"We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted at something and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained." Marie Curie
Think about what makes you happy
It's worth sitting down to really think about what your goals are. You should consider the work you currently do and what elements of it you most enjoy and get satisfaction from. Think about yourself and what your strengths and weaknesses are and how they affect your current work.
What is your current position doing for your career and to you as a person, and to your relationships?
Find out what makes other people happy
Talk to your friends and family and network with people you've never met before. Don't forget that you can meet people online and even in ICB's very own Forum. Your idea about the right career might not strike suddenly from above; it's more likely to evolve and develop over time so talk to other people and ask questions. Find out what they enjoy and what you think is interesting about their story.
If you're not sure whether to become a self-employed bookkeeper or work as an employee for someone else, you can be sure there are hundreds of ICB members who have already made that decision and would be happy to offer advice. If online forums aren't your thing then book yourself in to your nearest Branch Meeting.
Research possible careers through the internet and see if you can find a mentor through ICB or shadow someone at work. You could also consider part time work, internships or volunteering if you have time.
Review the fruits of your research and your strongest memories from talking to others. Remember your strengths and take time to remind yourself of them regularly. Create a list of career goals and analyse exactly what you need to do to reach them. Do you need more training, more help or just more confidence?
Having a financial safety net, a few months savings stashed away, could help you find the courage to make a career move or start training for a promotion. Similarly, the more you start to tell friends and family about your plans the more you will come to believe in what you say and feel committed to your goals.
Eventually you will need to stop thinking and start doing. With a proper stategy in place you're ready to put your hopes and dreams into motion. Most of us are hard-wired to fear change and concentrate on our weaknesses rather than our strengths; this can make you undersell youself or stay in a job long after you should have moved on. So regularly remind yourself of your goals and maintain communication with ICB and inspiring members who can help you develop your skills and your plans.
If we are unable to award exemptions based on your qualification or experience, you can take our examinations to gain membership.
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If you are an experienced bookkeeper or have comparable qualifications, you may be able to gain an exemption from ICB examinations.
Advice on running your own bookkeeping business and information on ICB's Practice Licence scheme.