My life in 700 words

mtndewEvery so often, I try to give some sort of mass update here, because people often ask what I\’m working on, why I\’m taking forever to reply to their emails, or what my favorite type of cookie is (probably chocolate chip brownie pillows). Anyway, here\’s the stuff that you do and don\’t want to know about my current level of insanity.

  1. The last time I posted on the goings-on, I was gently reminded by a few of my friends out there that it looks like I’m not taking enough time for family. I just don’t usually bore people with that kind of thing. I live a fairly boring life outside of my jobs. But to satisfy those familial cravings, just check out #10 and #11. :-)
  2. At the urging of a friend, I have started writing three times a week on this blog ( Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). This is a change from my normal “whenever” posting. It’s interesting to try to fit to a schedule, but it’s also a lot of fun, too.
  3. With sales doing about as well as I had hoped, I have been working to finish the second Rock the PHR bonus item. It\’s actually 99% complete, and I have started to outline the third (and probably last) bonus giveaway. For only $14.99, this thing is a steal if you\’re planning to take the HR certification exam.
  4. I\’m writing a post every Monday for the RocketHR blog. I\’m trying to make it more beginner-friendly, and I\’m hoping that it will be a stepping stone for my local HR professionals into the world of social media.
  5. In a recent post, I went over some of what I\’m doing with the local SHRM chapter\’s student group. I was one of those youngsters not too long ago, and I am looking forward to helping them with all of the wisdom I\’ve accumulated (i.e. not much).
  6. Along with my designer, I am revamping my company\’s website. It\’s going to be more user-friendly, searchable, and better aligned to our organizational goals. It\’s been a fun experience so far.
  7. My online antics never cease, because I have also started working with another local SHRM chapter to help them set up a Website. (If your local chapter doesn\’t have a Website but wants something, shoot me an email. I might be able to help.)
  8. Secret project with Stephen from HR Gumbo. I’m waaay slower than he is at times. :-)
  9. I’ve been working on a half marathon training plan with the race scheduled in November. Should be a lot of fun. Haven’t done a long race since the Dizzy Fifties 50k a few years ago.
  10. My wife is amazing, and I’ve been working with her as a coach to help her prepare for a local 5k. She is going to do amazingly well. I tried to promote it to my coworkers, but with less than 5 days to race day, my wife and I are the only ones who have signed up for our team!
  11. Not sure how many of you know about it, but we’re adopting. And this thing has been going very slow in recent weeks with lots of work and extracurricular activities. But we’ve finally finished most of the preparation work for the home study, and we’re getting ready for our adoption.
  12. HRevolution planning is going well, and we are gearing up for the big day. It’s about three weeks away, but I can remember when it was three months away, and that blows my mind. We have a few sponsor slots left (last time I checked), and if anyone’s looking to put $25o or $500 toward a good cause, you might be able to secure one of the final slots.
  13. My loads of spare time are spent building my business and helping others do the same. I’ve been talking with 4-5 people about getting their own products/services out there on the market, and it’s amazingly fun for me.

I’m sure I’m missing a lot of other things that are going on. The Diet Mountain Dew is flowing cold and fast these days, and I’m hoping to keep up the amazing work that I’m allowed to do on a daily basis. Look for another “real” post on Friday, assuming I can keep up with the schedule I just committed to.

Goodbye, HRCI Recent Graduate Exemption

This test looks interesting

This test looks interesting

I took the PHR exam this past January. It was a tough experience, but I also enjoyed knowing that it would solidify my grasp of the basic theoretic principles of HR. I didn’t yet have the requisite two years of exempt level HR experience necessary to take the exam, but I was able to take it under the “Recent Graduate” exemption that HRCI provides. From HRCI:

Students and recent graduates enrolled in a bachelor\’s or graduate degree program may take the PHR and GPHR exams at an initial registration rate of US$120. Passing students and recent graduates must pay the balance of the exam fee once they have graduated and documented two years of exempt-level (professional) HR work experience. They have five years from the date of passing the exam to obtain the two years of exempt-level (professional) HR work experience.
Student/recent graduate candidates are not eligible to take the SPHR certification exam. Student/recent graduate  candidates must take the exam no earlier than 12 months before their graduation date and no later than 12 months after graduation from a bachelor\’s or graduate degree program.

Recently, I learned that HRCI is going to be dropping the Recent Graduate exemption. In fact, the certification requirements are changing in multiple ways by 2011. I still haven’t made up my mind yet about how I feel on the changes, but here is what HRCI says:

PHR Eligibility

SPHR Eligibility

GPHR Eligibility

• 1 year of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with a Master\’s degree or higher
• 2 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with a Bachelor\’s degree
• 4 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with less than a Bachelor\’s degree
• 4 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with a Master\’s degree or higher
• 5 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with a Bachelor\’s degree
• 7 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience with less than a Bachelor\’s degree
• 2 years of demonstrated global exempt-level HR experience with a Master\’s degree or higher
• 3 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience (with 2 of the 3 being global HR experience) with a Bachelor\’s degree
• 4 years of demonstrated exempt-level HR experience (with 2 of the 4 being global HR experience) with less than a Bachelor\’s degree


There are several reasons for these changes. The biggest one that I can think of is that they want the exams to be more meaningful. If some “upstart” :-) can take the exam after college and pass without any exempt level HR experience, then that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re as qualified as someone who has years of HR experience before deciding to take  the exam. And if I was one of those experienced pros who decided to get certified, it would probably bother me to know that there’s someone in the next booth with none of my experience taking the same certification exam.


On the flip side, what about that student/recent grad? If they pay the fee, put in the hours of study time, and complete the exam, then why can’t they be rewarded for those efforts? If they choose (as I did) to try to put themselves into a better position in a promotion or hiring situation, why should they be kept from that opportunity?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons of the decision to change the requirements.

Anyway, if you happen to be one of those people with less than two years of experience, then you should seriously consider taking the PHR exam while you still have the opportunity. In fact, if you are in that group and you’d like to shoot me an email, I’ll give you a discount on the Rock the PHR guide to help you get started.

Studying for the HR Certification Exam

I love having the opportunity to help people who are studying for the HR certification exam. It’s something that allows me to use my knowledge and love of teaching to help others. Definitely a fun way to spend some time!

I don’t know if any of you realize it, but I got started in writing as I chronicled my PHR exam study sessions online.  I wanted to help others with their own self-study process, motivate myself, and give encouragement to those that were feeling lost amid the practice questions, exam requirements, and study resources.  I’m working on putting the articles together into a free eBook (I have put them together into a free eBook already) because I want people to be able to see the process that I went through.

I, like many people, jumped into HR feet-first. I took the PHR in the 12-month window after college, and that meant I didn’t need the pesky 2 years of exempt experience.  Now, while I’m not technically “certified” without the experience, I have passed the exam, so that hopefully says something about my capabilities.  Self-study. All the way. Rockin’.

To take it further, I later created a great tool called the Rock the PHR study guide. It’s an inexpensive tool to help you stay motivated, learn what to study, and pass the exam once and for all. Check it out!

If you’re working on your own study journey or trying to decide if you should take the HR certification exam plunge, shoot me an email or leave a comment.  I’d love to offer any help I can give.

And if you would like free updates via email (i.e. when another free product comes along), just click here!