The Value of Education and Involvement

Funeral Professionals can never EVER get enough education or stop learning. Just like any other profession we must stay current and knowledgeable to properly take care of our families, our businesses, and our co-workers.

There are so many of us that think we’ve “got it” and we have all the tools on our belts already. This could not be further from the truth. Those who’ve “got it” are the ones who will never accept change and will continue to do the same thing each and every single day for the rest of their career.

Since day one of entering this profession, I knew I would never want to be stagnant. I knew I would want to continue to better myself each and every day. The way I do this is to become involved in everything I can including local, regional, state, and national funeral organizations, as well as local civic organizations.

The return on these investments is huge. Every time I come into contact with people I learn how to be better, how to treat people better, how to handle different situations, and offer better solutions. I dig deep into education and will sign up for any class or webinar that time allows for. Again, you can never max out on education or career growth.

You can never max out the chances of bettering relationships for your company and your co-workers. You can never stop giving praise to all the people who are working towards the common goal and are doing the right things. These are all things I have learned because of continuing my education.


Graduation ceremony at ICCFA University 2017 in Memphis, TN.

What I like best about conventions is that a lot of it is built on culture and how to be a better leader rather than just a boss. They focus on how to create the “why” as the answer to what you do every day.

If you are a funeral professional or cemetery professional and are not taking advantage of educational opportunities… retire. I see funeral professionals all over that have been in funeral service for many years and continue to strive to learn more and find better ways to take care of our families and create a better work-place environment.

I also see funeral professionals who just want to work 8-5, clock out, go home and not think about anything else. These people do not want to join local civic clubs, funeral organizations, or do anything extra. If I ever get this mentality… that is the day I am done (which will most likely be the day I am lowered into the ground).


Making lifelong friends through educational opportunities is a bonus.

I have a passion for this industry that is indescribable and I will try to improve myself each day. I will continue to take advantage of every educational opportunity I can. I admit that I am not perfect and it might take a few times to catch on to certain things. There are areas I need much more improvement in, but these are the exact reasons I continue to be involved, to attend anything and everything, and to voice my opinion.

I encourage each and every one of you to do something to better yourself and our profession.  I encourage you to be positive with your co-workers and let them know when they are doing the right thing and help to coach them when they need it. These are things I have learned in voluntarily attending these educational events. I will always fight to improve… will you?



Written by: Zach Carnley, CFSP

Zach is a licensed funeral director & embalmer in the State of Texas and is a founding member of Millennial Directors.


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