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Who says you don’t have time for work, family and study?

As a financial adviser, you may be facing some mandatory study under the FASEA education requirements, but this doesn't have to throw your life into disarray. Deakin is here to help.

How many hours are there in the day again? Sometimes 24 just doesn’t seem enough. The to-do list grows ever longer, work bleeds into evenings and weekends, and we have a gnawing sense of guilt about all that gets neglected amidst the juggle.Sound familiar? When the treadmill never stops, the prospect of adding study to the mix is daunting.

If you’re a financial planner, study is something you will be thinking about now. FASEA’s new education standards mean that most of those in the sector will need to undertake some form of study – whether bridging courses or a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning – to comply with regulations.

The good news is that combining work and study is totally doable. With universities such as Deakin offering top-tier online and flexible learning programs, even those managing demanding, full-time careers can make it work.

Study today is flexible like never before

Dr Vittoria Grossi leads a team of Language and Learning Advisors to support Deakin students through their studies. She advises prospective students to explore all the flexible study options available, including intensives, residentials, and Deakin Cloud, to find what best aligns with their needs.

“You can choose to move between full-time and part-time study to suit your job or nip a unit in the bud during annual leave with intensive study blocks. Some units offer night classes to make juggling a business-hours job easier. And, there’s Deakin’s Cloud Campus, which you can attend from home, work or the beach,” Dr Grossi says.

More than 12,000 students are fitting postgraduate into hectic work-family schedules right now (and that’s just at Deakin!). This number is clear evidence that combining work and study can be done. So how to do it well?

Whether you are a self-employed financial planner, or currently climbing the ranks in a firm, there are several things you can do to ensure fitting it all in will be manageable, and even enjoyable.

Take advantage of the resources on offer

Make use of the wide range of resources out there, such as time management apps and student discussion forums. Deakin’s learning support staff have a range of resources to help students acquire empowering time management skills so they can study smarter, rather than harder.

Deakin’s Language and Learning Advisors emphasise the value of familiarity with subject outlines, so new students know exactly what is expected of them.

All assignment due dates are available right at the start, so you can plan ahead for peak study periods and break down tasks into smaller components. When you can plan for what’s coming, everything is much more manageable.

Request some time for study at work

They also advise that carving some study time out of your working hours can make a useful difference in a busy life. Your employer may already have study leave provisions available, but one worthwhile option for financial planners working full-time is to have a conversation with their supervisors about practical support. An allowance of time at work to catch a lecture online or complete an assignment can really help.

For self-employed financial planners, though, it can be challenging to quarantine time in your calendar for study: day-to-day business and client demands can encroach on every moment of your waking hours.

Current Deakin Postgraduate Diploma of Financial Planning student Andrew Lane says several things have helped him combine study with work and family commitments.

“I tried to get into a routine – that really helped. This routine meant I made the most of small pockets of time – such as late at night or early in the morning – and didn’t fall behind.”

Did we mention the free stuff?

Andrew also made the most of online resources at his fingertips. He advises new students to make sure they find out about all the material and services they can access as a Deakin student.

“The University enables you to get free access to a whole lot of things – plenty of software I have found invaluable, and access to newspapers and libraries.”

Andrew, who received some credit for prior learning, will graduate in October with a Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning, says the return to study has been a rewarding experience.

“Studying online with Deakin was the best of both worlds, for me. I didn’t waste precious time travelling in the car to and from campus, but at the same time I was able to feel connected with fellow students and get support when I needed it from my lecturers.”

The take-away is that not only is combining study and work possible, many students find they get better at managing their time well, and being organised, and this flows into other areas of their life.

Sometimes the more we do with our time the more we realise just how much we can get done in the precious hours that make a day.

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