While sorting through papers a few months ago, I found my original Certified Case Manager - certificate. It’s dated 1993, the first year CCMC fielded the exam. About 12,000 professional case managers stepped up to take the exam in its inaugural year.
Today, 25 years later, I pressed the button to renew my certification.
That original now hangs by my desk. It’s an inspiration. Every time I see it, I get a subconscious energy lift in what I call my encore career as the Commission’s chief industry relations officer. I, like that certificate, am a CCM original, but I’m glad to see we’ve both added depth and value over the years.
I plan to frame my new CCM certificate and hang it right next to the first.
There are thousands of CCMs who are approaching their renewal period this year. Many may be considering retirement. After all, most of us came to case management after a previous career in nursing or other health and human services field. You, like me, may have been at this for decades.
Every renewal is an opportunity to assess where you are now and where you want to be in five years. So I’m going to boldly encourage you to push that renewal button with me. Here are three reasons why.
- You crave a second act. Volunteer time in my local CMSA chapter and on the Commission’s board were my passion, an opportunity to shape case management practice and to elevate case managers in the eyes of consumers as the helpers and advocates we are. So I jumped at the chance for my second act—working for CCMC.
Do you wish you had more time to devote to an organization or cause you believe in? Do you love teaching or mentoring other case managers? Your CCM is very likely essential to moving into the dream position that’s a blend of your experience, skill and passion.
One of the benefits of the CCM is its applicability across all case management settings, and the wide range of options it offers case managers. Take a little time to dream, imagine your perfect case management job. And then go after it.
- Work is good for your health. Studies show that work keeps us socially engaged and active with all age groups and backgrounds. It helps us stay physically active and delays the effects of aging. If you want to keep your mind sharp and your body strong, keep working and learning every day.
Many CCMs transition to part-time hours later in their careers, but you’ll need to keep your certification to negotiate the position you want. Part-time or PRN case management gives you all the benefits of work, but on your own terms. You keep your mind sharp through continuing professional development and social interaction. But you can plan longer vacations, spend extra time with family and friends and pursue other passions. All the while, you maintain purpose in your life and keep earning what it takes to fund the fun.
- You have a longevity bonus, so spend it! In 1950, life expectancy for a man was 65.6; for a woman, 71.1. Today it is 76.2 for a man, 81.1 for a woman.
In terms of today’s mortality data, at age 60 or 65, you’re not old. You’re just middle aged, and middle-aged people shouldn’t retire. Studies show that if you don’t think you’re old, and you don’t act old, you delay mental decline.
If you’re among the 40 percent of Baby Boomers who hasn’t saved enough money to live the way you want to for another 30 years, it makes financial sense to continue to work while you’re still able. Social Security pays you 32 percent more per month if you delay collection until age 70. That’s an incentive even beyond what you can earn and save today.
Over the past year in my new role, I’ve said many times that it’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together. Today, it’s a beautiful thing to push that renewal button and recognize it’s a commitment to continued advancement of case management.