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I have been trying hard to figure out my career and have convinced myself that I want to be an accountant. I am a bit scared though. Advise me on how to build my confidence, believe in myself and make it to the top. I need encouragement for the profession.

There is a direct correlation between the apprehension you feel and the decision you have just made to become a CPA. To be a successful CPA you must be more than convinced. You have to know that this is the path you want to pursue because quite honestly it is not easy. The journey to become a CPA demands commitment, sacrifice, the ability to rise above disappointment, optimistic response to constructive criticism, a perspective that all challenges are huge opportunities, and a strong sense of self-worth. It's not a decision that should be made lightly.

The great news is all you have to do to calm your fear and be more self-confident is plan accordingly, prepare purposely, be persistent in your thirst for knowledge, never be afraid to make a mistake, and accept that you won't know all the answers. The biggest myth that exists today is that after you finish school you will be expected to walk into a company and know everything there is to know about accounting. This is not true so relax.

Companies expect you to have a strong accounting foundation but each company has its own unique cultural environment and training process. You must be very observant and find yourself mentors who hold the positions you strive to someday obtain. These mentors will be able to assist you during difficult times and provide the necessary guidance you need to progress throughout your career. So take a deep breath, trust that you will have all the tools you need to be successful, and I look forward to hearing about your success.

Being a CPA