6 career goals you should meet by ages 30, 40 and 50

In most companies, every quarter — or at least twice a year — you’re tasked with setting goals for yourself. As a way to manage your responsibilities, help you prioritize the most important deliverables and keep you tracking toward something, goals are often used as benchmarks of progress. If you meet ’em, you might earn a raise, a title change or bargaining power to ask for more vacation or flexibility. If you don’t — it’s time to work on improving your performance.
That’s what makes setting personal professional goals are bit trickier — since no one is holding you accountable, it’s tough to stay on track and pushing forward. That’s why long-term aspirations are recommended by career experts since you give yourself years — and hey, even a decade — to achieve them. As career coach and author Mary Camuto explains, these targets create focus, momentum, and markers of your success.“Goals should be tangible steps towards both your short-term needs/wants and your longer-term vision for your life Time will pass quickly whether or not you have set a direction or career course,” she shares.Here, some ideas for each decade of your career:

In your 30s

Once the day of your college graduation has come and gone, you’re running full-speed ahead toward that job you paid so much money to be qualified for. Your 20s and 30s are defined by climbing – up the ladder, up the ranks, up the SEO search pages, up, up and up. And if you’ve ever rock-climbed, you know how much strength and endurance it takes to keep pushing. What’s nice though? The semi-comfortable peak you should reach by 40, where you’ve created a name, a reputation and hopefully, a skill set that’ll propel you into the next phase of life and working.

Have a killer online — and offline — presence:

As a generation that’s redefining the metrics and requirements of working, challenging employers to think differently and more digitally, who you are online is arguably just as important as who you are face-to-face. Branding and career expert Wendi Weiner, Esq., stresses the importance of having an sharp presence in the interwebs. This pillar will help you reach where you want to be once those 40 birthday candles arrive. “Your 30’s should be spent building your network and growing your professional stature. Attend events with business cards, have a professionally written LinkedIn profile, and begin to pinpoint where you want to see yourself in 10 years,” she encourages. “Begin keeping a brag book that you can update every couple of months with key career wins and projects you are leading.”

Don’t forget to take that elbow-rubbing and quick wit offline, too. Camuto says by the time you reach the end of your 30s, you should be in a leadership position within the community or industry you’re part of. “Build and participate in at least two networking groups related to your career: join or lead a committee, volunteer at events. This goal has impact to both your current and future success in that your resources and contacts broaden as well as your professional reputation,” she explains.

Set yourself up for future success:

Money matters are difficult for most people to discuss — and even harder to do something about. Though discussing retirement in your 20s or 30s might feel way too soon, the earlier you begin prioritizing your financial health, the better off you’ll be when 65 (or 70 or 75 … ) comes. “You should plan to pay off some debt in your 30’s and open a 401K at your company to begin planning for your financial future,” she shares. The less you worry about dollars in your banking account, the more time you can spend wowing your manager.

In your 40s

For many, your 30s are a time of tremendous growth, whether it’s finally reaching a c-level title or starting and completing your family. With demands from every corner of your life, most people feel stretched thin, and well, really happy. Even so, it’s important to keep your career progressing as you inch through your 40s, navigating the process of aging mentally and physically. You never want to lose your competitive edge, considering you still have a good 20 years of work ahead of you.

Get an advanced certification:

This doesn’t mean you have to go back to school, Weiner clarifies, but it does mean having a candid and open look at your skill sets to seek areas of improvement. You might fall off track as you become further removed from those college days, but a commitment to knowledge will allow you to keep up with recent grads. She suggests finding certifications — like Google Analytics or a coding course — that add another gold star for your resume.

Take executive leadership classes:

There’s a difference between a manager and a leader: even if you have ten direct reports, if you’re not inspiring them to greatness, you’re missing the mark. Not everyone is a natural-born trailblazer, so Weiner encourages 40-something professionals to acknowledge their weakness in this department. “Consider enrolling in an executive leadership or executive management program to enhance your leadership value and skill set, and start to get clear on where you will want to be for the next decade,” she says.

By doing this, you will be more qualified to go for keynote speaking sessions — or at least some sort of panel or conference — that adds more overall value to your brand. As Camuto explains, having a public image that others follow “not only impacts your recognition and success at your current organization but also lead you to a new path/new goals.”

In your 50s

As you reach mid-life, you’re probably going through a period of transition. Your children are getting older — as are you — and you could worry the best days of your life are behind you. Or more to the point: the most exciting times of your career have passed. Looking down the eye of retirement can produce a slew of emotions, but before you allow yourself to get carried away, remember there are still many years to shape your performance. Since most won’t retire until at least 65, discounting the last decade and some pennies will shortchange your career.

Strategize your retirement exit:

You can’t go over it, can’t go around it — you must go through it … with a plan in mind. Weiner says strategizing your exit will rest your angst and also put you in the best possible situation once your final working hour closes. So go on, ask yourself: where do you want to be — and who do you want to be — when that day arrives? Probably not over-exhausted to your bones, but in a happy place of balance and accomplishment. “You might be looking for a big shift in your career and where you want it to take you on the tail end of your final decade of work. By now, you are practicing more work-life balance and also realizing the importance of vacation days and time away to travel,” she says. Sit with your investment advisor and with your family, and determine your timeline so you stay the course—sans fear.

Serve as a mentor:

Workplace expert and industrial-organizational psychology practitioner Amy Cooper Hakim, Ph.D. says professionals in their 50s will reap rewards (and hey, some karma) from giving back to budding workers. Not only will you be an important figure in their career, but it might ignite a renewed sense of optimism and creativity in yours. “One of the biggest gifts you can give to your field and community is to help those who are in need of mentoring. As you teach a mentee the tricks of the trade, you may even be inspired by your mentee’s enthusiasm and overall interest,” she explains.

By Lindsay Tigar for www.theladders.com

Finding CE Credit Opportunities That Make Sense for You

By John Ganoe, CAE
Executive Director

CAMICB is a program dedicated to professional growth and competency and has designed the CMCA Recertification process to encourage certified managers to continually pursue professional development in the community association management field.  To facilitate these efforts, a Committee appointed by the CAMICB Board of Commissioners meets monthly to review and approve anywhere between 40 and 60 applications each month from various providers.

While there are more than 800 pre-approved continuing education courses, many of which are free or low-cost and can be found on the CAMICB.org web site, we also believe in flexibility and want to make sure you take the courses that best support your professional path.  If there’s a course or event you’re interested in that’s not included on the approved list of continuing education, managers are encouraged to submit the continuing education opportunity to CAMICB for approval.

Remember, the topics must pertain specifically and primarily to community association operations or management (e.g., operations, administration, legal requirements), are relevant to your professional development (e.g., Quickbooks, Excel, effective communications, leadership, etc.) or have a direct impact on your community. For example, if you manage a primarily Spanish-speaking community, and are interested in taking a Spanish language course, CAMICB would consider approving those credits.  

Approval can be granted in one of two ways: by either asking the course provider to complete and submit the CE Course Provider Application or by submitting the program outline or agenda, including dates, times, and speaker bios, to CAMICB yourself.  Similarly, college courses may be submitted for approval if the classwork meets the criteria described in the CMCA Handbook

A Snapshot of Available Resources & Tips for Finding CE Credits

Be sure to review Section 4 of the CMCA Handbook for a primer on earning continuing education credits, as well as the Continuing Education Page at www.camicb.org for an overview of credit and coursework specifications.

Next, consider the many already approved options available to complete your continuing education coursework from the List of Approved Continuing Education, including pre-approved courses offered by the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

Take advantage of your local CAI chapter by monitoring any upcoming events or classes that have been approved for continuing education credit. To find your local chapter, go to the Find a Chapter page on the CAI website.

And don’t forget to explore free or low-cost webinars that are offered by the following providers:


Brene Brown, Satya Nadella, and Tim Cook Believe in This Essential Leadership Trait

Getty Image

All agree empathy is a leadership trait.

At the beginning of the year I read an article from Melinda Gates explaining how instead of setting a New Year’s resolution, she chooses a word of the year. Like Melinda, I was drawn to the simplicity of focusing on one word for 12 months.

I’ve always believed entrepreneurs have a strong sense of empathy because it’s at the core of what they do–understanding customer pain points to develop thoughtful solutions that meet customers’ needs. But empathy isn’t just good for business, it’s good for humanity. That’s why this year I’ve committed to focusing more on empathy in the workplace–to practice empathy as a leader and encourage others to do so.

Over the last five months, I’ve had some successes, and naturally, some failures. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Empathy can be learned.

Many amazing leaders openly discuss the importance of empathy–Brene Brown on how it’s good for relationships, Satya Nadella on how it’s good for innovation, and Tim Cook on how it’s good for inclusiveness.

One thing they all have in common is the notion that empathy can be learned–and they’re right. Research validates that those who believe empathy can be developed are more likely to engage in behaviors to help them develop it.

Empathy is contagious.

The best way to have your team adopt a more empathic mindset is to start with yourself. You’ll find its effect to be contagious which, in return, shapes work culture.

Take, for example, an employee who misspeaks in a meeting. If the manager responds with an outburst, the employee feels inadequate and as a result, the culture becomes timid over time. Alternatively, if the manager responds empathetically, they have the ability to shape an empathic culture that yields trust and inclusiveness.

Empathy requires connection.

Empathy is more than just responding–it’s connecting. In other words, digging deep within yourself to identify a feeling that is similar and then verbalizing how you feel with an individual.

I’ve found the best way to connect is to build trust, and the best way to build trust is to be transparent about your vulnerabilities. By doing so, it signals that it’s okay to not be okay. We can all, at some point, relate to not being okay.

Empathy can be challenging.

Being empathetic comes more naturally when you’ve been in a similar situation–it allows you to tap into the feelings you felt, and in return, you empathize with the individual. Where empathy is challenging is when it doesn’t come reflexively.

Alternatively, when we’re vulnerable and are challenging ourselves to be empathetic, we look for positive reinforcement in return. When empathy isn’t reciprocated, don’t give up.

By Marc LoreSerial entrepreneur, CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S.@marcericlore, Published on: Jul 1, 2019 for Inc.com.

Reserve Studies & Your Community’s Long-Term Goals

By:  Jessica Vail, The Falcon Group

It is widely known that having an updated Capital Reserve Study imageis vital for the success of any community association; as it is a guide to help set aside funds and is the road map for all future capital improvement projects and expenditures.

How to understand your reserve study

The Reserve Study includes the identification, quantification and financial analysis of only the replacement or major repair of the association’s common elements.  It offers recommendations as to the amount of money an association should fund on a yearly basis.  The analyses and recommendations are important in that they help avoid possible future special assessments of the individual unit owners.  The analyses also takes into account the site-specific existing conditions, their useful life and the realistic replacement and maintenance costs based upon actual material costs and site-specific individual item’s method of construction.

It is also important to include a preventative maintenance plan because it meets legal, fiduciary and professional requirements.  It provides for the planned maintenance of major components and minimizes the need for special assessments.  Homeowners, especially those on fixed income, may have limited resources and might be unable to afford the large special assessments necessary for major replacements.

While it is recommended that a community’s Reserve Study is updated every three years (5 for new communities), it is important to look at the reserve study as a living document.  There are many instances that require an update even within a three-year window.  For example, if the community has had a major renovation or replacement project, it is imperative that the Reserve Study reflect this change to retain its accuracy and make sure funds are being properly allocated.  If there is any uncertainty, it is always recommended to consult your engineer or Reserve Specialist.

Planning for the future

Far too often, associations are finding themselves in an underfunded position at the beginning of a replacement project. Whether it is reconstructing roadways, sidewalks, roofs or other aspects of the community, the association will rely on funding that has been recommended and established over the useful life of the item.

Standard useful lives are, often times, based solely upon standards used in the engineering industry taken from information listed in life cycle analysis publications and/or manufacturer’s specifications.  This can result in underfunding.  Site specific useful lives must be used.  Actual conditions must be physically inspected and changes must be made to the projected useful lives as conditions change.  Aesthetics may also affect the replacement of an item sooner than scheduled.

Another key factor is:  quantities.  Quantities should be verified by the as-built conditions.  This must be done for any initial reserve analysis and should always be field-checked on subsequent studies.  Failure to provide an association with correct quantities may result in a significant underfunded condition in the future.

The unit costs provided in the funding table for the replacement of the Capital Reserve items should be based upon a number of sources, including published documentation on replacement costs.  They should also be based upon the Reserve Specialist’s experience in site and building construction.  The individual reconstruction or replacement of each item should be analyzed and the resulting unit costs should be adjusted accordingly.  Individual (site-specific) characteristics affecting the unit’s costs are different on every site and the replacement costs must be adjusted accordingly.  Existing site conditions, the size and scope of the future replacement project, the job access locations; the site restoration costs and presence existing components are all variables that affect the item’s replacement costs.  Many times the unit replacement costs shown in these studies barely cover the materials costs for the item.

There are quite a few moving parts involved with an accurate Capital Reserve Study. It is imperative to work closely with your engineer or Reserve Specialist to ensure its accuracy and that the study is being updated on a regular basis to fit the needs of your community.

Why Leaders Need to Confront Their Fear of Feedback

(fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The feedback you give the people you lead doesn’t always have to be positive, but it does need to be present. Think of it as an opportunity to tell your association’s story.

Executives often struggle when it comes to delivering feedback to employees, but in some ways it isn’t much different than what you’re doing in other areas of the organization. That is, you’re telling stories. You’re engaging in storytelling when you deliver a report to the board on the progress of a new initiative. You’re storytelling when you connect with members to explain the value of their joining your association.

And you do that because you implicitly understand that if you’re not the one telling the story, they’re going to make up their own. So imagine what your employees might be conjuring up in their head when they’re not hearing much from you or their managers. Often the story isn’t good.

If you hold a growth mindset for yourself, you’ll be more comfortable giving feedback.

In an article on employee feedback in the Harvard Business Review, executive coach Deborah Grayson Riegel explains that employees tend to take three negative messages from a lack of feedback. One is that no news is good news, which doesn’t press employees to improve or increase their engagement. Another is an assumption that the boss thinks they can’t handle feedback, which leaves employees feeling unsupported and makes your workplace look like it avoids accountability. Lastly, employees might assume you think they’re incapable of change—and you’ll be proven right on that if you don’t deliver feedback.

Lack of communication on leaders’ part has some proven consequences: A 2015 SHRM poll found that 64 percent of workers say that “leaders making decisions without seeking input” was their top concern. Similarly, a 2015 Gallup poll found that 67 percent of employees are engaged when their managers give feedback on their strengths.

And ultimately, supporting employees’ strengths is part of your job. Leaders, Riegel writes, are compelled to cultivate a “growth mindset” among employees. So if you’re hesitant to deliver feedback—or to do it consistently—Riegel suggests that a look in the mirror may be in order.

“If you hold a growth mindset for your employee, you will give more feedback because you believe she will welcome—and rise to—the challenge,” she writes. “And if you hold a growth mindset for yourself, you’ll be more comfortable giving feedback because you trust that you will welcome the challenge.”

How you deliver that feedback is up to you, and it may differ from employee to employee, of course: “You can’t please everyone, but managers can make a conscious effort to understand their employee’s communication style to help set them up for success,” Jennifer Dowd of the workforce technology firm Kronos recently wrote in Governing. But there’s plenty of evidence that it needs to be more iterative than the old-fashioned annual performance review.

In the latest “Career Coach” column in Associations Now, executive coach Maureen Glass, CAE, points out that positive feedback is as essential to underperformers as anybody else in the organization. “Reiterate that feedback is part of the growth and development of every employee and that you want him to succeed,” she advises. “Let him know that if he commits to performing better, you’ll commit to helping him meet his goals.”

I’d argue that such actions have a way of radiating outward—that it can improve your capacity to work with employees across the organization. And though private communications with an underperformer aren’t everybody’s business, employees are rarely confused about who those underperformers are, and they tell stories about how you handle them too. Are you a person who’s invested in improvement, or just a take-’em-to-the-woodshed type?

“Giving feedback that helps people achieve better business results is part of a manager’s job,” Riegel writes. “It’s also her job to create a climate of psychological safety—which is the belief that you won’t be punished when you make a mistake—for a direct report to receive feedback well.” That may not be an easy thing to do at first, but it’s one of those skills that gets easier, and more important, the more you do it.

What’s your process for delivering feedback to employees? Share your experiences in the comments.

By for Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives.

3 Reasons Why Wearing My Vulnerability On My Sleeve Made Me a Better Leader

As a leader, vulnerability is the path to courage, joy, and creativity.

Few people would think an executive officer of a thriving Inc 5000 business would have shame issues. However, growing up as a New York latchkey kid with a broken family and being homeless for parts of my early life introduced me to shame at a young age. I had a father in and out of prison, both parents struggling with addiction, and before finishing elementary school I had been to 14 different schools in nearly as many cities.

As a kid I didn’t know how to admit, address, or handle the big impact shame was making on my life and I carried that suppression with me into adulthood. It wasn’t until recently when I met motivational speaker and shame researcher Brené Brown that I was able to understand how my experience dealing with shame and learning to be vulnerable could make me a better leader.

If you haven’t heard of Brown, she is the author of six bestselling books on vulnerability and shame, has three degrees in sociology, and one of the most popular TED talks with almost 50 million views combined between TED.com and YouTube. If you need a good introduction to how vulnerability can help your own leadership, you should watch her Netflix special The Call to Courage.

Vulnerability is courage.

Vulnerability is all about uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. These are three things leaders face all the time in business. In her Netflix special, Brown asks us to think about instances in life where you’ve shown courage and it hasn’t involved uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure?

I found that being open, taking chances, and moving forward when you are unsure of the outcome is being vulnerable as a leader. It’s also courage. The best leaders can use their vulnerability to give them courage by admitting to others when they are in doubt so they can get the support they need to succeed.

Vulnerability brings you joy.

Being vulnerable doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time. Brown says people fear vulnerability because it is at the center of hard emotions like shame, fear, and uncertainty. Vulnerability leaves you exposed. So to save yourself pain, you armor up.

The problem is when you armor up, you prevent things from coming into your life (or business) like love, belonging and joy. However, joy is imperative for your leadership. No one believes following someone who is miserable and afraid will bring them joy. The more I opened up at work, the more I enjoyed my work and the more the business thrived.

Vulnerability stimulates creativity.

Creativity happens when we are able to be vulnerable and get out of our comfort zone. Unfortunately, many companies provide zero protection for vulnerability. Most organizations require people to armor up because everyone is on the attack.

Brown argues when we are permitted to be vulnerable at work, this allows us the safety to trust our teammates, try out new ideas, be creative, and innovate. It allows us to break down silos and include people, have the hard conversations we need to have, and give and receive feedback so we can improve.

At my company, we strive to create a culture that supports new ideas. We have town hall meetings where anyone can speak their mind so we can address company-wide issues. As leaders, we try to be more transparent about company decisions, taking input from all employees. This has led to more communication, innovative solutions, and a thriving business.

To have the success in life you want, to be the leader people want to follow, you need to be vulnerable. Vulnerability shows your courage, allows joy to enter the workplace, and permits an environment where creativity can thrive– all the things necessary to be successful in work and in life.

How Mindfulness Can Improve the Modern Workplace

(Anna_Om/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

As staff become increasingly busy and juggle numerous tasks, experts contend mindfulness is a skill that can boost workplace productivity and encourage better staff relations.

As workplace tasks and technology have increased in recent years, employees have been forced to split their attention on multiple priorities. To improve productivity and reduce conflict among staff, organizations are starting to offer mindfulness training to employees.

“The truth is, mindfulness improves everything, not just the workplace, but individual lives,” said Judith T. Krauthamer, principal of Quietspace Coaching, a coaching practice that specializes in incorporating mindfulness techniques. “Who we are gets carried into the workplace. How mindfulness and mindful meditation works in the workplace is it calms the body and the mind.”

Many well-known companies, like Google, Nike and Apple, have implemented mindfulness programs to help their workers and bring this skill to the forefront.

For those unfamiliar with the practice, Krauthamer said the simplest way to define mindfulness is “being consciously aware in the present moment of life around you.” When staff are present and focused, they can get more done. Mindfulness, Krauthamer said, also includes being “present without judgment.” She offered an example of how this skill might be used during the workday.

“Let’s say the boss or manager came into work this morning and didn’t say, ‘Hello,’” Krauthamer said. “You judge, and ask, ‘What did I do wrong?’ There’s anxiety, and you’re not focused on work. With mindfulness, you observe what happened, but you don’t create the narrative or the anxiety.”

With workplaces running at a fast pace, employees too often rush to snap judgments that create anxiety. “Most judgments—whether it’s about a project or the person you’re working with—are made-up stories; they’re not true,” she said. “With mindfulness, you don’t have the brain waves to create that story.”

Implementation Varies

Ideally, organizations would create strong mindfulness programs that are consistent and available for all employees. What Krauthamer has seen in practice is a mixed bag, with larger organizations being more intentional with mindfulness and smaller ones letting employees take the lead.

“The difficulty in establishing mindfulness programs for small organizations is it’s often on a volunteer basis,” she said. “What you will find is there will be one of two people who want to start [it], and it will spread by word of mouth. Then, the executive director finds that things at the workplace are getting better, and [the program] gets encouraged.”

In larger organizations, mindfulness is usually driven from the top down with formal, HR-run programs. “That is their project and they make sure every other Wednesday, the mindfulness meditation happens,” Krauthamer said.

A recent Harvard Business Review article noted that “team mindfulness” training, which focuses on a group of people being mindful about team objectives, was particularly effective in reducing conflict and improving work. Krauthamer noted this research is important in the association space.

“They used the word team because that’s a business word,” Krauthamer said. “When you break that down, it’s really about community. Associations are large groups of a specific community. There is value in sharing with others and talking with others. It is how we reinforce it. That really is what associations are about.”

While some people think of mindfulness as a touchy-feely fad that will soon fade, Krauthamer said this skill, while new to the workforce, is steeped in history and here to stay. “Some of these practices go back thousands of years,” she said. “It’s not going to go away. It’s like yoga—that started off in the ‘70s as obscure here in the West. But it’s a standard practice now.”

By / Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives.

These are the top reasons why people quit their jobs


That coworker of yours who just handed in his resignation and is striding towards the exit with his belongings in an old printer-paper box could be leaving the building for any number of reasons. Especially in this economic climate – a tight labor market makes people bolder, and more willing to take risks to get the job they really want. Compensation software company Payscale presented new research in a white paper about the top reasons employees leave.

The top reasons people leave their jobs

  • 25% want more pay
  • 15% are unhappy at their current organization
  • 14% want to work at an organization more aligned with their values
  • 11% are relocating
  • 10% are unhappy their current position is not full-time
  • 7% want a promotion
  • 2% want a more flexible schedule
  • 15% – other

Payscale then asked people who quit and found a new job what attracted them to that organization. The hands-down winner? Meaningful work.

  • 27% said the opportunity to do more meaningful work
  • 17% said increased responsibilities
  • 16% said increased pay for this position
  • 11% said workplace culture
  • 6% said nothing in particular, it was just a job
  • 6% said better benefits and perks
  • 5% said they wanted to work for a larger organization
  • 10% – other

People generally find a new job that offers them what the last one couldn’t

It was found that the reason people leave is along the same lines with the reason that they take a new job. For example, with those who quit because they wanted higher pay, 38% of those respondents chose a new job that paid them more.

And 46% of those who quit because they didn’t have “value alignment” at their previous job chose a new organization because they would get to do more meaningful and engaged work.

And for the group that quit because they wanted a promotion, 46% of respondents ended up with a job in a new organization that offered them more responsibilities.

For those who quit with go-getting in mind, it’s a happy ending.

By SHEILA MCCLEAR, a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.

Decoding the ABC’s of Credentials, Certificates & Designations

What do those letters behind your name mean?

By John Ganoe, CAE
Executive Director, CAMICB

Even for those deeply entrenched in the credentialing world, there’s a certain degree of confusion around some of the terminology used to describe specific paths professionals take to further their careers and skill sets. The field of community association management is no different so it’s important to educate managers, homeowners, and other community association professionals about the different options the profession has to offer and the value they hold.

According to the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), “credentialing” is an umbrella term used to refer to concepts such as professional certification, certificate programs, accreditation, licensure, and regulation.

ICE defines certification, licensure, assessment-based certificate, and accreditation in the following ways:

  • certification program is designed to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform a particular job, and, upon successfully passing a certification exam, to represent a declaration of a particular individual’s professional competence, such as a community manager who has achieved the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®).  In some professions, certification is a requirement for employment or practice.
  • Similarly, licensure tests an individual’s competence but is a mandatory process by which the government grants time-limited permission for that licensed individual to practice his or her profession, such as a real estate salesperson or real estate broker.
  • In contrast to certification and licensure, an assessment-based certificate program is an educational or training program that is used to teach learning objectives and assess whether those objectives were achieved by the student.
  • Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards and is awarded recognition if it is in compliance with those standards. The Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) is such a program. ICE currently offers accreditation to professional certification programs through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

The CMCA credential is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) confirming it complies with NCCA’s stringent standards for a professional certification program. Accreditation validates the integrity of the CMCA program and is a mark of quality.

Specialty Designations

Community association professionals may also choose to bolster their careers and expand their level of expertise in certain areas. This is where specialty designations come into play. A “designation” is recognition of professional knowledge and expertise in a given subject matter or job skill.  To earn designations, membership is required in a professional organization and usually requires work experience.  Certain specialty designations are offered through the Community Associations Institute (CAI) including, the Association Management Specialist (AMS), Large Scale Manager (LSM), Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM), Community Insurance and Risk Management Specialist (CIRMS) and Reserve Specialist (RS). This allows a community association professional to drill down into a specialized aspect of the business.  In some cases, for example the PCAM and AMS designations, passing the CMCA examination is a prerequisite to applying for these designations.

I’ve experienced a wide disparity in the background and quality of the managers with whom I’ve worked,” said Ron Perl, Esq., a Partner at Hill Wallack LLP, who leads the firm’s community association practice group.  “A manager who holds the CMCA assures me they have an important foundation in place – the ongoing education and knowledge necessary to successfully manage millions of dollars worth of other people’s property and a serious commitment to high ethical standards.”

Stephen Castle, CMCA, AMS, PCAM agrees all committed community association managers should hold the CMCA certification. “The CMCA certification demonstrates to employees and new managers a commitment to professionalism,” said Castle. “Further, CMCAs show their support for established national and international standards of knowledge and professional conduct for community association managers.”

The Certified Manager of Community Associations – The only accredited certification program in the world for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives.

The CMCA Goes Global

As CAMICB grew to be the premiere certification body in the United States for community association managers, it also gained international recognition for its established body of knowledge and strict ethical standards. Over the past two decades, the CMCA certification program crossed borders and oceans in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. This global expansion secured a high level of professionalism for association management and common interest communities worldwide. In 2017, CAMICB launched the international CMCA examination.

About ICE

The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, or ICE, is a professional membership association that provides education, networking, and other resources for organizations and individuals who work in and serve the credentialing industry.  ICE is a leading developer of standards for both certification and certificate programs and it is both a provider of and a clearing house for information on trends in certification, test development and delivery, assessment-based certificate programs, and other information relevant to the credentialing community.

6 reasons recruiters say they’ll toss your resume in the trash

These things will make your resume stand out — but in a bad way.


Most professionals nowadays know that a clear (and proofread) resume can help them move along during the job application process. But what if you think you submitted the most perfectly edited resume with loads of experience and you still don’t make the cut?

It turns out that there are plenty of smaller mistakes that make recruiters reconsider adding you to the “yes” pile. Six of them weighed in on the problems they see with resumes all the time that keep applicants from getting ahead.

1. It’s way too long

Lyssa Barber, the former head of recruitment at UBS Asset & Wealth Management, says that one of the largest issues she sees with job applicants is that they’ll submit a resume that “indulges the candidate, but [doesn’t] entice the hiring manager.”

“Even if you’re the CEO, you don’t need a five-page CV,” she notes. “I’ve received eight to 10-page efforts, and they just go straight into the reject pile. [Doing so] suggests an inability to condense information for a time-poor audience.”

Barber also says to steer clear of half-page personal statements; go for a clear, three-line objective instead.

2. It’s over-styled

Trevor Collins, a recruiter at KVH Industries, says that while he focuses on skills and experience, style issues can make it more challenging to read a resume quickly.

He says some of the biggest mistakes he sees are people who:

  • Use multiple fonts

  • Include broken hyperlinks

  • Use buzzwords or overly formal speech

  • Are too long-winded

Just because your resume doesn’t have any typos doesn’t mean that other style problems aren’t turning off a hiring manager. Skip the out-there fonts, double-check your hyperlinks and keep the language simple.

3. It doesn’t include keywords

Candidates need to make it easy for recruiters to find what they’re looking for, especially since they’re scanning hundreds of resumes every day.

“When I look at a CV I immediately look for words that relate to the role I am working on,” says Sarah Rawcliffe, a talent manager at Get My First Job. “For example, for a childcare role I would want to see a placement [at a] nursery, work experience in primary school or even babysitting for a family friend, anything that shows some kind of interest in the industry they have applied for.”

Don’t make it hard for recruiters to connect the dots as to why you’re a good fit for the role. They may give up and look elsewhere.

4. It has the wrong tone

“Some candidates are giving great thought to the editing of their resume – checking for typos, verb tenses, and verbiage – but not considering tone,” explains Laura Mazzullo, founder of East Side Staffing. “I would recommend reading the resume aloud keeping personal brand at the forefront of your consideration. ‘Does this resume reflect my values and perspective? Is this how I want to come across to potential employers?’”

5. It’s not ordered by level of relevance or impact

In keeping with the theme of making it easy for hiring managers and recruiters, make sure you put the most important or relevant information at the top of your resume and throughout each position.

“Your resume should highlight your most prized accomplishments in the first bullets and day-to-day towards the bottom,” says recruiter Taylor Carrington. “Structure the resume [from] greatest to least impactful for each position you held.”

6. It doesn’t tell a story

If a recruiter looks at your resume and can’t tell what your career “story” is and generally where you’re hoping to go, that could lead to a “no.”

“No matter the level of the candidate, [from] someone just out of college or a very senior executive, it’s okay if someone works in various industries and jumps around a bit and gains different experiences,” says Eva Freidan, a product leadership recruiter at Facebook. “But at the end of the day, what is the common thread throughout this person’s career?”

Freidan recommends taking some time to write a paragraph or two explaining your overall career arc. If it’s not clear to you, it certainly won’t be clear to a recruiter who’s scanning your resume quickly.

When it comes to resume writing, the most important thing is to think about what’ll make the hiring manager want to move your resume into the “yes” pile. They’re rooting for you (their jobs depend on it), so the easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to move you to the next round.

LILY HERMAN|is a New York-based writer, editor, and social media manager whose recent bylines include Fast Company, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, ELLE, Teen Vogue, and TIME