In the world of sports, athletes dread the day – and it always comes – when they realize that they no longer can perform at the level they once did. Business can provide similar defining moments. Am I a better communications counselor today than I was yesterday, or last week, or the year before? Trust me. Those thoughts occur to all of us at some point in our career.
For me, Accreditation provided a professional gut check. Sure, the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations process tested my mettle. Passing it, though, confirmed that I knew my craft. But it didn’t stop there. The requirements for renewal pose a powerful reminder that without exercise, without discipline, my value to others and therefore my career itself will have limits.
To many in our profession, Accreditation is desirable because of what it says to others. However, to this long-in-the-tooth practitioner, APR is important because of what it says to me. It is a source of inner excitement in what lies ahead, in what I have yet to become.
Dennis H. Bender, APR, vice president, Area, Arthritis Foundation.