The result day is a thrilling day not only for the examinees but also for all of their stakeholders- parents, relatives, neighbours, friends not pursuing professional courses and office peers. Sabko iss din to aapki yaad aati hi hai!
Excitingly, a taxi driver overheard my talks over phone with a student and said – Sir, Suney hai, result kharab hua hai!
Imagine the spread of excitement!
I am writing this to guide you in some important things related to What Next – after results?
I know that I am addressing to two different categories of pupil – the one who had passed and the others who are struggling. I have two different theories altogether for them. This doesn’t mean you are going to read only your part. I believe, that if you have passed and read the entire paper, you would be able to guide others who are struggling and if you are struggling to pass then anyhow the other side points are important for you as sooner or later you will pass for sure.
First, The newly qualified Accountants – I can understand and feel your excitement.
You must be super thrilled to face your new incarnation. A feeling of being in the sky. A wish to let every one around you to know that Hey! I am a Chartered Accountant. When I nailed it in 2009, I used to sing a song first before talking to anyone – Saala main to Saab Ban Gaya… Saala Main to Saab Ban Gaya…!The wow moments..
Its your hard work only that you could reach this mark but do not forget that the real hardship and challenges will actually begin now.
I have some specific self and professional development structure for you with due respect to all your action plans that you might have made in this hibernation period.
1. Give time to your family –
Very soon you would be landing into jobs that may be in some other city. You might have to relocate. Once you find yourself in workplace, you may not be able to enjoy the warmth of the family. In old days, our elders used to say- ek baar jo bacche kamane shahar se bahar chale gaye to phir kabhi laut ke nahi aa paate. It’s true now also and would always be.
Doing this CA course was in itself very compromising on their part as regards to your closeness, financials and other obligations that they had to forego because of your studies.
It’s time to payback. Listen to them more, spend maximum time with them, praise them for what they have done for you and genuinely care for them. This small return on their investment can give them and to you, a lifetime happiness!
2. Explore your connections
Until you were a student, you could get guidance from your tuition teachers and seniors to help you pass. The tragedy now is, there are no setup institutions that can help you get a job or a client that you want.
You need to explore your network. They are your teachers, seniors, your office boss, tuition mates, GMCS classmates, friends of your parents, relatives and others whom you have met during this journey and who have contributed to your success. It doesn’t matter how far they are from you.
You must get in touch with them – call them, meet them, share with them, be thankful to them. Do not just whats app or inbox them on facebook that you cared to inform them. Their efforts deserve a personal visit or a call atleast.
When you meet or talk to them that how important their presence was. This will make them think again for you to get into a good future.
If you know that when we do a pooja at home, all the mantras that are chanted are nothing but to praise the respective gods about how is their nature, how they saved the world and their devotees in crisis, how they killed the aasuras and how much thankful we all would be for their avtaaras. In our human principles, there is a great value to Value of Exchange – If you give, you must get. The theory in the poojas is that if you praise your lord, they are bound to fulfill your wish, as all are guided by this exchange principle.
Similarly, a little praise by you to people in your connection may help you get what you are looking next.
To be successful, it is well said that – Work Locally, Think Globally but Network Totally.
3. Decide what you want to do – Job, Practice or Business
You might be in confusion now as to what to do in future. Every alternative that you choose has its pros and cons.
For instance, job has initial security but risks are more towards your old age while in practice or business you have to face financial turbulence in initial phase but you get financial and work freedom at later stages.
If you are seeking a job, then keep note of the following check list-
(a) Decide where you want to work – Big 4 CA Firms, Treasury and Financial Research Services, Industries or Banks. I believe if you can work for two years with a Big 4 CA Firm, you would get tremendous exposure on all the spheres. You can make a better choice of specific sector better after such experience and moreover, the chances of getting shortlisted are also high in any other sector, once you are branded as a big shot CA Firm executive.
(b) You must make a communicating CV for applying to a job and post it on several websites like – Jobs4ca, cajobportal, indeed, shine, naukri, monster, specific websites of the firms or companies you want to work with and others you know. Check several CVs before you make yours. Don’t just copy and paste your friend’s one.
(c) Start updating yourself with recent amendments on each of your subjects and
(d) Practice basic interview questions.– Like Why you chose CA? Why you want to join this company? What are your strengths and weaknesses?, etc. Google can help you here.
If you are doubtful in choosing Professional Practice as a career then let me make you aware that there is a huge potential in the emerging market. Compliance are becoming so stringent day by day that no business house is able to entirely manage their compliance work themselves.
What is required to be a successful professional is only the systematised way to deal a work and the commitment of completing work on time. I am envisioning a huge demand in old and popular CA Firms for recent passed-outs to join as a partner.
It is difficult to sustain as a sole proprietor in the current environment but it would be a clean sweep to plug into a running firm as a partner. Anyhow, you would be happy to know a universal theory when you are in practice –
First 5 years – No Work, No Money
Second 5 years – Only Work, No Money
Third 5 years – Both Work and Money
Thereafter – No Work and Only Money
If you have an idea and if you can validate that your idea is able to solve a problem of the community at large then you may pave a way for a STARTUP – it’s the most trending occupation now.
I need not share any detail here about it as we all are already surrounded by the success stories around. Modiji’s Startup Summit held recently has sown positivism in the minds of young entrepreneurs as regard to ease of taking the risk.
Remember, to do anything big in life, you need to take risks. Risks are manageable to a great extent if taken at the early stages of life, like now, when you have the least responsibilities.
My advice is that do not just get blown away with the wind. Do some feasibility analysis with professionals and experts and then take a concrete decision. Undoing a decision is very very tough.
Whatever you plan to, always ensure you have a plan for atleast next five years. Do not get immersed into short term planning only.
4. Why not treat yourself for all the success?
Buy yourself a gift, enjoy the moment with yourself as well. After all, how could it be possible without you? This is a psychological activity to set and act for higher targets in life. Helped many successful people and may help you as well!
When I passed, I gifted myself a Cross – Pen. The power of a CA rests in his pen only. Isn’t it? What are you planning for yourself?
The second part to this paper is for the Future Chartered Accountants – If not now, then what? You are surely going to be if you haven’t given up.
I have a few antidotes for you that can remove the bacterial effect of failure in your actions but it will work only if you commit to apply them –
1. Review your performance thoroughly – I hear students moving around with same old complaints about the ICAI Moderation, Examinees, Question Pattern, Tuition Gaps etc. The ICAI is not taking any vengeance from you. It doesn’t even know you. It only understand a perfect answer to the question. You cannot blame all the reasons of your failure to the system just on the ground of small pitfalls that prevail in it.
Bura jo dekhan main chala…bura naa milya koye..
Jo main dil khoju aapna, mujhsa bura na koye..
Each one of you already know it what shortcuts you had taken to just make an attempt to write the exam. The fact that you have under utilised yourself, cannot be ignored.
Watch this interesting one –
2. Start with filling the Gaps –
It might be so that you have appeared in your previous exam with below standard preparation in few of the topics. Identify those specific topics and master it. You cannot expect to pass if you have left a topic. It doesn’t matter that the questions are frequent from that topic or not. You need to complete it. A fear of not knowing the topic can damage the quality of answers that you already know.
You can expect 100% surety to pass only when you have given your 100%.
3. Attempt Mocks –
Mock is the real secret to pass. You consider any serious exam – CAT, GMAT, UPSC. There every student is trained to take up multiple mocks before they sit for finale. is it so that mock is only for them and not for CA Students?
Mock gives you speed and balances your mind. I got rank in my CA and passed CIMA final exam only due to the MOCK. It highlighted my pitfalls and it was a strong realisation.
You will have to accept this that a very small number of students take up mock test for their CA Exams. What actually happen is that the exam term that you attempt ultimately becomes your mock. You never get to know where you are lacking. If you pass then you move ahead and if you fail then you take up another attempt, basically another mock without any realisation.
Try to write atleast one time bound 3 hours mock for each subject before you finally give the exam. You must evaluate your answers then with the suggested answers of that mock. It’s better to evaluate yourself with mock of actual question papers of the immediate term preceding your exam term.
Also read through the post examination guidelines that are published from Head Examiner’s desk in the student’s journal in the edition immediately after the month of the results. These guidelines give question by question analysis of what was expected and what majority of students have done.
4. Practice Institute materials page by page
I have heard from several students who are continuously reappearing in the exams that they have never opened the Institute material of any subject ever. How can that be possible? They are relying on their tuition class notes only. Is that so ICAI has an affiliation with that tuition centre?
Your question papers are set from ICAI’s question bank i.e. the Institute course material. The Board of Studies are working very hard to make the modules comprehensive and detailed. Every new edition is powered with new sums and concepts.
In older days, the study materials were not sufficient so the tuition centres facilitated the students by providing new sums from different reference books. Now the time is different. Every new sum that are asked in the exam are there in the Institute material.
Covering each and every question of study material is difficult for most of the tuition providers due to the limited time frame they undertake to complete the course. Although, at SJC, we take up the pain to cover each and every corner which makes us strong competitor of other tuition providers and at the same time makes us weak when student’s say that yaha bahut padhaate hain.
If you are possessing the older edition of Institute material, then get yourself the latest one of all the subjects from the Institute at earliest and check it page by page whether you have covered everything or not.
Whatever I have shared with you above have been my heritage of advice among others that I had applied myself and have been sharing with the students and peers since a long time. Many of my students pay reverence to these small action plans that have changed their lives, once they have implemented.
A stanza from the poem by Shri Hariwansh Rai Bachchan has always motivated me –
Asafalta ek chunauti hai, Ise sweeekar karo –
(First, you need to accept your failure and take it as a challenge)
Kya kami reh gayi, dekho, aur sudhar karo –
(Where you went wrong, identify it and correct it)
Milte nahin sahaj hi moti, gahari pani mein –
( It’s not easy to find pearls in deep ocean)
Badhta dugna utsah, isi hairani mein –
( The passion to find it doubles in this perplexity)