3 Ways To Make Sure You Survive the CPA Exam
We've all had that nightmare before. The one where we're suddenly 16-years-old again and show up to school without any pants on? Or show up to an exam for a class that we'd never taken before? But now, like many other women in finance, you find yourself as a single parent having that same dream all over again while you prepare for the CPA exam. How can you minimize the stress of juggling your studies, family, and work?
Use Your Support Network
This can be anyone and everyone: members of your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors with kids who can babysit. Yes, even your television counts as support for when you need time to study but your kids have other plans for you. (Movie time!)
If you don't have anyone nearby who can help you out, get online! You can look for online communities like The Lady CPA Network or other professional women's organizations for advice and motivation when you need it. There are definitely times when we need it. Don't be afraid to reach out to women's networking groups if you have a question or need guidance moving forward.
They say post-its are a girl's best friend, right? With so much going on, it's going to be important to stay organized and on top of it all. Get a day planner and create a structured study routine, allotting time to study before/after work and on your days off. Set schedules for the kids too, so that you can have moments to study that aren't always when you should be sleeping. For example, 4-6 PM is homework/reading/save-your-questions-for-later time.
Some even suggest having something scheduled for every hour of the day, so that you are consistently using your time for what needs to get done. This may sound exhausting, and it is, but it's important to keep your end goal in mind. You'll be the person posting beach selfies on instagram soon.
Take Care of Yourself
Studying and taking the CPA exam is a long and involved process; you're going to be in this for the long haul. So it's important to take care of your physical and mental health during this time to avoid burning out. Set trackable progress goals so that you can stay motivated and feel all those accomplishments along the way. Make a scheduled 5 minutes a day to sit in silence with yourself, whether it's locked in the bathroom or sitting in your parked car for some extra time.
It's hard not to feel stressed out during this time, but try to cut yourself some slack every once in a while. You're going to need the support of your network, but you're going to need yourself, too!
The process is difficult and won't be without its challenges, but there are so many women in accounting going through this by your side. The Lady CPA Network is here to help mentor and guide professional women to their well-earned success. Equipped with all of these tools, there's nothing that can stop you! Unless, your kids left the legos all over the floor again.