Can you do too many CEUs?

by | Jun 28, 2018 | EduSocial Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Talking in the SMS community this month about the work everyone’s doing over the summer brought an interesting question to light. Can you do too many CEUs? Our focus has been on the power of learning and how important it is to stay up-to-date in our industry. But with everything there is to know and all the education that’s available, is it possible to go too far with a CEU plan?

The short answer we came up with was “Yes…yes, it’s possible.” And here’s what we decided had to stay top of mind when choosing CEU courses.

Why are you interested in the course?

This may seem like a small thing – and it doesn’t have to be anything more than a mental exercise (though some people do find writing out the reasoning for their choices to be very helpful) – but it is critical to your decision-making process. Of all the ways you could spend your time and of all the opportunities you have to grow, why would you choose to spend your time working the CEU course you’re considering?

With this question in mind, a lot of people are surprised at the answer. While there isn’t any one right answer for everyone, the reason that comes to your mind should be carefully considered.

  • If your first thought was, “This is best for me because it’s the least expensive,” you may want to consider if it will be the best use of your time. It’s possible that cost is your most important consideration, but if it is, be sure you don’t accidentally commit to something that is a waste of your time. Your time has value, too!
  • If you chose the topic because it’s something you enjoy and are familiar with, make sure the content is helping you grow. It can be easy to choose CEUs that are familiar and easy. But if you already know (or mostly know) the content, what’s the point of doing the work?

What other motivation came to mind? The possibilities are endless and again…there’s no right or wrong answer. We just want you to think about why you’re making your decision.

What are your other commitments?

Sometimes opportunities are appealing because they are challenging. Certification is a great example of this! Accomplishing professional goals that set you apart can be very rewarding – both personally and professionally. But wanting to successfully complete a big challenge isn’t always enough. Ask yourself if you really do have the time to commit to the materials. What’s happening in your personal and professional life that could potentially influence how much time you can commit to the materials? You’re better off fully committing to a reasonable professional development goal than you are committing to things you’ll never be able to accomplish.

Respect your community.

Depending on the opportunity, you’ll have a varying level of interactions with others. You may choose to complete a self-paced, completely independent exercise. You may join a large group and add value through discussion posts. There might be an opportunity to partner with someone or participate in a small group. Whatever you’re considering, be considerate of what others are trusting you will bring to the table. The smaller the group, the bigger the impact your absence will have, but really…we encourage you to make your commitments thoughtfully and honor them when you can.

How do you decide?

I hope I didn’t just talk you out of taking continuing education classes or convince you to set low, easy to reach goals. I promise that was not my intention! I just want you to make smart choices. There are so many options at our fingertips, I see more and more people overcommitting and then underperforming. With all of the opportunity we have available to us, we have to be honest about what we need and what we can do to make good choices.

Maybe a good way to remember to make smart choices is by writing SMART goals?










Want to read about how others are staying up to date this summer? Check out these recent posts:

Embrace User Generated Content and Hit the Sweet Spot Between the Customer and the Brand

I Will Survive – A Song, Compliance, Governance and How the European Union Ruined my Summer – or not?

Author: Amy Jauman

Dr. Amy Jauman, SMS, is the Chief Learning Officer at the National Institute for Social Media and author of the Comprehensive Field Guide for Social Media Strategists. Amy is also one of 58 members representing 12 countries in the inaugural class of the Prezi Educator Society. Previously she was the Social Media Director for Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (WeMN) and she currently serves as the marketing director for the Minnesota Chapter of the National Speakers Association. She is also an adjunct professor in the St. Catherine University Business Department and the St. Mary’s University of Minnesota MBA program.


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