Given our focus on professionals and their career goals, Protagion’s members tend to share a common experience during their lives: the challenge of studying and working simultaneously. Many professionals attest to the personal effort, dedication and diligence required in tackling their professional exams, particularly at board or fellowship level. While this pressure often arises during the earlier years of their careers, it can arise later too, if for example, they study further or write additional exams to change specialism or profession. And, once complete, the sense of accomplishment (and relief) is well-earned – every qualification is a substantial achievement to be celebrated! I know of an actuary who vowed to celebrate every week for a full year once she was done...
Two specific difficult areas which professionals reference are:
The global contagion and national lockdown responses this year are adding significantly to the stress involved in writing professional exams, including:
Even under normal circumstances the nature of your role affects your possible study schedule. For example:
Vacancies or unplanned absence of your teammates can also contribute to additional work pressures. And, especially now given the possibilities of people falling ill, study leave may be cancelled at short notice in order to deliver on corporate priorities. Some roles will also be facing additional work at present, like those in risk management or business continuity areas.
All of this work pressure is compounded with the team working from different home locations, possibly with less reliable access to the software and systems needed to operate optimally. Communication within the team and with seniors can also be more challenging.
Some suggestions for how to manage work and studying while working from home:
Do you agree? Any other suggestions to achieve both passes and promotions? Which techniques have helped you study for professional qualifications while simultaneously delivering above expectations at work? Please also share further ideas to manage the particular challenges of doing this while working from home.
A final thought: given the significant personal and professional stresses we’re all facing at the moment, one of Protagion’s coaches in South Africa has very kindly offered to support our professionals with their current worries by offering a free confidential coaching session per person. Her intention is to be of service and support others through this difficult time, including sharing what she personally practises to remain calm in stressful situations. Please contact us if you’d like to take up Gretha’s offer of a space for those in need to unpack, offload and lessen some of the emotional stress.
Airbnb and its growth over the past decade are legendary, scaling rapidly across countries to become an international brand. Leigh Gallagher documented its journey in her early 2017 book “The Airbnb Story: How to Disrupt an Industry, Make Billions of Dollars… and Plenty of Enemies”*, definitely a worthwhile read, both as an analysis of its evolution and challenges but also an inspiration to others who want to change the world too.
One of the interesting aspects is the extent to which Airbnb’s people scaled as the company itself grew rapidly, adapting and learning new skills at an incredibly fast pace. Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO, is a shining example of this. In Leigh’s words: “One of the unique aspects of the Airbnb story has nothing to do with its weird, unthinkable idea for a business or its high-profile battles with lawmakers or even the rapid growth of its user base. Rather, it is the lack of traditional management experience of the company’s founding team – especially its CEO – and the speed with which they have had to learn how to become leaders of a very large company.”
It hasn’t always been a smooth road, but the way they managed to keep up and learnt to lead a company that had come to be Airbnb’s size with such little prior experience may offer a new playbook for leadership development.”
Read more to discover techniques that Brian used to learn and grow rapidly, innate skills he possesses, and our extrapolation to lessons applicable to all of us wanting to keep learning throughout our lifetimes.
In his role as publisher of SUCCESS magazine, which contained business and self-improvement advice from high-achievers, Darren Hardy interviewed a wide range of “fascinating, interesting people”. This post centres around his advice for success, including the power of the compound effect, and explores aspects like consistency, hard work, setting goals, making improvements, tracking progress, and the positive impact of advisors and mentors.
Read more to watch a video of a presentation Darren gave about the lesson he learnt from his most personally meaningful interview for SUCCESS magazine, as well as discover key ideas from “The Compound Effect”*, a book about the impact of everyday decisions that Darren published at the start of the decade.