Profile Management: Reminders, Updates & Tests
The world of business technology is a rapidly expanding, ever-changing environment where what is new today is old tomorrow. Nothing remains static for long anymore, and this can create some dilemmas for those of us working in certain fields. Most of the emerging technologies we are confronted with require a certification to prove we are proficient in their uses, and, while oftentimes these are easy to acquire, it is incumbent upon us to remember that these certificates have a finite lifespan. That means that from the moment we are issued such a certificate it is already counting down the days until it must be renewed. Renewal is the name of the game. This process can get tricky if the proper planning and follow-through are not applied for each certification, but with a little forethought and an action plan things should never get out of hand.
The first thing to do is to set up multiple, independent reminders for the week leading up to a certification renewal. Starting the reminders a week early will give you the time needed to do any of the legwork necessary to pass the certification test. There may be travel arrangements to be made, knowledge bases to study, or any number of things that you will need time to accomplish. A week should be enough time to do what needs to be done to ensure your certification is renewed.
Once the system of reminders is set up to keep you abreast of what is happening, it is a good idea to update them as frequently as possible. This will help you avoid any possible pitfalls that your work and personal life could introduce to the equation. A perfect example of this is double-booking the date. If you are not actively monitoring your calendar you could mistakenly schedule another important event on the very day your renewal is to take place. It seems like a longshot, I know, but you would be surprised to learn how frequently this happens.
Now that your reminder system is in place and updated, it can be of great benefit to test the system. Create a system identical to the one in place for certificate renewal, and test it thoroughly as many times as you can. No system ever created was without hiccups. By building a system and testing it, we can iron out any of the rough patches before those rough patches cost us something important. Testing is the only way to be sure that the system you designed will work effectively.
Lastly, it is always best to have a backup plan in place. Any good Plan A will have an equally good Plan B. Contingency plans will save you more time than they will take to design and implement. There are countless ways to create a Plan B, and they can be as simple as informing a friend or family member or as technical as creating a separate reminder/alarm system housed in a different medium.
Backup Reminders: Create reminders
The fact of the matter is that our certifications empower us to do what we do for our clients. Without these certifications, we are powerless to effect any change for them or ourselves. So, the importance of those certifications we need for our work cannot be overstated, and any effort, great or small, to guarantee we keep them current is well worth the effort.
Agency Tip: Look at the Employee section of your Partners portal and save the employee test list to file and save that to your system as a monthly certification check.
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I'm Spencer Wade - strategist, designer, manager of people and ideas. Platinum Top Contributor for Google Search, G+ & AdWords - TC Mentor too. I’m the founder of Lift Conversions, a Google Partner agency, located in Chicago. I’ve completed Google’s tests - Search, Display, Video, Analytics, & Mobile, and enjoy being a part of the forums. My agency is also an Official City Partner in the Get Your Business Online effort with Instant Verifier access to help immediately verify business listings.
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