NAPO University’s new Specialist Certificate: Life Transitions
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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.
Life Transitions Specialist Certificate Course Requirements:
Two Core Courses
- OD 1-118 Understanding and Navigating Life Transitions
- OD 2-227 Organized Transitions: Project Management for Life’s Milestones
- OD 4-425 Organizing for Life’s Unexpected Curve Balls
- OD 4-427 Graduating Into Adulthood: Spring-boarding to Independence
- OD 4-428 Life After 40: Finding a New Focus for the Future
Two Client Interaction Courses
- OD 3-301 Transference of Organizational Skills
- OD 3-303 Understanding Learning and Thinking Styles
- OD 4-401 The Magic of Motivating
- OD 4-403 Managing Client Expectations
- OD 4-424 When Communication Works: How to Communicate Effectively with Clients
- OD 4-426 Transform Your Client Relationship: An Introduction to Coaching
Four Skills Courses
- CR 1-116 Organizing Solutions for Overwhelmed Families
- OD 2-214 Digital Disorganization
- CR 2-222 Organizing Dead People
- CR 2-224 Bridging the Gap Through Virtual Organizing
- CR 3-304 Still Someone: Organizing Older Adults with Memory Loss
- CR 4-407 How Organizers Engage Students
- CR 4-420 Demystifying the Deaccession and Appraisal of Household Contents
- CR 2-607 Demystifying Health Insurance Claims and EOB’s
- CR 2-609 Relos: Near, Far and Far, Far Away
- CR 4-619 The Art of Letting Go