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  • Tim Dalhouse

Ten Cool Things the PMP® Certification Can Do for You



I earned my Project Management Professional PMP® certification in December 2011, and I’m so glad I did! Those three letters have really changed my life and career in positive ways over the last 11 years and I’ve seen so many other people with similar success stories who can directly attribute good outcomes to their hard work of getting the PMP.

Here are 10 cool things the PMP certification can do for you:


Get a pay raise – This is one of the most common things for me to hear about from new PMP’s. Just adding the PMP to your company personnel file can generate a pay raise in many organizations as they know and value the benefit that your credential brings to the business. They also know you are now more competitive for other jobs and they’re trying to retain you.


Get a promotion – This is exactly what happened to me in January 2012 when I told my boss at the company I was working for that I had attained my PMP: I was immediately promoted to a new role as a full Project Manager of a software development project.


Get a new job – There are so many people who have told me that the job offers started rolling in after they got their PMP. It’s a major differentiator for your resume and makes many employers take notice.


Open new doors of opportunity – Having the PMP can potentially make you competitive for roles you never thought possible. In my case, I was hired by the US FDA to run projects in the Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation in 2012 without any experience in pharmaceuticals or veterinary medicine. It may not always overcome a lack of domain experience, but the PMP definitely opened a door where I had none and they told me that in the interview.


Start a new business – Starting a new business is a project, so the knowledge you gain from preparing to pass the PMP Exam will help you start a new business. And, with a PMP, there are several areas where you could get a business going, such as specialized project consulting, providing PMO services, or, as in my case, training.


Help others – There are a ton of great non-profit organizations out there who have well-intentioned, but poorly-trained people running them. Boards are often times made up of whoever they could get to agree to serve on them as a volunteer. Having your PMP is some real knowledge and power that could be used to help any non-profit org do better work, be more efficient, and be more successful at helping their clients. In my case, I served as a volunteer board member for 5+ years and was routinely asked for my expertise in project management.


Transition from the Military – Leaving the military and entering the civilian world and job market is a project. What you learn prepping for your PMP can be a great help planning out a successful transition. And, having the PMP on your resume tells civilian employers something about you that they understand. They may not know how your rank and your job in military translate to value in their organization, but they definitely know what value the PMP brings.


Plan major life events – Every major life event, like a wedding, buying a new house, moving to a new state, sending a kid off to college, etc. is a project. All that PMP knowledge sure does come in handy when you are planning those critically important events.

Run for public office – Running for election to a public office is a project. In my case, I did that once so far, and I absolutely used my PMP super skills to plan and execute that project.


Conversation starter – I can’t tell you have many times I have enjoyed telling someone what a PMP is. Telling people you are a PMP in social settings is a great way to start a conversation about your career and the value PMPs bring to the world.


What cool things can you add to this list from your own experience?


PMP® is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute

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