Monthly Archives: September 2012

Know your quirks

Credit: BYU Active Learning Techniques

I am currently studying for the first test in the series of tests to obtain the Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) certification. I decided to start at the beginning – T1 aka Total Rewards.

Compensation is a passion of mine. Money was always a debate growing up – who had it or didn’t, what to do with it, did we have enough, should we get more for what we paid, learning how to manage it… Two things I learned early on about myself are that I don’t think I will ever have enough income to feel secure and do what I want to do as well as I am a life long learner. These two go nicely hand in hand with continuing my education through these certifications which in turn increase my income and prepare me for advanced roles where there is even more to learn and earn.

There is the added bonus that many certifications count as experience towards recertifying other certifications already obtained. ­čśë

My husband is currently taking some courses to complete his associates. He’s been driving me crazy because his needs for studying and methods of studying are so different than my own. I can – and actually need – the tv on to act as something to tune out and further focus on my studies, whereas for him it is too distracting. I need repetition through reading and writing to ingrain the concepts, methods, etc into my memory. He seems to pick it up on the first read through and doesn’t even take notes.

We both have been successful. The last time I went to a university I had a GPA of 3.86/4.0.; I have passed the FPC, CPP, and PHR with more than enough wiggle room. He last test he scored 93/100.

So my take away for you is: know your quirks. Know what drives you. Know what sort of environment and method you need to succeed at your task.

These are translatable skills that can easily be applied outside the classroom and testing center. Until you know yourself, you will float and flounder. Take the time to learn and to succeed. You can achieve anything when you put your mind to it. ­čśë

HR and NonProfits

I volunteer a lot for a social nonprofit (essentially an online book club.) I’ve also been consulting for another nonprofit (501(c)(3)) and both have unique challenges.

HR for nonprofits tend to face the biggest challenge of ensuring that volunteers are correctly classified as well as the traditional attract/motivate/retain of both volunteers and staff – and how to do so is different both each type of classification.

With the nonprofit I volunteer for and the one I consult for they have a bigger challenge – there are no employees. It is 100% volunteer run. The biggest hurdles I have seen are applying HR concepts and laws to this environment. I have found myself many times shaking my head at how so much of the vast body of employment law does not relate in this type of set up.

For example, in the social nonprofit a volunteer with known disabilities (physical and mental) has been very damaging to the community. I’ve been asked by another legal conscious volunteer if we need to worry about the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) or same as amended (ADAAA) – but since we don’t have any employees, that law is not applicable.

That is just one of many challenging situations that must be

reviewed for legaland ethical stand points. I’m incredibly lucky to have this sort of experience and training in addition to traditional big corporate HR that pays me. I’m also incredibly lucky that my years of experience, research, staying current, and more has gained me the respect of the Board and C-suite when it comes to these matters.I’ve found that there is very little information regarding HR and nonprofits, especially those that are 100% volunteer run and operated. I welcome any advice, links, and other resources and will be happy to share as I get any.

Found on

Books still have their place

Photo Credit: La Crosse Public LibraryI’m┬áan avid reader. By avid I mean that not a day goes by that doesn’t see me reading an actual book – and not on a Kindle or Nook either. Some books are slower going than others – right now I’m reading a history book about Europe and it’s theology from 500 BCE to 1300 CE. Fascinating reading that helped me with┬áJeopardy!┬áthe other day.

I currently have two stacks of “to be read” piles – one for pleasure and one for business. One author I have meant to add to my business pile is Malcolm Gladwell after all I heard about him from #SHRM12 (aka SHRM’s Annual Conference in 2012.) I’ve already read two Collins books, so it was a no brainer.

I found an interesting article at Business Insider about Gladwell that┬áconcisely┬álisted the main points from his three books. One of his points that apparently is getting a lot of attention is the 10,000 hours concept – that it takes time and effort to master something.

This set off warning bells to me. Why? Because a year before Gladwell came out with Outliers and this concept Bounce came out by Syed. I had read it in February 2011 – again┬ábefore Gladwell’s book with the same concept came out.

I will check out this book of Gladwell’s, to see if he references the same studies and credits Syed at all. I realize that Syed isn’t as well known or published. I’m withholding further comments until I have seen Gladwell’s Outliers.

I guess the warning bells are that it bothers me when it seems as if one is getting recognition that another may deserve more. ­čśë

If you are interested in further studies and exploring the concept of what it takes to be “the best” maybe pick up both books. And no, I haven’t been paid by either author to say that. ­čśë