Keep Learning

What I learned from studying for an HR professional certification

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to study for the SHRM Certification exam. SHRM stands for the Society of Human Resource Management. It is a standard in the HR profession. Besides learning the body of competencies and knowledge required to pass the exam, I gained valuable personal lessons:

  1. Cru is a solid organization. We have dedicated, professional staff in almost every area and competency I studied. Going through the course gave me confidence in our leadership and our organization. Now, when I don’t know something, I am certain I can find an expert in that area.
  2. While I am not an expert in every area of HR and leadership, I gained an increased knowledge of the entire domain of my field.
  3. I gained confidence and competence personally as an LDHR leader and earned the status of a Senior Certified Professional. That is a recognized standard in the HR profession.
  4. Instead of feeling “one down” and not having answers to people’s HR questions, I became equipped by increasing my knowledge base. I now have more understanding and can ask better follow-up questions.
  5. I have been able to connect with a network of other HR learners. My certification has allowed me the privilege to engage others and help them pass their certification exam. As I review with others, I keep my knowledge fresh.
  6. I understand better how I learn. That lesson has carried over into every area of my learning. On one daily walk with my wife, I was discouraged that even though I had spent time alone studying and reading, I needed to pass more of the practice exams consistently. She asked me a simple yet profound coaching question, “How do you learn best?” I learn by processing out loud with someone – that helps me gain mastery of the topics. So, I asked another certified professional who had just passed the certification to help me with a couple of study sessions. That made a huge difference. Now I ask people the same question and offer to pay it forward to help others study.

Some questions for you to consider:

  • How would you rate your confidence and competence in the LDHR field?
  • What areas do you need to study?
  • How do you learn best?
  • Who can help you?
  • Do you need a certification for your role?
  • Do you know there are two courses on our site dedicated to helping you grow in competence and confidence? Your First 100 Days in LDHR online are for new LDHR leaders. There are also Developmental Pathways for continued learning and growth. You may want to network with other HR practitioners and learn together.

If you have further questions, leave me a comment below.

Steve Morgan

Steve Morgan is married to Terry, and they have four adult children. He has been on staff for 40 years, 17 years in Latin America, and 11 years with Global LDHR. Steve’s passion is to come alongside leaders and teams and help them grow. He enjoys bike rides and hiking with Terry, triathlons, assessments, writing, and coaching.

6 thoughts on “Keep Learning”


      Hi, Jan. Glad you got to read the blog. As I reflect, the Lord has always surrounded me with people at the right times who I could learn with and learn from. And a shout out to asking insightful coaching questions. Terry’s question on our walk was a big turnaround point for me.

  1. Great points Steve- thanks for being disciplined in the learning process and helping others have confidence in the professionalism that we seek to have in Cru in LDHR.


      Thanks, Marc, for reading. You are part of the reason for confidence in the organization. We are not perfect, and there are always needs, but you keep learning and striving to meet those needs with a culture that is “for people.”


    Thanks, Linda. I enjoyed writing this and capturing the personal lessons I learned while studying for the certification. During our recent Position Focus conversation, Paul Cheesman inspired the blog post.

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