Category Archives: Professional Development

On my way!

Today I took the GR7, Introduction to Global Remuneration test through World At Work at Pearson Vue. I was really nervous for many reasons – I hadn’t studied as much as I had wanted to, the text was full of detailed information that was really confusing in the details, and other stuff.

Part of the other stuff was hanging over my head the cost of this course/test on my credit card since the work reimbursement policy changed to only reimburse after a completed/passed course. Before it was half up front, half when passed. I suppose it is good for both parties, as the company doesn’t have to pay for longer and it doesn’t have to chase after funds if the course isn’t passed.

That and I was in a car accident over the weekend. It both stole study time as well as made it very hard for me to concentrate while taking the test (cognitive) and the pain was very … painful and distracting.

Luckily, I managed to pass. It would have been nice to have a higher score, but I’ll take what I can get. Onwards and upwards!

Global

I was thrilled that my manager urged me to take the final two courses that are the difference between the CCP and GRP. I’m working my way through the Overview course, knowing that the financial one would be harder.

I didn’t realize how complex this overview would be.

I appreciate that the course has been recently updated. I’m thrilled that there are many things about various countries or regions I already knew.

But there is so much, that I feel overwhelmed. I worry about how detailed the test will be. Based on other courses I guess the test will be 75-90 questions.

I know this will be worth it. Considering that compensation is becoming a standard module to Human Capital Management (HCM) systems, and those are growing to be global. There are enough companies out there using HCMs that have employees world wide, that they need to have flexibility to handle taxation and addresses that oddly is not taken into the design process.

I’m excited by the carrot my manager offered me, that I will be at the leading edge of this compensation module for my company.

Workplace sexism

In the past six months I’ve had three managers. The one I was hired by resigned, moving the entire team to his boss. After a while, that guy was told he couldn’t manage folk two-three levels below him, so we got redistributed to new-to-us managers.

Before my initial boss left, we did the annual review process (four months early.) The way he and his boss both handled my engagement, successes, and professional growth both externally and with internal products was underwhelming. To the point both discouraged me from seeking additional professional development outside of our company, asking me to focus on the product we support.

Ok, that is great. Except that I’ve been mentoring and training others on our internal product for over a year. I am constantly sending suggestions or writing up how to documents both for internal and external use, and acting as a support to peers on said product. I’ve clearly demonstrated an expertise on it.

I was sorely disappointed that with my 13 years experience in the field, 9 years experience in the industry of HCMs, having a degree and multiple certifications that I wasn’t even given the target merit increase this year. That I wasn’t brought up to market rate for someone with 1 year experience in the field. Never mind that I’ve spoken with my local peers and all the women are $10k+ underpaid compared to the men with often less experience and no certs or degrees in the field.

I had asked my former boss’s boss if the gender inequality was reviewed. He hadn’t even thought of it, let alone looked into it. He knows I know Compensation. Just the ease I displayed in using terms and concepts, never mind those wonderful three letters after my name.

My current manager is a breath of fresh air. SHE encourages me to seek out professional development both on our product and externally. She recognizes my expertise and all I have done to help others. She comes to me to double check others work or to help figure out very difficult things.

I was exceedingly thrilled when in one conversation I flat out asked her, “It sounds like you are grooming me for a promotion. Is this your intent?” She confirmed it was. Woohoo!

I find it very interesting how different the management styles and how they view me and what I have to offer are between the men and women in the business unit. I’m not prepared to say it is the whole company, because it is clear looking at the C suite that isn’t the case.

Certified Compensation Professional

Today I took (and totally crushed) the T4: Strategic Communication course.

The test was 84 minutes (plus 6 for orientation to the test) for 75 questions. As I suspected from the course material it was the “old” version that I expect will be updated in the next few years. I figured it out since it still has global items integrated with the material. This meant the test was very cut and dry with maybe 5 questions that you had to pick the best of three correct answers.

I am super proud to state that this was the final test to obtain the Certified Compensation Professional.

 

C8: Business Acumen

Yesterday I took the World At Work Business Acumen test. I was very surprised.

The test was 114* minutes for 78 multiple choice questions. There was a small amount of math (1 question.)

Why was I surprised? That boils down to two answers. The first is that there were about 10-15 questions that were about concepts that were not in the testing material (self study book or the supplemental case study.) The second was that about half the test was a level of questioning akin to the SPHR rather than the previous 8 tests I had taken through this certification track.

When I state the questions were SPHR level, the questions were not straight forward what is X? In stead you had to use your knowledge of the concepts and vocabulary to extrapolate and think about the situation presented and each of the answers for the best answer (as sometimes two or three were correct, just one was better than the others.) ¬†Considering the majority of the previous 8 tests were much more straight forward and representative¬†of the material rather than its applications this was… challenging.

I was also surprised that not a single one of the “Test your knowledge” or end of module questions were utilized, as had been on the previous 8 tests. That and there was no survey afterwards to give feedback about the test itself.

The one math question fits into the category of “was not in the preparation material.” I took a guess at how to calculate the answer. For having numerous equations and financial concepts, to ask about one NOT in the material felt underhanded.

I feel that the materials provided did not accurately prepare one for the test.

While I did pass it, I don’t feel much satisfaction from doing so.

Considering much of the material for the course was a repeat from a number of the other courses, having this new test added to the required track for certification just feels like a money grab rather than actual preparing and ensuring one is knowledgeable on the topic and can act in a means to benefit their organization or advance their career.

I recognize the course (and thus also the test) is new. There are many bugs to work out.

*6 minutes for the “tutorial” if one has not taken a test before. If you don’t use the full six minutes then you lose that time, it is not added to your time for the “real” test.