Podcast: A Peek Into a Badge Earner's Journey

In this episode we talk with Nate Chamberlain, an accomplished author, speaker and Microsoft MVP. Recently, Nate tweeted about his delight at seeing the nine badges he had earned along his journey. We talked about the importance of maintaining one’s professional profile, the advantages of badges and how he’s used them in his career.

Listen to the full interview here:


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This podcast is part of a Credly podcast series where we discuss issues of interest for digital credentialing issuers, earners, and partners. Have a topic you want to learn more about? Send us an email at info@credly.com.*


Susan Manning:
Welcome to the Credly Podcast where we touch base with our issuers, earners, and partners and explore themes of interest in digital credentialing. I'm Susan Manning.

Today I'm talking with Nate Chamberlain and this is a new twist for us. Nate is an earner, and I'm so excited to talk to him because he was excited about what he achieved and tweeted, and I'm going to read this tweet. "What? I have nine badges. Easy to forget that on the way to certification, there are milestones worthy of individual celebration."

And Nate is a Microsoft MVP, so welcome Nate.

Nate Chamberlain:
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Susan Manning:
You are accomplished in a lot of different ways. So, of course, I had to stalk your profile, I see you are the author of several books. You do a lot of talking publicly. Can we just take a step back and unpack what is a Microsoft MVP?

Nate Chamberlain:
Sure. Yeah, so a Microsoft MVP is considered a community change-maker and influencer. Someone who goes above and beyond outside of their normal workday to build community and share knowledge in a way that's free and accessible to everybody.


So for me, how that kind of came about was I run the Lawrence SharePoint User Group where I will invite speakers to come in and share knowledge, not just on the SharePoint actually but all of Office 365 and then I also wrote the books and I wrote a blog at natechamberlain.com. So, through those avenues and through my public speaking, Microsoft recognizes those contributions.

Susan Manning:
It is not just Microsoft recognizes, you actually have to take tests and do things to earn these digital credentials.

Nate Chamberlain:
So, the credentials are actually on the sides, the MVP part of it is kind of an award program in away. And then the credentials are kind of gravy on it. So for me, I really wanted to pursue the Microsoft credentials like the Microsoft Enterprise Administrator Expert credential and the Teamwork Administrator Associate. Those two credentials specifically were my most recent, and for me, I want to do the most to improve myself as I could. So, when I get to that, it kind of means more to me than it normally would because it is verifying skills, these digital credentials are verified as well. So, I could say that I have a degree in X, Y, Z, but having those verified credentials says "Nate is skilled in this", or "Nate proved that he has skills in enterprise administration".

Susan Manning:
Well, and also, you can say you have a degree in X, Y, and Z, but we cannot see into every course that you took. So, we do not really know ... what is your day job by the way?

Nate Chamberlain:
My day job ... I work at LMH Health, it is a health system in Lawrence, Kansas, then I work with SharePoint. So, SharePoint Systems Engineer is my official title, but I really get to work with all of Office 365, and I see my role more as a business analyst, where I get to help people every day find new ways of collaborating together.

Susan Manning:
Great. So, as you were picking up these digital badges, were you aware that you were getting one at a time? Or was this an epiphany at the end?

Nate Chamberlain:
A little bit of both, I guess. I guess I was not so aware throughout the whole process. I knew somewhere along the line that they were saying "hey you can claim this badge for passing one exam," but the way the certifications work, is you have to pass two exams to get the certification. So, along the way, I started probably mid last year or so, I took two exams, got a certification. I took two more exams, got a certification. I continued so now I have six exams and three certifications. But, along the way, I was just thinking I was checking off boxes, I was not thinking I passed an exam that is badge-worthy. I just kept going until I got to the certification. So when I logged into a claim one day, and I saw that there were nine badges there, six from the exams, three from certifications, I was like "wow, there really were moments when I could have paused and reflected and said that was something that I should have celebrated more because that is exciting and because that is no small thing."

Susan Manning:
I love that you said whether it was badge-worthy, in my role, I often talk about whether things are badge-worthy or resume-worthy. And so it is really funny that you should use that terminology. When I look at a profile like yours, that has multiple badges, one of the things that it also speaks to is a whole set of soft skills, or power skills, like persistence and dedication, seeing something through to the end. Because this is not a collection of achievements that you earned over a month, it took a while. Do you know from start to finish how long all of these took?

Nate Chamberlain:
Let us see, I would have started probably I would say back last fall, so around August, over the course of then until I think it was just last month or the month before, so let us say June, that is [crosstalk 00:05:05]

Susan Manning:
So, almost a year?

Nate Chamberlain:
Mm-hmm

Susan Manning:
How are you using them now? What are you doing with your profile? How are you leveraging these?

Nate Chamberlain:
So, immediately, I put them on my LinkedIn profile, so I think that gets a lot of great exposure, and I am not necessarily job-seeking, but I do like to keep up all my profiles so whenever I do something I am particularly proud of, like get a new a certification, I want to share that with the industry, with my colleagues that I work with, with conference organizers who are selecting me to speak. So the first thing that I think of is LinkedIn.

So that just kind of helps my community presence and then my resume comes next. So I put it right on my resume. When I first started job-seeking, I would put my photo on there and had an H.R. exec. that I worked with who was like "do not put your picture on there, put your other stuff on there." So, I took my headshot off my resume way back then, and ever since then, I have been putting badges like the ones from a claim on there. So, now I have my two certifications, my most two recent ones because they retired the first one that I got last year.

Susan Manning:
That is great and I think it is a good reminder too, that you do not have to be looking for a new job in order to keep that profile up-to-date.

Nate Chamberlain:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)- Yeah, it is a reflection of what you are currently, not just when you are seeking that next step.

Susan Manning:
So are there next steps for you that you want to move to?

Nate Chamberlain:
Yeah, a little bit. So, I am trying to keep an open ... things just kind of happen strangely it seems when a new opportunity comes in for me it seems kind of out of the blue sometimes. So, I think a lot of it is because I keep my profile updated where people are seeing oh he has published a book and got certified in this, maybe he could help us with a training event, and maybe he could answer some questions, or just have a conversation about an idea. So, I think my next steps are just staying current, and when there is a new certification that is relevant to my work, I will pursue that, and I think that just opens doors.

Susan Manning:
And I absolutely believe it is not a strange coincidence, it is the fact that you have these verified skills and that you are very effective in promoting that, so people do see what they get. Well, congratulations again. I just think that this is marvelous and this kind of earner story is going to inspire others to get active, not only in building their own professional profile, but then using the tools that they have to promote themselves. So, thanks for this conversation.

Nate Chamberlain:
Yeah, thanks again for having me.

Susan Manning:
Thank you, listeners, for joining us. If you would like to suggest upcoming topics, feel free to write us at info@credly.com.

 

Topics: Podcast

By  Susan Manning