By Sara Williscroft, ABC

What does it take to get your Communications Management Professional designation (CMP)? How do you decide to take the plunge?

If you’re asking yourself these questions and looking to enhance your career, then you will probably identify with Lori Allan’s story. She’s the manager of communications with Pason Systems Corporation and she recently received her CMP. Here’s what she has to say about the process.

How many years have you worked in communications, what is your title and what are your key responsibilities?

I’ve worked in communications for 14 years and am currently a communication manager for a Calgary-based technology company. I’m a cross-functional generalist and I support many departments in the organization with both internal and external communications. I’m also currently working to elevate the company’s brand and reputation.

What motivated you to get your certification?

In January 2018, I did some career goal-setting. I had considered the accreditation program the previous year, but finally decided to pursue it in 2018. I made a plan to become accredited and began taking courses. It was really motivating to have this goal.

I believe it’s important to be a lifelong learner, not only to remain credible and employable, but to challenge yourself, learn new skills, and keep up with best practices.

What was the most difficult thing about the certification process?

Making the commitment and sticking to it. There are so many other things in our lives that are vying for our attention, but if you set some time aside to invest in yourself, your education, and your career, it can pay off.

Leading up to the exam, I found it challenging not being able to study. I expected a handbook or something concrete that I could read.

What I didn’t realize until after the exam was that working every day, reading articles and blogs published in Communication World, participating in IABC webinars, reading questions and responses in The Lab, and attending conferences and workshops, prepared me just fine for the exam. I will admit that I did have some moments where I worried about not passing!

What is your pitch to someone who may be thinking about getting certified?

Simply set a goal, devise a plan, do the work, apply, and become certified. It’s about making an investment and prioritizing yourself and your career.

The CMP process begins with an application, followed by a three-hour, 100 question multiple-choice examination and annual requirements for professional development to retain certification. For more information, visit IABC Calgary’s certification page.

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