The Rewards of a Certified Professional

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You would think that a college degree is all that you need to advance in your career. However, certifications obtained which spotlight your skills and expertise carry far greater weight than your college degree. I can attest to this personally when I worked in corporate America.

I was 27 at the time and attained two degrees but still wasn't fully satisfied with my job. I was skilled in the CRM platform, salesforce.com but was skeptical about taking the certification exam because I was told by several colleagues about how hard the exam was and that no one passes it their first time. When I researched the perks, I was astounded by what I discovered because one of the benefits was being able to negotiate receiving a six figure income salary. That was all of the motivation I needed because my personal goal was to receive a six figure salary before the age of 30. I was determined to pass this exam and started studying expeditiously.

After four long weeks of studying from various study guides and flash card notes, I was hours away from taking the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam. I was nervous but confident in the knowledge I acquired at work and from my study materials. The tricky thing about this exam is that at the end, the test result that you would receive would either be a PASS or FAIL. There was not a way for you to know which ones you answered correctly or incorrectly. In case I failed, I would have to think about the questions I had trouble answering during the exam and study on those specific topics. However, in my head, FAILURE WAS NOT AN OPTION.

After I reviewed all of my answers, especially the ones I was a bit unsure of, I triple checked until I felt confident in hitting the 'Submit' button. Once the mouse click sound was engaged, the fate of the future of my career was awaiting me on the next screen. As the page was loading, I turned my head for a split second and when I looked at the screen again, my eyes started to tear up as I saw the word 'PASS' as my test result.

From that moment on, I was more marketable than I have ever imagined! Just from being certified, 10 or more recruiters per week contacted me via LinkedIn for better career opportunities and I was easily able to negotiate obtaining a salary of at least $100,000 per year. To my surprise, I earned more than I negotiated. At the age of 28, I earned my first six figure income salary in corporate America of $120,000 per year. All because I was certified in my field of expertise.

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Joshua Jackson