This past weekend was a pretty big deal for me.
Back in February I wrote this post about how I was hoping to sit for the PHR exam. I'm sure you were all holding your breath, waiting with great anticipation at what would happen next. I just know you were.
PHR stands for Professional in Human Resources. It is a certification that basically means you know more than you will ever need to know about everything from motivational theories, training techniques and organizational/strategic development to employment law, employee and labor relations and compensation and benefits.
I have been studying for this test since February and was pushing pretty hard these last few weeks to get in enough study time. Between Jake's graduation, child stuff, and work craziness it was almost impossible to find what I felt to be an appropriate amount of study time.
All of this studying has taught me something about myself. I'm old. Way to old to be studying anyway. My brain shut down and my eyes watered every time I pulled out my study materials. Plus, the whole lack of sleep thing has pretty much diminished my ability to remember anything, let alone apply new knowledge to a test question.
About three weeks ago I really started to panic. I struggled with doubt and was angry at myself for thinking that I could do this. I kept asking myself, "What ever possessed me to do this?!" and "What was I thinking, I can't do this!"
I tried to keep this a secret from my co-workers because, well, I wasn't sure what I would do if I actually failed the test. How would I ever be able to face anyone? I can't even remember the last time I failed at something this big.
Going into the test on Saturday morning I felt sick and extremely anxious. I took dozens of practice tests while studying and hadn't passed a single one. Nothing makes you feel more unprepared than a string of failures. Plus, I had nothing to fall back on. There isn't a consolation prize for failure.
I was given four hours to complete the test and at three hours and thirty minutes I finally got to the last question. It was an online test so once I answered the last question the "submit" button popped up. I sat and looked at that stupid button FOREVER. Finally, I promised myself that I would review only a few of the questions and hit the submit button at the 15-minute mark.
Then, I took a deep breath....and pushed the button.
With my eyes closed.
When I finally peeked at the screen I wanted to scream. Apparently someone thought putting a post-test questionnaire at that point was appropriate.
What a stupid idea.
So, I answered the questions and then waited...again.
And then I cried. Because my hard work and crazy ideas had finally paid off.
And now I have three little letters behind my name... PHR.
Some people might think that "pride cometh before a fall" but let me just tell you...
I'm so very proud of myself. And that's okay.
I did this. Me. I came up with this silly notion to do something for my own personal fulfillment, followed through with it and reaped the rewards of my hard work.
Thank you, God!