If you haven’t done so already, try being proactive with your plans for growth in 2022. This might sound like a variation on the traditional New Year’s resolutions, and perhaps it is, but it seems that, too often, we squeeze in our learning and improvement as an afterthought when we have a bit of time to kill or when we’re up against the wall to fill in our CPE hours.
We start the new year, busy season takes hold, then we make some time to relax in the summer, we get busy in the fall again and prepare for family gatherings, and the year-end approaches and we’re back to the start of another cycle.
Instead, how about taking some time right now to think about how you want to better yourself in the next year, and then actually schedule that education intentionally? Your plans can take several forms.
- Stay on top of legislation, standards, and other developments that impact the work you do regularly. This can take the form of reading certain publications and following news sources, taking CPE classes, attending conferences, and connecting with your state and national professional societies and organizations.
- Learn new skills to improve or expand the services you offer to clients. Whether you take classes online or in person, or use self-study programs, or even intern yourself to a mentor, it’s never too late to expand your skillset so that you can do your job, or even your life, better.
- Read to add to your knowledge. Schedule real time for regular reading – books, magazines, newsletters, websites – whatever sources you prefer. If you don’t set aside time regularly to read, it’s easy for to procrastinate and then never get around to it.
- Share knowledge with others. Plan frequent meetings with your friends and colleagues and learn from each other. Practice what you have learned.
If you start now, you can lay out your self-improvement schedule for 2022 and actually get this schedule on your calendar. Make a list of what you want to learn in the year ahead, seek out the resources where that information can be found, and then create your educational program. Sign up for the events and classes you plan to attend and set aside time each week for your learning activities.
Next, think about how you plan to use your new knowledge. Will you change the services you offer to clients? If so, plan for how and when that will happen and add implementation steps to your calendar. Will you expand your group of personal contacts to include those from whom you can learn? If that’s your plan, decide who that will include and how you will alter your relationships with these people.
Picture yourself a year from now, looking back on the past year and looking forward to a future that includes your new-found knowledge. You can make the choices right now for how and in what ways you will improve and take the steps to make those choices a reality.
Meanwhile, the staff at CPA Practice Advisor wishes all of you a happy and safe holiday season.
See inside December 2021
How to Create a Frictionless Busy Season
I know I sound like a broken record when other tax pros ask me about the “busy” in busy season. My response? “The Berg Advisors' busy season runs smoothly with few surprises.”