You’ve decided to pursue a certification to improve your career portfolio. Congratulations! Did you know that going after some of the toughest and most desirable certifications can be likened to nailing a successful romantic relationship?
If you view the effort through that lens, it’s simpler to understand the ups and downs and prepare for them before the road gets bumpy.
One of the most challenging is Microsoft certifications, but they’re also the most in demand. It can be difficult to achieve just about any tech-based certification, however.
Take a deep breath, and play it as if you were angling to go to the prom with the most popular kid in school. You can do it, but it won’t necessarily be easy. Here’s how to attack it.
1. Set your intention
Just like in yoga class, identify the end result you want. This gets you motivated, but you’ll also think about the best approach to make it happen.
Maybe you need certification by a certain date, are aware that you’re prone to procrastination, or there’s a financial hurdle. This gets you on the path to tackling the issues one at a time.
2. Beware the honeymoon stage
You’ll likely hit your stride early on, and believe this isn’t so tough after all. This is when you can get blindsided, because most things are easier in the beginning, including study habits and retaining information.
There’s a curve, and you’re at the bottom of the hill. Don’t assume it’s in the bag yet.
3. The first fight
There will likely come a time when you’re ready to throw in the towel. Suddenly what was so appealing has become too nightmarish to face.
This, too, shall pass if you persevere and focus on how to tackle the challenge. Maybe your partner is being unreasonable, but you need to step up to the plate. Right now, you need that person more than he or she needs you.
4. Staying committed
You’re committed through the best of times and worst of times. The good news is that, unlike a marriage, the process isn’t for life. You just need to stick it out a little while longer to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Prom night, anyone?
5. The big day
Unfortunately, many people give up when it comes down to the wire due to the stress alone. This can be especially true for Type-A personalities who are struggling to stay afloat. Walking away can be easier than just one more day of stress.
Don’t give up, and on the darkest days slip on those rose-colored glasses. Remind yourself why you’re doing this and that it’s worth it.