Menu Close

What Should You Do After Taking the Big IBCLC Exam?

Woman with glasses looks into the distance in thought after taking the IBCLC exam.

By now, maybe you feel that preparing for the IBCLC® exam has ruled your life for months or even years. And then, poof! In two hours, the exam is over! And you walk away from the exam and wonder: What can you do after taking the IBCLC exam?

Sit back and stop stewing

Immediately after finishing, you might find yourself wondering if you passed the IBCLC exam. Okay, that’s normal.   

But honestly, there’s nothing you can do about it now. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

You’ve earned your eligibility requirements, you’ve paid your money, done a thorough review, sat for the exam, and finished the ordeal. What’s done is done.

So, stewing about it after taking the IBCLC exam won’t help.

Think about what you’d really LOVE to do

For many of us, there’s a great temptation to do what we know we can do. Often, that means doing kinda-sorta-more-or-less the same thing, but in a slightly different way.

I encourage you to venture out a little.

Maybe you’ve always worked one-on-one with breastfeeding families. Might the time after taking the IBCLC exam be the time to step up to a leadership position?

Or perhaps you’ve always wanted a stronger involvement in the political arena. With your IBCLC certification, you now feel people will take you more seriously. Could you start a nonprofit organization that advocates for better lactation laws? Consider the wild success of the Baby Café USA organization.

Maybe you’re tired of taking a paycheck from someone else, and there’s a deep-down longing to start your own private practice. Wow! Other than your own fears and doubts, what’s stopping you from doing so?

Re-think your choices

In the beginning, you probably thought that having your IBCLC certification would get you something you don’t have now. A better job or at least a different job. Maybe more money or better hours. Or more recognition.

Okay, those possibilities might have been motivators for you to pursue the certification and sit for the exam.

But after taking the IBCLC exam, stop and re-think your choices in greater detail.

When I was young, I honestly thought I’d spend the rest of my life working in a hospital. I went to a hospital school of nursing. My first jobs were in hospitals, and I truly loved those jobs – both before and after I had my IBCLC certification.

But one day I asked myself … what if I did something different?

Before you assume you’ll be in the same setting with the same roles and responsibilities, take the first steps to rethinking your job choices.

Update your résumé

Over the years, I’ve seen hundreds of résumés. Very few catch my attention. So, guess what? I don’t bother to consider that person for the job.

Your résumé can be your best friend or your worst enemy as you move through your career. Take three minutes to read my suggestions to a real nurse, a real IBCLC, on how to improve a résumé.

Embrace professional development

Here’s the short story: We’re never finished growing. If we aren’t growing, we’re dying. It’s really about that simple.

What’s that? You think professional development costs too much money? Or takes too much time? Or is just plain optional?

Think again. Here are 10 reasons why professional development is important.

Find help

If you want to pay for personal or professional development, by all means, do it.

So, what will you do after taking the IBCLC exam?

Share this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.