Your nerves might be a little high with exam results about to (finally) drop. Our guts turn, and we get nervous because the high standards we set for ourselves and the high standards, it takes to pass the CPA Exam. Don’t take this the wrong way; high standards will get you far. They motivate you to a high quality of life and inspire others to follow suit. However, the bar being set so high means there will likely be some times where you don't clear it. Reality can hit hard when a mishap comes. Life hiccups and things don’t go as planned. There is a blank feeling, some emptiness, and a bit of embarrassment.
When thinking of a future career in accounting many terms come to mind -- the Big Four, auditing, busy season, management accounting, financial analysis, and cash management. Many find themselves solely thinking of a path to success via a firm or large business. The thing is, these positions are needed in organizations of all kinds. The path to "success" is much wider than many realize.
The holiday season is officially in full swing. Halloween passed, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and a December full of celebration is already felt on the radio, TV, and in decorations on the streets. Sometimes, everything can move so fast it feels like it all blends together. So today, take some time to "celebrate" by yourself a few reasons to be thankful for the profession you chose.
Before we get into it understand this -- we know it can feel weird to be thankful for something you worked so hard at earning. Accounting isn't a gift, per say, but that doesn't mean it isn't a blessing in its own way. Sometimes the things you work hardest for are the things to be most grateful for. The easiest way to break this or any other "thanks" you give about things in your life can be broken down into three easy parts.
Let's not sugar coat it - taking the CPA Exam to get your license is a long and difficult road. One of the hardest parts of the process is starting along that road. When it comes to difficulty, the CPA Exam is head and shoulders above many other licensure exams. Even those who passed can sound discouraging as they reflect on the process they went through. Once you start to look at the passing rates of students taking the exam, the time put in, and the sacrifices, you begin to understand. Going after a change in your professional career is going to change your personal life as well for a while.
The first thing we encourage our students to do is take a step back and realize, as hard as the exam is to study for and pass, plenty of people are doing it and you can too. Even the successful CPA's who sound discouraging will tell you it's worth it. They are just trying to be honest. The second thing we ask students to do analyze is how they study. Take a look at works or doesn't work. Regularly updating the teaching style according to your learning style is crucial. At Yaeger, we're about more than repetition and focus on application as well because quality matters over quantity. This is especially important after the changes that came to the exam this past year.
Have you ever thought about how many digital communications you send in a day? Whether it's text, social media, or email, we all send countless messages during the week. Passive aggressive behavior, pointless status updates, or even cyber-bullying is obvious on social outlets, but we need to consider if our communication style to our co-workers makes us equally guilty perpetrators.
It is easy to spot when its coming from others. We all hate the short and snappy comments in person, but when a message sits in our inbox, it festers and gets worse. We see it or are reminded of what that person said every time we open our inbox. The subject line seethes in red, waiting to raise your blood pressure and cause you to roll your eyes. But then again, how often have you done this? If you've sent any of these emails, you're likely the cause of the same stress you dread.
More employees than ever are working from home - a number that seems to be going nowhere but up. Employees benefit from more flexible schedules, decreased commutes, and a spike to happiness. Employers get the benefit of fewer bodies in the office which result in less office space needed and lower utilities which results in lower overhead, and happier, more loyal employees. The idea is that this all increases productivity while lowering turnover.
Should you work hard or smart? The answer is both, but you have to constantly refine your routines as working vigorously while maintaining bad habits is counterproductive. The same applies to studying for the CPA exam. So the good news we're offering here is that you should focus less on studying more, and more on studying better.
The first few years of your career can be difficult to navigate. There's an expectation to be professional to the standard of seasoned pro's without a) having much experience and b) being able to accommodate every expectation as times and common practices have changed. Keeping everyone happy and making genuine connections can feel intimidating, but it is possible.
Start by building a good base of helpful practices. Understand that it we live in an age where a good handshake and business card are as necessary as an up-to-date LinkenIn and online presence. You'll have to consider old school and new school approaches and figure out how to bridge the gap, but it's not something you need to shy away from.