Have you ever been in a room where someone was caught on the spot because he/she was asked a question and couldn’t answer? It becomes more awkward if the question is in the person’s line of experience or certification.

You might hear sinister remarks like:

“I thought you were a CFA charter holder, didn’t you learn this in ICAN? I thought you had completed CIPM,” and other condescending comments. Sometimes, the scenarios might not even align with the acclaimed certification, but at that point, no one listens to an explanation.

Below are a few things you can do after bagging your desired certification.

1. Share knowledge at work

This helps not just after bagging the certification, but as you study at the certification. For example, research shows that people in finance-related roles have a higher probability to pass CFA than people whose current role is not finance-related.

If you fall in the latter category, you can hold knowledge-sharing sessions on what you are studying and how it applies to the daily activities of the firm, company or your department as the case may be. You can liaise with the Learning and Development Unit or the HR department to make it more structured and beneficial to as many employees as possible.

The more you share, the more you remember what you’ve learnt.

2. Tie them to real-life experiences

Nothing makes you remember theories than tying them to the practical. Applying the theories, you learnt while studying for your exams helps a lot in reiterating and reinforcing the concepts. Imagine there is a crossroad at work or an issue came up and you are able to provide solution from the content of your exams module, not only do you feel good about yourself, you also earn your colleague’s respect. Isn’t that using one stone to kill two birds?

3. Attend professional career meetups

Staying abreast of what is going on in your field becomes more exciting when you attend workshops, professional meet-ups, open day sessions and other related activities. Not only do you refresh your recently certified knowledge, you also get to know changes that might have happened that you probably have missed out on.

For instance, the HRCI changed the modules of some of their examinations about 12 months ago, and I discovered this during a virtual meet up. IFRS standards keep evolving, ISO standards keep expanding and other bodies of knowledge keep evolving. Attending meet-ups is quite pivotal to keeping you in space.

4. Revisit your manuals

This might sound like a beginner’s advice but it does help a whole lot. Revisiting your modules or exam manuals in your spare time refreshes your memory and reminds you of things you probably only have a surface knowledge of.

As a matter of fact, sometimes, when you reread your manuals, you discover a lot of new insights you didn’t notice when you were studying for your exams. You could also read more about the extra notes, footnotes, bookmarks and other additional resources that were indicated to help for further understanding.
Stop by your manuals/modules today and see how refreshed you’d feel after.

5. Provide help to colleagues within and outside work

This is 2021 and it is totally okay to embark on a certification in a new field with the hope of pivoting to that field sometime in the nearest future. For instance, you can be a customer experience professional and write an Human Resources-related certification or be a product specialist and embark on a journey to becoming a certified product manager.

While you wait for an opportunity, you can indicate your interest in providing help and assistance to people who are already in the role, either it is within work or outside work, this helps you experience the practicality of the theories you have been learning and puts you on a great pedestal.

6. Volunteer to teach or lecture about them

You can also stay abreast by volunteering to teach at tutorials or lecturing your friends and colleagues that are planning to write the exams you have just written. Professional certifications are great, but like every bus stop on the career marathon, they are not the final destination. Ability to comprehend, and remember to continuously apply all that you have learnt is one of the ways to distinguish yourself as a certified professional.