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What have I done?

I work in a financial planning office. I studied financial planning in school. The next logical step for me is to complete the CFP® certification or the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. The CFP® certification process is pretty intense. There are four steps that include: Education, Exam, Experience and Ethics. The Education element involves 7 courses that require 80- 100 hours of study each. It takes roughly 12 to 18 months to complete the education element. You are also required to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. The Exam consists of 170 multiple choice questions, and you are given 6 hours to complete it. The next element is Experience. Thankfully I already have the 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process. I have gained these hours from working 4 years in this industry assisting in creating financial plans. The last element is Ethics and involves signing the CFP® Ethics Declaration and a background check. I am ahead in the process in many ways as I have my experience and my master’s degree counts for my education requirements. The part that is overwhelming is the 12 to 18 months of studying and completing courses. I work a full-time job, am a mother of 2 small children and my husband works crazy hours…What have I done?

The moment I hit the button to enroll in the courses, I had a panic attack. I have just added an incredible commitment to myself, and I don’t know if I can do it. I have so much going on and I have added this to the pile. When will I study? How will I have the energy? Can I really do this? I was hoping to do this when the kids were older. I went home and had a much-needed glass of wine as I shared these thoughts with Jim. It was at this time that Jim reminded me that he too was getting back into school. Great two parents in school…how are we going to do this?

I went to bed nervous and anxious. I felt overwhelmed and defeated already. When I woke up the next morning, I was ready to dive in. I wanted to begin studying right away and get these courses knocked out. It was as if a switch had been switched on in me. I could do this. My mom got her MBA when my brother and I were little. I remember vaguely her at class and studying but I clearly remember her graduation. What an accomplishment. If my mom can do it, then I can too. She was a big motivating factor. I had become excited to grow and invest in myself. And I thought that if I wait no time will ever be a good time. It’s better to do it when the kids are young and not when they have school and sports and activities. Plus I had the support of many people. The boss was the one who said you should do this and invest in yourself. My husband always believes in me. And my mom said she would babysit so I could study. I can do this and with my support system, I will. I am shooting for the November 2023 exam. I know it won’t be easy and there will be days I feel overwhelmed and defeated, but it is the right step for me. So wish me luck…here I go!


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