This down economy is providing many of us with some down time due to lack of work. Whether there is some down time at the office or you are currently unemployed. What are you doing with that down time? Why not spend it pursuing a license or certification that will add value to your credentials?
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I know many engineers that have the work experience required to take the P.E. test, and have even passed part one of the exam (the F.E.), however they just won’t fill out the application and sit for the exam. People make all kinds of excuses like, the application is difficult, no time to study, I don’t really need the license because my boss signs the plans, etc. The same goes for other certifications like the LEED AP. I hear people saying that the LEED exam takes too much memorization and they don’t have time for that.
In the coaching world, we call these excuses “blocks” because they are blocking you from achieving a goal. There are two kinds of blocks, interior and exterior blocks. Interior blocks are things like self-doubt and fear. For example many people won’t sign up for the test for fear of failure. They think about what would happen if they failed, what would people think, etc. On the other hand, people may have fear of passing, yes that’s right passing. They fear additional responsibilities or attention that they would rather avoid. So how do you overcome these blocks without a coach? You can do some self-coaching by asking yourself the following questions:
- What is holding me back from taking the next step to achieving this goal?
- What can I do today to help me overcome that challenge?
- What would my career look like if I passed the test?
- How would it affect my salary, my job standing, my family?
- What will my career look like in 5 years if I pass the test? If I don’t pass the test?
Write out the answers and be very descriptive and specific. Then re-read the answers. Many times seeing the value of the certification in these terms will help to eliminate these inner blocks.
Exterior blocks would be things like time and money. To overcome exterior blocks you will most likely have to put an action plan together. For example if you say you don’t have enough time to study, set up a detailed study schedule. Maybe you study a half an hour each day before or after work or dedicate lunch a few times a week for studying. If you establish a plan and stick with it, you will eliminate the exterior blocks.
I hope this article was helpful in moving you closer to your certifications, now go sign up for that test!
Anthony Fasano, P.E., CPC, LEED AP
Associate Civil Engineer and Certified Professional Career Development Coach