That’s right Followers, after months of dedication, sacrifice and reading study materials as thick as encyclopedias, Dad-E is a certified Project Management Professional. While it’s not required for my current job, the higher-ups “politely encouraged” everyone on my team to get their certification in 2013. And guess who was first to get it? This guy.
For those of you not familiar with the PMP, it’s a 200-question pass/fail exam that tests all aspects of project management and its body of knowledge – ranging from time, scope and cost management all the way through procurement and ethics. You get 4 hours to complete the exam and you need to obtain at least a 61% to pass. Doesn’t seem too bad, right? Not so fast… Of the 200 questions, there are 25 “test questions”, meaning that they don’t count towards your final exam score and are sampler questions for consideration for use in future exams. The only trouble is, they are scattered randomly throughout the exam and you have no idea or indication which ones they are. So for those of you non-math wizards out there, it means you have to correctly answer at least 106 of the 175 counting questions in order to pass. When you break it down that way, it seems a little more intimidating.
So for the last few months (I forget when I started, it’s been that long), I’ve been carving out a little time each weeknight to get my nerd on and hit the books. Read a chapter, take a quiz, rinse, repeat. Needless to say, it hasn’t been easy. Allow me to indulge you in a typical night for us for the last couple of months…
Mommy B and I would try to make ourselves dinner (and eat it) before taking the kiddos up to the bath at 6pm. We would get them bathed and into bed by a little after 7, at which time Mommy B would hit the shower and I would come back downstairs to clean up. After tidying up the disaster zone, making my lunch for the next day, getting out work and workout clothes and (maybe) taking a short breather, it was usually around 8pm. This is normally when working parents who’ve been up since 4 or 5am would phone it in the last hour and veg in front of the squawk box before hitting the sheets – but not Mommy B and I. She would head over to the computer to work on her next paper for her Masters in Nursing classes and I would head to the couch or table and crack the books. Each night we’d end up going to bed later than we’d hoped – somewhere between 9:30 and 10pm (sometimes later). All to be up at 4am for her and 5am for me the next day and do it all over again.
After all the toil and trouble, memorizing 42 separate and distinct project management process and a dozen or so formulas, I was ready to take the exam. I had scheduled the exam date about a month or so ago, so I knew when my deadline was going to be. I walked into the testing center cool, calm and confident, and it paid off. I passed with flying colors, getting some of the highest marks anyone I work with has ever seen. I can now technically say I’m a “professional” at something, which is weird to say. I’m hoping that this additional credential will open numerous doors at my current job, so we’ll see where it takes me!