Every year for the past few years, I've watched other association friends and colleagues take the CAE exam. And each time I've thought "should I do it?" And answered myself "no"! No, because I swore to myself when I graduated from college about a billion years ago that I'd never have to go to school or take a test again. No, because I don't want to be a boss--ever. No, because who knows if I'll be staying in the association world forever. No because who wants to take a four hour test? And so on.
But this year, I've decided to bite the bullet and take the test. Why? I guess partly out of curiosity--about the experience of learning about what it takes to run an association (even though I feel like I know a lot already, having worked for various associations over the past 20+ years and being married to an association COO) and about whether I will be able to pass the test. Also curiosity about whether having official initials after my name makes me more marketable, job-wise. I suspect it won't, but maybe I'll be proven wrong.
Also, as I've watched more and more sort-of associations pop up and seen countless discussions by community management and new media professionals about "we should start an association for [community managers, bloggers, new media professionals]", I think that knowing exactly what is involved in starting and running an association could prove to be a valuable skill outside the association world. I see a lot of crossover between "real" associations and membership based organizations, and think that as organizations like The Community Roundtable, Socialmedia.org, and other similar orgs become more and more popular and grow larger, it's only natural that the principles of association management will come into play.
So anyway, wish me luck as my CAE journey starts tomorrow with a three day study course.
Photo by Meanest Indian on Flickr