What Happens Now?

“CONGRATULATIONS! The ICRM Part 6 examination has been graded, and the results indicate that you have passed!”

What?  What does that say?  I had to read it three times before I realized what the email was saying to me.  After four years of studying and learning new information, four years of learning new terminology that was completely foreign to me, four years of sitting in the hotel room studying on family vacations because a test was coming and it was that important to me, and after hours of working over phone and email with a mentor, I finally did it.  I passed.

Some legends have passed the exam series in one testing cycle.  My predecessor used the full five years to pass.  No matter how long it takes you, when going through the process there are so many emotions – anger, nervousness, excitement, you name it.  I received big hugs from my boss one day and at another time encouragement because she believed in me.  When I got the email saying I had finally done it, I admit, I screamed in the office while on the phone with my husband, and then I cried.  It was so amazing and relieving to have finally passed the last test after so much work.  I am finally a CRM.

What happens now?  Accomplishing this is exciting but once you achieve this you can’t just hang your hat and walk away.  There is a constant and ever changing arena ahead which is now your responsibility to navigate and then educate your peers, supervisors, and customers (both internal and external) on.

My first steps have been small, but I am planning much in the future that will build on those steps.  Technology is the biggest part of our future and knowing how to work in that and with that is critical.  I have found ARMA International has excellent resources that you can download that will help you grow in your understanding of data and storage technologies.  With GDPR as a new player I have also written new privacy policies, working with our offices and legal team in London to ensure that the policies cover what both our countries require.  The opportunity to work as a CRM as a consultant on behalf of UV&S has come up several times already as well, which I have greatly enjoyed!

There are also ways outside of employment that I have worked on building my knowledge base and experience as a CRM.  I have volunteered as a CRM exam part 6 grader and am also currently a mentor for individuals in the Midwest who are getting ready for part 6.

When I started to write this, I really didn’t think I have had many opportunities afforded me since passing my exam, but now that I am looking back, I realize what a whirlwind the last four months have been since passing.  In four months I have already come so far and been given so many opportunities!  Without my CRM and without the support of ARMA and the ICRM team I would not feel like I have so much on my horizon.  The future is big in records management, and I hope that you will come along for the ride!

– Jennifer Coker

Jennifer Coker, CRM is the Records Manager, Training and Safety Coordinator for Underground Vaults and Storage, a global records management company headquartered in Kansas.  She is regarded as a leader in the safety industry working closely with OSHA and MSHA regulations, speaking across the United States at Safety and Health conferences.  She was most recently challenged to obtain her CRM which has taken her on a different career path.  After receiving that certification, she has begun volunteering with ICRM as a mentor and grader for Part VI exams.