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Spring 2003 Edition- April 2003 Volume 1

Professionalism: It's Not Just The Designation
By Brian W. Pascal, RPR, CMP, RPT

Brian W. Pascal
Never has it been more important to acquire and maintain professional credentials for employers. The pool of job applicants grows every year, and the ability to set yourself apart from the hundreds applying for the same job becomes a survival tactic. Make no mistake, academic achievements, certificates, diplomas and skill based professional credentials set you apart from other job seekers and from the current crop of co-workers. And belonging to a strong and active professional association brings even further proof that you're serious about your work life and that you're not just marking time.

Some may argue that the value of credentials to employers, that of continuous learning and belonging to a professional association, is questionable. They say these credentials and activities are "nice" but aren't required for a vast majority of the jobs out there. Well, individuals do not become professionals because of some sudden leap that they want to make into the stratosphere. Individuals become professionals because of their lifetime dedication and commitment to higher standards, ideals, honorable values, and continuous self-improvement. This is what sets them apart and this is what will be noticed and valued by employers.

Professionals perform what are often ordinary jobs in extraordinary ways. Professionals add a little extra to everything they do and they put a little extra into every move they make. The greatest benefit of being a professional is the satisfaction and pride that you will enjoy from doing your work to the best of your ability through your education and training. Then you will know that your work is, in fact, professional. When you do your work professionally, people take notice. The Institute of Professional Management recognized the need of practitioners involved in Recruitment, Assessment, Management and Training for a professional framework within which to carry out their roles. As an educational body certified by and registered with Human Resources Development Canada, IPM provided the content, structure, accreditation and designations required to to establish this framework. But do these designations, or any other designations for that matter, really confer "professional" status upon the individual? Can you only be a "professional" if you've taken a four year degree in something? If that's the case, then how come we're constantly reading about the "unprofessional" conduct of Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants and other well-established professions? It is obvious that the curriculum or the length of time required for study is not at issue here.

If you are a professional, you are self-directed. You will reap only in proportion to what you plant. You will receive from your job only in proportion to what you contribute. Having said this, I am happy to report that not one of our members have been on the front page of any newspaper for unprofessional conduct. More realistically, we have never received a complaint from any employer about the conduct of our members. It has been 20 years since we put together the first association and we've certified thousands of individuals in three professional associations (soon to be four) since. This is unique. This means that employers are either totally petrified of our members or they simply enjoy working with them and value their knowledge and their approach to work. Surely, it's the latter and I'm proud to be involved with all of you.

This is our first formal Members Quarterly report. We recognize the effort you made to learn and to participate in our professional associations and we also recognize the need to do our part and promote your professionalism and offset any isolation felt by any of our members. I'm sure you'll want to contribute by letting us know what you want to see in this report and we'll make it happen quickly and without fuss. This is your publication.

Thank you again for your support and dedication to your respective associations. It makes the entire operation worthwhile.

Brian W. Pascal, RPR, CMP, RPT, is President and CEO of the Institute of Professional Management located in Ottawa, Ontario and can be reached at (613) 721-5957 or pascal@workplace.ca


Quarterly message from IPM's President, Brian Pascal.

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