Is it time to decide between going through the effort of re-certifying or letting your IBCLC credential lapse? Have you been going back and forth between the two options, not sure what to do? Maybe you’ve been leaning against recertifying, figuring something like “I don’t really need my IBCLC credential anymore because I am (too old, a stay-at-home mom, not in maternal/child health any more, retired, a bad test-taker, etc.)”
Stop. Put that line of thought on hold for just a minute and consider the other side. Before you give up your credential, consider these 5 reasons why you should recertify NOW.
Your dream job may show up tomorrow.
I get it. Re-certifying can seem a pain. I questioned whether I needed any more credentials than what I had, or if re-certifying was with the bit of hassle, or expense. Later, I realized that I would have been ineligible for a big career leap if I had not re-certified.
What opportunities might come around the bend for you? Do you want to be ready to embrace them?
Having any certification always enhances your professional credentials.
Earning a state license shows that you have passed a general exam. But holding a specialty certification—lactation or fetal monitoring or inpatient obstetrics or any other certification—helps others to know that you have gone the extra mile to learn all you can about a specialty area, and they can trust your expert opinion in that area.
Do you want to give up the credibility that your certification conveys?
You don’t know where your life might take you.
Even if you are past the point where you’re actively looking for a job, and even if you’re thinking about retiring, it’s likely that you will find that keeping your credential is beneficial. Others will know that you are a health care professional who is passionate about obtaining a high level of expertise about health care topics. That’s a bonus in many situations.
For example, you might find yourself being sought after and trusted by parents who might not need “consultations” so much as they need support for breastfeeding infants with chronic feeding problems. Or, perhaps you could see yourself volunteering at a women’s shelter, a home for pregnant women, or on a mission trip to Fiji. You might not have to be paid—but you do have to be picked!
What opportunities might arise that your credential would benefit?
It keeps your mind sharp.
I pride myself on knowing a lot of information about breastfeeding and lactation–after all, I’ve been working in this field for decades! Yet, I often find myself refining some knowledge or learning something new. Although keeping up with your credential is not the only way to keep learning, it’s a great way to stay vibrant and well-informed. We all feel better when we see ourselves growing in wisdom and age and grace.
What benefits have you noticed from engaging in study about a topic you love?
Otherwise, you have to start ALL OVER AGAIN!
This is the biggest reason to NEVER let your certification lapse! I truly wish you could hear the people who come to me as new test-takers (after allowing their certification to relapse). The cost in time and money feels like much more than it ever did the first time–and it is, frankly, because it’s unnecessary. Trust me, keeping up your certification is much less costly. Otherwise, you’ll need to start all over again with accumulating education and more.
Sign up by November 15 for the exam in April. Or complete your 75 CERPs with our convenient online package. (You’d have to really move to get it done before September 31, but you could still do it! Print out your certificate from home!)
Relinquishing your IBCLC is a big deal. Please think–a lot–before you take that step.
Are you ready to re-certify?