NAPO University’s new Specialist Certificate: Life Transitions

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Life Transitions Specialist Certificate course

I’m Annette Adamska, and my company Back Up Your Life™ specializes in life and legacy planning and support services. In addition, I am an Instructor for NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) University. It’s my pleasure to have the opportunity to tell you more about the new Education Track launched by NAPO in February 2018, the Life Transitions Specialist Certificate, and the webinar that I taught as a part of the track.

If you aren’t a member of NAPO, you may be wondering: what is a NAPO Specialist Certificate? A Specialist Certificate gives productivity and organizing professionals a chance to dive deeper and attain more specialized knowledge in a particular area. Life Transitions is the third, and most recent addition, of the Specialist Certificates offered. The other two—Residential Organizing and Workplace Productivity—were launched in 2017 due to the response and feedback of NAPO membership to multiple surveys conducted by the Education Committee.

The Life Transitions Specialist Certificate is designed to provide support, ideas, and tools for Professional Organizers (POs) and Productivity Consultants (PCs) to help their clients face personal and professional life transitions and milestones, including downsizing, relocation, parenthood, and the challenges that come with them. This track aims to strengthen POs and PCs’ foundation and better equip them with skills that they can share with their clients. From examining case studies to best understand how a PO/PC can best serve the client their role, as well as project management skills, to how to communicate effectively with clients. There is a vast wealth of knowledge and information shared within this track, and truly something for every PO/PC to add to their proverbial toolkit.

Last August, the Education Committee put out a call for instructors via NAPO’s online community, POINT. Some colleagues and a mentor who knew my specialty encouraged me to submit a proposal for a course. I have a unique (though, at the same time, very universal) qualification to teach a course in this particular subject area because I single-handedly dealt with the aftermath of my mother’s unexpected medical event and her passing three months later. Unfortunately, my mother did not have the legal, financial, medical, or other logistical items sorted in her life. I learned the hard way about what information you should document for your loved ones, and how much of a gift it really is to be able to say: “I’m fulfilling my loved ones wishes.”

And so, a webinar was born: “Organizing for Life’s Unexpected Curve Balls.” In it, I break down the many reasons why doing this work is important, and how it can be helpful in everyday life—not just during major life events. Other areas covered include the types of events, such as marriage/divorce, birth/deaths, and moves that can trigger a use, or review, of these items. We familiarize you with some of the terms and items you’ll find on the legal, medical, and financial side of things. We cover the important topic of the “invisible threads” that hold a life together, but can be very difficult to unwind, particularly the ones involving finances and social media. We’ll also talk about how to highlight your expertise, and create relationships with other professionals in parallel fields to enhance your value, and your client’s overall experience. In the end, the course is focused on setting up our clients (and ourselves) for success by preparing them to catch that curve ball life throws them with grace, instead of being hit in the face.

It was a pleasure developing this content specifically for Professional Organizers and Productivity Consultants. Some of you might be interested in this topic personally, or for your families. Some of you might want to have a deeper understanding of the basics of this work. Some of you might be interested in offering a new service that covers some of these items. No matter which category you might fall in, I hope you consider taking this course with me, as well as pursuing the Life Transitions Specialist Certificate.

If you’d like to check out the Life Transitions Specialist Certificate, or my course, “Organizing for Life’s Unexpected Curve Balls”, you can do that (and learn more) on the NAPO University webpage. In addition, I’ve included both a list of the course requirements, and link to those courses below.

You can find me at Facebook, LinkedIn & Instagram. I look forward to connecting!

Life Transitions Specialist Certificate Course Requirements:

Two Core Courses

Two Client Interaction Courses

Four Skills Courses

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As the founder of Back Up Your Life, a professional organizer, and a member of NAPO, Annette is also a speaker on life and legacy planning. After life in the fast-paced theater industry in New York City, Annette Adamska has made Durham, North Carolina home with her husband and two cats. Outside of her passion for helping you back up your life, her favorite things are a combination of good people, good conversation, good food and beverage – all elements Durham delivers on in spades!

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  1. Hazel Thornton Hazel Thornton on April 25, 2018 at 9:21 am

    I earned the Life Transitions Specialist Certificate, and in particular loved Annette’s course! The certificate material was right up my alley. Thanks, NAPO!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 25, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      No surprises there – I knew this was right up your alley, Hazel!

  2. Avatar Jennifer Truesdale on April 25, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Thank you for accepting the challenge to create this well needed class. Your expertise and experience provide valuable, useful information to the masses and really adds value to this certificate track! We hope to see more from you as an educator!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 25, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! Your comment is much appreciated.

  3. Avatar Nancy Haworth on April 25, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I recently earned the Life Transistions Specialist Certificate. I found all of the courses very valuable. I particularly liked Annette’s course because it provided detailed information to tackling such an important and often overlooked topic.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 25, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      Congratulations, Nancy! It’s great to learn about new programs, and especially to know that people are taking advantage of the opportunities.

  4. Avatar Janet Barclay on April 25, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    That’s awesome, Kate – congratulations!

  5. Avatar Seana Turner on April 30, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Love seeing all the ways our profession touches lives. This is such an important area, and I’ve been thinking it might be worth my while to get more training. It isn’t my niche, but I do get calls for this type of work. Congratulations to all who have become certified!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 30, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      There is always a decision to be made when a service is in demand that you’re not skilled at – undergo the training, or find someone to refer those jobs to! I often face the same dilemma in my own business. 🙂

  6. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on April 30, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    I was intrigued by the life transitions specialist courses. If I were working with retirees or baby boomers, I would sign up for this certificate. When I was working with these individuals, I found a lot of issues that we had to deal with when going through their stuff and other family members stuff. I’m so glad that NAPO recognized the need and implemented this for Professionals.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 30, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      I’m sure the demand for these services will continue to increase as more and more baby boomers become seniors!

  7. Avatar Sara Skillen on April 30, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Of the three certificates this is the one that intrigues me most. As soon as I’m further along with Coach Approach it’s my plan to dive in on this – thanks for a really informative post.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 1, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Good for you, Sara! In such a growing field, there is always something new to be learned.

  8. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on April 30, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    This looks like a great series of courses. Thank you for sharing such a detailed explanation.

  9. Avatar Tarun on June 7, 2022 at 9:15 am

    Thanks For Sharing this article, This looks like a great series of courses

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