June 17, 2020
Getting an education is a lot like growing a garden. It requires a lot of passion, effort, and patience, but the results are worthwhile.
Like choosing what to plant in a garden, choosing what to study is one of the first steps you take in your educational journey. This step requires many thoughtful and careful decisions.
President James E. Faust shared some good news on decision-making when he said, “Making perfect choices all of the time is not possible. It just doesn’t happen. But it is possible to make good choices we can live with and grow from.”1
You may not choose the “perfect certificate,” but you can make a good choice that will lead you to growth and opportunities. From planting a garden, we can learn some tips for choosing the best certificate for our growth.
Evaluate your options
Think of your certificate options as seeds. Each seed requires a different set of instructions and care to grow. Understanding their different requirements is key to knowing when and how you plant them.
When choosing a certificate, evaluate your options by taking time to understand more about yourself, your goals, and what you need to grow. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
- What skills do I want to learn? Which certificates will help me develop those skills?
- What certificates interest me? How would they help me reach my goals?
- What other certificates would I need to take within my degree?
Imagine the harvest
President Dallin H. Oaks said, “We make better choices and decisions if we look at the alternatives and ponder where they will lead.”2
Visualizing and understanding where each certificate option could lead helps us make better decisions about our future. Choosing a certificate without knowing where it could lead is like growing seeds without knowing what they produce. Here are a few questions to consider as you visualize different certificate outcomes:
- What will this certificate help me accomplish? Review the outcomes or employment sections of the different certificates you are considering.
- How can I use this certificate in my current or future employment?
- Is there a professional with my dream job I could interview? For tips on setting up an informational interview, check out this article!
Plant your choice
You may already know which certificate to choose, or you may still be determining which one would be best. Sometimes the only way to know with assurance is to act. Like planting a garden, if you only stare and dream about the seed in your hand, it won’t grow. At some point it needs to be planted and nurtured. With a certificate, you simply won’t know the full power and potential of your choice until you allow it to grow.
Do your homework to explore your options, counsel with the Lord,3 and use your best judgement about which certificate to select.4 Not all the choices you make will be perfect, but they can help you get on the right road.5 “One day we will see more clearly; and on that day we will recognize the goodness and generosity of heaven.”6
What decision-making techniques have helped you choose a certificate? Share in the comments!