Career potholes and how to avoid them, part 2

Did I tell you about my personal insecurities that made me acquire several professional qualifications that almost left me broke? We make many mistakes.

Did I tell you about my personal insecurities that made me acquire several professional qualifications that almost left me broke?

We make many mistakes.

Some are not forgivable since you can see ‘light’ anytime, say enough is enough and correct them.

There is a difference between qualifications, skills, and expertise.

A person who attains several qualifications is called qualifications obsessed or qualifications Turk – someone excited about accumulating academic qualifications to satisfy person insecurities of ‘not fitting.’ On the other hand, experts focus on going a mile deep in practical training and exposure in the chosen field.

I have seen people resign their day jobs to ‘concentrate’ in their classroom studies. You wonder what next? If you have an opportunity to put into action what you are studying why not keep your job and do your best to win? The world is for practical people not those with certificates and a long list of qualifications. We are in the 4th industrial revolution baby!

After being disappointed with the work ethics of many degree holders, several companies no longer consider academic paper qualifications as a basis to recruit.

What is the candidate’s track record? What are their career achievements? Someone who served as an editor of the school magazine or bulletin has relevant experience than one who did not.
Why pay annual professional fees?

  1. To keep the membership affiliation and attendant membership benefits. Some awarding professional bodies use the membership fees to market or lobby for the demand of professionals with the certification. In Uganda, some international professional bodies lobbied and or bribed some officials to indicate a particular professional body, as a minimum requirement for certain jobs. Subsequently, all job adverts stated that “xx qualification is required.” Given the big unemployment problem, so many people even those already holding jobs, had to enroll to attain the certificate. Other professional bodies provide an online database and digital resources for members only. This is great. Other professional bodies provide members with access to special publications like a monthly newsletter or magazine with relevant content that is well researched and peer-reviewed. If you find these resources relevant, you can continue paying. If not, why the heck continue to pay?
  2. For continuing professional development (CPD) hours. Many certification bodies provide specific training to her members to keep up to date with new developments in the profession. However, with today’s proliferation of online study and free premium resources from top universities like MIT and other digital platforms like Khanacademy, the value of this is reducing.
  3. For a practice license – if you are a lawyer, you must be a member of the local law society. If you are an accountant, you must be a member of the local accountancy body that regulates accountants. The same goes for Engineers, Doctors and other professionals. As a practicing professional, you must pay annual membership fees to be compliant with the law.
    d) Affiliation – some professional bodies help connect members to one another through on-going monthly or annual events. Others have come up with awards that they give to each other. It is a human condition to be noticed, and this is good.

Does your professional body provide you the abovementioned benefits? If yes, keep paying the annual dues. However, I encourage you to limit your professional certifications to a maximum of three. The ideal number should be two.

Start with compliance: in my chosen profession, with certification do I need to keep with which professional body?

Focus on maintaining critical memberships with professional bodies that are local. Of the multiple international bodies, you have certifications and membership, chose one to give you opportunities to travel and attend international conferences. Either chose associations headquartered in Europe or the USA.

You don’t need to keep both unless your employer picks the fees.

Copyright 2020 Bernabas Mustapha Mugisa is Mr. Strategy, the architect of #Mindspark.

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