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.