Perianan Periakaruppan, CIH, CSP

Perianan Periakaruppan, CIH, CSP

"As an industrial hygienist in a large corporation I was beginning to feel comfortable with my work environment and routine as I got further away from college days. Having a steady income began to feel nice and taking an exam was not at the top of my list. It was not until a few years later when the company I was working for started going through cyclical changes which involved cost cutting and job cuts that I realized that I might be getting too comfortable following routine. I began looking at senior members and their career journey. Many of them had professional certifications among other experience. I realized the time had come for me start thinking of my next stepping stone in my career and to do that becoming certified in my field was essential. While studying and taking review courses was not my first choice on weekends and evenings, I realized how much I learned and the wealth of knowledge I accumulated during my exam review process. Setting a goal and achieving my goal of passing the exam was also a welcome achievement that helped boost my momentum in my career. Having past the test resulted in a flurry of college graduation like congratulatory phone calls and messages from family, friends and colleagues, which made me feel young again! I felt like I had a stronger footing in my career and had the confidence I could grow my career now that I had these essential three letters after my name regardless of my employer's job cutting status. I took a career development course shortly after taking my exam and a key message I learned was to look out for the next career step not when you are tired and frustrated with your current job, rather when you are comfortable in the current role. Because if one waits till they are already burned out, the time might be too late and will be wasting precious time in a job that one has outgrown. That concept is something which made sense to me since it took me a little push from my comfort zone with an announcement of job cuts that got me thinking of the next step in my career.

With my certification, I feel like I have greater credibility to speak at conferences, interact with customers and move to a senior role in my organization. While the CIH certification is technical in nature the ability to achieve certification includes setting goals, developing timelines, aligning resources and comprehending complex technical information, all of which are critical concepts necessary for many senior level positions. Achieving certification, helps demonstrate that one posses those qualities. I don't think having three letters associated with my resume or profile makes me smarter or more intelligent than others, but helps demonstrate that I am passionate about my career and posses qualities essential to help contribute to a variety of organizations."