Show Off Your Skills
How can you prove that you're an expert at your job? Consider getting CGCM certified.
It's an indisputable fact: If you want to prove your shop's value you have to offer invaluable service. But what can you do to prove your own value to management?
Obtaining management certification is a viable first step. One such certification is offered by the International Publishing Management Association. Passing its Certified Graphics Communications Manager (CGCM) test, will not only show others that you're an expert, but it will help you brush up on your weaker areas.
"How we set ourselves apart from our peers; I think that's the key to success in the industry," asserts John Williams of Indiana University Purdue University of Indiana, chairman of the program.
Obtaining certification enhances your credibility as an effective manager. That's one of the reasons James Dalton—CGCM-certified since 1991—decided to take the examination.
"I truly believe that because I took the test I was appraised more favorably" by upper management, says Dalton, manager of Document Services at American United Life Insurance in Indianapolis. Dalton is also a Certified Mail Manager (CMM), another certification given by the IPMA.
Niki Steenhoek, communication resources manager at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a Johnston, IA-based insurance company, also has both her CGCM and CMM. She says she was promoted since taking her test in 1996. In addition to overseeing printing, she now supervises a creative team and the photo laboratory. Obtaining her CGCM and CMM gave Steenhoek the "overall knowledge I needed to run my shop efficiently," she confides.
But passing the test isn't as easy as bringing in an apple for the teacher. Most managers study long and hard, hoping they'll pass it the first time.
Not to worry, though. If you fail a section (or the entire test) you can try, try again. You must pass with at least 75 percent, and you can take the failed section(s) over as many times as needed at no additional cost—except perhaps to your ego.