complete the exams.

And finally, if you’re successful in the completion of the PMP, there’s pride of accomplishment in it for you, in addition to skills and knowledge. So don’t forget to celebrate. After all, you’ve earned it.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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