My Breakthrough Moment

Many of us on the Social Media team have been talking about our breakthrough moments in #HR. I have read many of them and found them to interesting and entertaining.   So now my insecurities kick in here, is my story as interesting, as good, as captivating as others?  I doubt it, but I will chime in on the theme of Breakthrough moments.

Since my career in #HR has been longer than many of my peers on the social media team (this means I am old), I have had an opportunity to have more of these, but I don’t.  If I think back over all of the things that I have done, learned, experienced, dodged and so on, there is one thing that really sticks out in my mind – as being all about me and being that defining moment.

My moment came 2007, at which time I had already had been in HR for a number of years. I had also been active as a Chapter Officer with my local chapter.  I was getting acclimated to being a SHRMie,  I kept hearing people talk about their “certifications” and what they were doing to maintain it.  I was intrigued by this – although I did not have a certification.

I struggled with the concept of learning more, learning things I didn’t need to know or that didn’t apply, at the very moment. Why might one do this I pondered.  Well after quite a bit of inner struggle I decided to “do it.”  I joined our local study group and learned about all of the things that I didn’t know or didn’t work with routinely.  Then ultimately it was go time – pay up to take the test and see if I could make the grade.

Oh, along the way I remember hearing about folks asking one and other, did you pass?   And there was the look of shame on someone’s face – no they didn’t pass.  Then there were the folks that posted it on Facebook and emailed it to groups; I passed – I am certified. Yeah!

So I took the SPHR test, and passed the first time. I did not take the PHR test. This was a gutsy move I was told.  In retrospect I don’t think it was all that brave.

Then I became Dave Ryan, SPHR. I had initials like the docs and engineers, wow. BREAKTHROUGH!  To me this told the whole rest of the world that I kind of knew what I was talking about when it came to HR.   I felt I had been validated.

That’s my breakthrough story. Now there is an addendum to this. I don’t think there is anyone on the planet who doesn’t know this but SHRM has got in the certification business, and I am now am a SHRM-SCP.  I am going to keep my SPHR for one more cycle, as I have competed everything to do so, it is simply dollars for one more certification.  As for my SCP, I am holding this in much higher regard.   SHRM brought me to this party though local board membership, conferences, networking, and state board participation, so I am going to the mat with this one.  SHRM also created HRCI too, now that I think about that too!

-Dave Ryan SHRM-SCP


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