3 Things I Know Now But Did Not Know Then About Being a CHES® :
1. LOOK AT THE JOB DESCRIPTION AND NOT THE JOB TITLE. Most health education related jobs don’t say “Health Educator” outright. Must look at the required or recommended skillsets/competencies needed for the job. Take a closer look at jobs that have any of the following key word description “Program Manager, Analyst, Coordinator, Specialist, Evaluator, Assessor, and Epidemiologist”.
2. BRAND YOURSELF AS THE GO-TO C…HES® . Basically know what you like, dislike, and are passionate about. If you are an extrovert but the role calls for lots of behind the desk work – you will be unfulfilled because personality wise you draw energy from connecting with people. Be sure the role you accept allows you to be in your element. Know what makes you unique, stand out among your colleagues, and add value to your community.
3. THE MORE ALPHABET SOUP BEHIND YOUR NAME THE MORE RESPECT YOU EARN. Most employers in public health seem to value credentials (AND not over) experience. After graduating with my B.S. in Health Education I did not immediately pass the CHES® exam. In fact I failed it the first time by 3 measly points. After a couple of years of field experience, I decided to take it again. I passed the second time around! I had experience PLUS CHES®.
P.S. Be sure to place the trademark behind CHES now because both CHES and MCHES are now officially registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.