GREENVILLE — Tiffany Thomas, chief human resources officer at EverHeart Hospice, recently earned her SHRM certification.
“I knew in the back of my mind; HR was something I was being led towards. This was the type of work I wanted to do because I get a lot of satisfaction from helping others,” Thomas said.
She went back to school in 2017 to receive her bachelor’s in organizational management, followed by her master’s in business administration. Along the way, she had some great instructors that showed her how special this field was.
When the chief human resources officer position at EverHeart Hospice became available, it caught Thomas’ attention.
“I first experienced hospice care with my grandmother. I realized how important that work was and what a gift hospice is in your life for a loved one. It was so meaningful for me and a memorable moment of my life to look back on her passing in a positive light.
“When the position opened at EverHeart, I knew it didn’t cross my path by mistake. I was drawn towards it and knew it was something I needed to pursue,” said Thomas. She applied and, shortly after, was hired and excited to start her new role. During this time, she was also working towards becoming SHRM certified.
“SHRM was something I was a member of for a while, and I found it to be a great resource. I became interested in their certification options to grow my skills,” said Thomas.
SHRM offers two different certification levels: a SHRM Certified Professional and a SHRM Senior Certified Professional. Thomas chose to study for the latter as it was more strategy focused. She enrolled in a prep course at Edison Community College and studied for nine weeks. Only 40 percent of those who take the exam pass on their first time. This made Thomas extremely nervous going into it; however, she passed that same day on her first try!
When asked what she gained from preparing for and passing her SHRM certification, Thomas shared, “The SHRM certification really helps prepare you for whatever career goals you set. It’s a certification you can tailor to your role and your focus. There are so many things I experience on the job that I recall from studying for my certification. It’s been a solid reference point to help me in my current role.”
Thomas must earn 60 professional development credits every three years to recertify and maintain her SHRM-SCP. She is currently working on her MBA and will graduate in December.
In addition to her interest in HR, Thomas also mentioned her passion for education. “Part of my bucket list career goals is to become a part-time instructor. Giving back is important to me, and I would love to eventually be a part-time professor or college instructor in the evenings.”
For now, Thomas knows she is where she is meant to be, “It feels good to be a part of an organization that helps people. I feel blessed to be a part of EverHeart.”