It wasn’t a case of not passing my first set of professional exams. I failed them comprehensively. The outcome came as no surprise. I did not actively work toward a vision or overarching goal while studying. While I studied content, but I did not prepare for how to apply the content to answer questions well. I was too often unmotivated at the desk. By the time the exams came around I felt very unconfident. There was an inevitability about the outcome.
I somehow scrambled through the repeats and the following summer brought with it the final set of professional exams. My approach had to change dramatically from the previous summer.
One action had a profoundly positive impact.
Set a vision and connect:
I set myself a motivational vision for the study period. I decided on:
‘Last ever set of exams. Qualified Accountant. Cash Bonus’
Every morning, I wrote this on the top of the page of my plan for the day. Each day I worked with it to the forefront of my mind. It improved the quality of my study. It made me more aware of my progress and where I needed to focus more. I now enjoyed studying!
I passed the exams first time.
The Secret’s in the Vision:
I’m reminded of this experience after reading The Secret recently. The book talks about deciding and defining what you want. And then believing every day that you’re making it happen. Books like The Secret can generate polarised opinion. But in essence, it’s a great message to act on.
Too often, we can go through periods of our career without a clear vision. We can also live our career with others setting the direction for us. And yet, when successful people recount their own career journey, they frequently talk about how it all started with them defining their own vision.
Deciding to go through your career without a clear vision is an option. But one must be comfortable with the reality that your direction is much more likely to be defined by external factors in this case.
Leveraging selected people’s advice can be very beneficial. Several people from my family, friends and work networks have been instrumental in helping me shape my plan. However, the key rests in ensuring that you are the one who ultimately takes responsibility for making the calls.
What is your vision?
Your call to action is to define your own career vision. It is very helpful to incorporate it with some, or all, of the following areas:
– Overall happiness.
Over the coming weeks in February, define your vision (one sentence for your career and each area above can do it, that depends on your style). And once complete read it regularly, daily if possible. Believe every day that you are making it happen. Finally, help people you know progress with their vision.
Really commit to making progress with your vision in February. And commit to helping others to make progress with theirs.
Both are a great feeling.