Ready or Not – SPHR, Here I Come!

Jessica Lee Jessica Lee

Well, I've decided to do it. I think I'm going to start studying for the SPHR exam and will aim to take it come December/January. For the uninitiated or non-HR folks… it's a certification for senior level HR folks to prove their smarts. It took me 20 minutes to apply, including me spending one minute to scratch my head and wonder why they ask in the application process if I've ever been convicted of a felony and if yes, to explain the circumstances (the answer being no, of course, but I don't understand why they ask it). But I'm locked in. And now that I've written this here on the bloggy, you can help me stay focused and disciplined through my studies.

First, why take it? Well, that's a reasonable question and I can't honestly come up with a good reason why I shouldn't do it. Does it make me more credible to have that SPHR designation? I dunno if I buy that argument. I do know however that itSHRMLOGOPuzzle would never hurt me to have it. And besides that whole argument of whether a SPHR matters? I'm simply kind of a competitive gal, and there are certain things I try or do just so I can say that I can or have done it. Sad but true. I'm honestly like that so the SPHR exam and certification may be just another one of those things. Check the box, and say that I've got it… that is, if I pass.

It's been a while since I have taken an exam of any sort. I had an eye exam last year. I took my driver's license test in 2001. I took the PHR exam in about 2002. And my patience has probably been tested many times in the past few years – by technology, by long lines at the grocery store, by ex-boyfriends who wouldn't accept that I am always right, by hurting shins when I wanted to go for a run but it hurt too much… I've been tested a plenty. But I've not taken an exam, a real test, in a while – so this should be interesting. And you'll be there through some of it.

The plan? I'm going to self study. Some great blogging pals have given me some good resources and I'll use them as a starting point. I'll take some practice exams along to way to gauge my readiness. And then I'll cram for the week before I take the test. Same method employed when I took the PHR, same general method for getting through college…

So what say you? Worth it or a waste of my time? Do I even need to do this? Any tips? Please share and hit the comments. And now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to start my reading to prep me for the strategic management section of the exam… beginning with this chapter on the History of HR from an SPHR exam prep book someone passed along to me…

The history of HR as a management function can be traced back to the Industrial Revolution when, for the first time, it became economically and technologically feasible to mass-produce products in large factories employing people. HR or personnel management as it was known then was largely a clerical function maintaining employee records and ensuring that employees were paid…

Zzzzzzzz. Ooops. Fell asleep there for a moment. Wish me luck studying!