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Saturday, February 1st, 2014
3 years, 2 months.
Since I graduated college about a decade ago, I’ve been having this reoccurring dream where I’m at the end of my final semester and suddenly realize there was a Tuesday morning math class I had forgotten about the whole time, which means I won’t be able to graduate college.
It’s my subconscious’s way of saying, “Hey buddy, you’re not done learning yet. School never stops. You know that, right?”
That dream has especially been creeping up for the past year and a half and I’m pretty sure I know why…
I’ve been mentioning the PHR (Professional Human Resources) certification exam I’ve dedicated all my free time to. That has been my hobby now for the past year and a half.
(And keeping up with Breaking Bad, of course.)
The PHR certification exam is basically the equivalent to the BAR exam for aspiring lawyers.
Passing that test is the next major milestone for me building my career above and beyond my current pay grade.
SO, I didn’t pass it when I took it a few weeks ago. This is the 2nd time now. (I have to score at least 87% of the questions right- my best score was 84%.)
It wasn’t for a lack of studying and memorizing the material. But instead of blaming the organization for “making the test too hard” or tricky, I am taking full responsibility for myself.
The question is, “What can I do differently to become a victor, not a victim?”
From what I can tell, it’s a matter of “re-learning” how to learn and study; as weird as that may sound.
So I just bought two new exam study guides for the test; which are specifically designed for people like me, who study hard and learn easily, but don’t take standardized tests very well.
In other words, I’m trying a new approach to reach my difficult goal.
I’m not backing down. It’s on me to close the deal, myself. Passing this test is a lesson to teach you.
This is about you as much as it is me. I certainly have something to prove to the both of us.
While asking for help and depending on others is important, to really get somewhere in life, you have to do what it takes on your end to be the victor, not allowing yourself to be a victim of your circumstances or society.
I see life as an ongoing power struggle. Society is like a giant pyramid scheme where someone is always going to find a way to make money off of less fortunate, less creative, and/or less motivated people than themselves.
(Can you tell I’m a fan of Shark Tank?)
I want to help you climb that pyramid, but while reminding you to help others up along the way. That is the mindset I will be sharing with you… to be the victor, not victim.
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Sunday, October 21st, 2012
In this economy, it’s no secret that you should make yourself more valuable by learning new skills. The idea is to make yourself the go-to person for certain exclusive things.
I translate this same concept to the home life.
As the dad, one of my main exclusive roles is putting our son to sleep for all his naps and bedtimes. Without me, bedtime is not a simple event. It’s a long, drawn-out, nerve-racking experience.
Another thing I’m exclusively good at is transporting our son to and from daycare, being the mediator between his daycare teachers and my wife, and challenging our son both physically and kinetically during playtime.
While my wife and I share many duties, it’s really important to me that I do certain exclusive things.
This Christmas, I am planning on buying a foldable extendable ladder and a drill set. I want to increase my handyman skill set ASAP.
But wait, there’s more…
As the title infers, I also want an iron and an ironing board. Here’s my masculine reason why:
For my day job, where I am basically the Employee Relations Specialist, I assume the role of HR in the office. In other words, it’s very important that I present myself as very professional… above reproach.
I’ve always been the guy to wear ties and jackets to work anyway, even though I’m pretty much the only one who does. But now I feel that’s not good enough, in my own mind.
That’s because my clothes are a little on the wrinkled side.
I could easily convert a few of my “Sloppy Saturday” shirts, like the one I’m wearing in these pictures where I was made into a “Mummy” at my son’s daycare Open House over the weekend, into “Tidy Tuesday” shirts if they were simply ironed.
That’s not to put down by wife in any way. I can vouch for the fact that with all she does for our family, she definitely doesn’t have the time to iron, too.
Regardless, we don’t own an iron and an ironing board.
Even if we did, I want this job. I want ironing to be my thing in our household.
Call me a classic 1950′s American man, but I think men ought to care enough about their appearance not to represent themselves as slobs. There should be no shame in taking extra time to look handsome.
I’m thinking right now of those Men’s Wearhouse commercials: “You’re gonna like the way you look.”
As a non-metrosexual, I want to be like a former military guy who takes pride in his appearance enough to still iron his clothes like he had to when he was in the service.
Yes, I think it will be pretty cool to not only iron my own clothes for work, but to iron my wife’s clothes, and eventually, our son’s.
It’s pretty masculine if you ask me. I’m not turning into a “Mummy.” Instead, I’m manning up… once I get my iron and ironing board, that is.
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Thursday, September 20th, 2012
Like many Millennials, I grew up with this unrealistic belief that if I simply had a 4 year college degree, I would be all set.
Instead, I entered a work force where too many people, just like me, already had a college degree. So I wasn’t that special after all.
Now I’ve come to terms with the fact I need to become more special to actually be special.
Right now, we live in a 2 bedroom townhouse. Simply put, I’m not going to be in the right mindset to even think about planning to try to have another child in home with only 2 bedrooms.
I’m just now.
Also, the part of Nashville we live in wouldn’t put our son in the school district we would want him in.
Maybe what I’m saying right now sounds a bit on the superficial side, but I’m just being honest.
I don’t care about driving a nice car or living in a big house, but I recognize the socioeconomic pressures of parenthood prodding me to climb the corporate ladder.
This is me planning my way out of “townhouse life” into “small house with a small yard in a decent school district life.”
If I was still single, I just don’t know that I would be so inspired to try this hard to “move up” in the world.
But now I’ve got two people depending on me. That sort of makes me a bit more motivated.
I have had this re-occurring dream where it’s my final semester of college and I have just realized there was this one class I forgot about.
Then the terror sets in as I realize I won’t be able to graduate on time.
Whenever I have this dream, I wake up in relief, telling myself:
“That’s funny. You graduated college a long time ago. You don’t have to worry about classes anymore. Those days are long gone.”
With that being said, last night, in real life, I started taking a course at Lipscomb University.
I will be spending 3 hours every Wednesday night, through December, in a class that will be preparing me to become HR certified.
Then I still have to pay a couple hundred dollars and spend 3 hours taking the certification test, getting at least 70% of the questions right.
All to become an official HR guy.
Yeah, like Toby and Holly on The Office.
It was only a couple of months ago that I figured this out, but since graduating college, the field I have been working in has been Human Resources; not Sales as I thought. So I’ve decided to make something of it.
Turns out, HR is one of the (few) things in life I’m actually really good at.
It involves mediating between different departments, reading people, and knowing how to motivate them in order to bring productivity up- all that fun stuff.
I have a natural talent of playing the role of a middle child; the ultimate mediator.
Interestingly, most of the responsibilities of Human Resources seem to translate pretty well in to my role at home, especially as the dad:
Educating, training, empowering, and rewarding.
I’m always in the middle of stuff, trying to help everyone communicate better and always looking for new strategies and protocols to improve efficiency in the long run.
So whether in the office and in my home, I guess I’m pretty much the Human Resources department. But I’m cooler than Toby Flenderson.
Top image: Career, via Shutterstock.
Bottom image: Personnel manager writing, via Shutterstock.
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