I was sitting in a conference room thinking about the future and trying to figure out what that might look like for my career. Since last few years, I have been a Project Manager in an IT company. I learned a lot in those years, but the back processor of my mind still feels that I can still improve my project management skills. I suddenly thought of PMP. I remembered hearing this name in a conversation. It is something that managers should consider when deciding on a strategy and adding value.
I did some research about different management certifications and came to the conclusion that PMP (PMI) is the best value-added certificate for a career. I also had sudden doubts. It’s not easy. It will take me months to get back into the habit of reading books after a decade. It was August 2016. I was blessed with a baby boy in September 2016. PMP was lost for the near future. I submitted my PMP application in November 2016, and there was no plan to begin preparations at all.

I received a call in March 2017 from Mr.Joseph from ProThoughts regarding PMP certification training. After some follow-up, I learned that the new book from PMI would be available in September 2017. The examination process could change soon. However, I was also aware that it was a sales fundamental and I wouldn’t be able to accept such a proposal. After a few days, another institute called me and said almost the same thing. Now it was time to verify reality. I found the exact same thing that both institutes had described. I needed classroom training, so I researched several institutes and found ProThoughts to be the best. I decided to take it up. I was unable to attend the March 2017 batch due to family circumstances. However, I knew that there would be another batch in May-June 2017. I decided to inform my family about the certification and its challenges, but it was too late. Even my family members were aware that I would need at least four months to study for the exam and prepare for it once I have attended the training. I won’t have time to attend weekends, festivals, or other social events during that time. My wife and I face special challenges, as we have a 5 year old daughter and a 6 month old son.
It’s unanimously agreed upon and I will be attending the May 2017 training. It’s 4 fulldays training on alternate weekends. I now have some knowledge about the PMP and the syllabus. To be honest, I don’t read everything once and then forget it all. To fully understand any study material, I need to revise it multiple times. PMP is all about situations, as you all know. PMBOK is available, but it can be difficult to understand for a first-time learner. An alternative book that focuses on ProThoughts is available and it’s highly recommended. It’s Rita Mulcahy, which has a lot of examples and is somewhat easy to understand. It is important to understand book from the PMI’s point of view. Your experience in routine management and your experience with books are almost completely different. If you don’t think in terms of PMI, it will be difficult to understand the PMP certification. My knowledge is that we should read multiple books at minimum for reference purposes. Rita’s book was read twice simultaneously. It is possible that you won’t understand some concepts the first time you read it. However, you can focus your thoughts and not worry if this happens. You will definitely understand it when you read it again. To increase my confidence, I did exercises for the questionnaire while I was reading the book. I completed the book several times, with 600-700 questions online. It’s now time to take the mock test. I scored around 65% in the mock test and feel a little more confident. It is not an easy journey to go from 65% to 75%. Over the last 2.5 months, reading averaged 3-4 hours per day in a work day and 10-12 hours each day for non-working days. After 10-12 hours of routine office work, reading 3-4 hours daily on working days is difficult enough.

Let’s do more questionnaires, and I might reach 75%. But, that was not the case. It remains at 65-67%. As the day progresses, frustration levels rise to the next level. I initially thought that I would take the final exam on 15 August, but I didn’t feel confident until 10 August. My coach, Mr. Saurabh, guided me brilliantly. He insists that you put in more than 100 hours of effort and that you use PMBOK less often. It’s actually quite frustrating, so I won’t accept it.