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A Certified Accomplishment

Washing dishes

by John Samuel

For several years, washing dishes was one of my favorite things! Even when I was working in Cameroon, where I had someone to help clean my house, I made it a point to wash my dishes every day. I get many different reactions when I tell people this. However, there is a simple reason why I like it so much. Working in business development, you rarely get to see the fruits of your labor in the same day that you start something. Even with a plan, the results can be nebulous and ever-changing. However, when I decided to wash dishes, there was a clear end, which I knew I could accomplish within a reasonable amount of time!

For most people and businesses, plans have changed because of Covid-19, and it seems like we do not know when our current situation will end. As a leader of a startup business, I have had to adjust our business plan accordingly to our “new normal” and for post-Covid life.

Since we have been working from home, a few members of my team realized a goal that we had set forth back in July 2019, and that was to be certified in the accessibility industry. Within the past three weeks, Vanh Vue and Shannon Garner have completed the DHS Trusted Tester Program and received their certifications (with Alyssa Cheeseman working towards completing it very shortly!) In addition, this week, Tristan Bussiere found out that he received the Web Accessibility Specialist certification, cementing him as a Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA)!

IAAP Certifications

It makes me so proud to see the team accomplish these feats. It is especially sweet because when I first set the goal for the team to get these certifications, I almost had a coup on my hands! There was resistance from the team, and they pushed back on me.

In today’s environment, it is easy to look at the barriers in front of us and give in to the fears of the unknown. However, it is important not to underestimate ourselves in these times, and have faith that we will get through this, even though we do not know when. My team’s achievements demonstrate the fact that they are keeping their courage and momentum even under the current circumstances.

I started this blog writing that washing dishes was my favorite thing “for several years,” but what has replaced that recently is making my bed. Since having kids, I feel like the dishes never end, but making my bed is something I can complete every morning, and I start my day off knowing I completed at least one thing! This little daily success helps to instill in me a sense of confidence and competence that lasts throughout the day.

Before I close, I would like to add a shout-out to another way in which my team has shown a commitment to personal growth and development even while quarantined at home: team members have started and maintained a Zoom chat channel dedicated specifically to their fitness activities, and have implemented a shared document in which they can share their achievements. At the end of quarantine, the team member who shows the deepest commitment to exercise will receive a prize. This initiative has definitely helped the team to become closer, and a spirit of commitment and dedication to prevail. Together, we can do this!

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