Re: Re. Certification

Subject: Re: Re. Certification
From: Sue Ellen Adkins <sea -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 13:31:22 -0800

Dan Martillotti wrote:

> The only certification we need is our skills.

Certification can be a barrier that doesn't allow an individual's skills to be
seen. Early in my career (I didn't start out as a tech writer), I was
selected for a two-year management training program. I had to convince
managers of the benefits of having me in their organizations for two months;
my salary came out of their budgets. During one of my rotations at an off-
site facility, I approached a visiting manager about a rotation in his
organization. We scheduled a meeting to discuss it when I returned home.

Before our meeting I learned that he had turned down several men without
technical degrees; a technical degree was required in his organization. The
way he started the meeting, the only decision to be made was when I would
start. We discussed my completed and planned rotations; he never asked about
my degree. As I was leaving his office, he called me back and asked,
"Electrical or mechanical?" I looked at him and he asked again, "What's your
degree in -- electrical or mechanical engineering?" There was a long pause
after I replied, "Business."

During my rotation with him, he admitted that he had never considered that I
didn't have a technical degree; he just couldn't tell which one. My
performance caused him to reconsider his position. He was selective but he no
longer required a technical degree. The certificate no longer functioned as
an invalid screening tool.

Sue Ellen Adkins
sea -at- netcom -dot- com

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