End of Financial Year Nearly Killed Me

“A good half of the art of living is resilience.”

– Alain de Botton

For those working in financial services, you will likely understand when I say I am glad end of financial year is once again complete. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, you may get an appreciation of this when you read on.

It’s a bit of a strange time; the end of the financial year. There is this looming deadline of 30 June and it’s neither flexible nor negotiable. It’s a hard deadline, like a 10-foot smooth wall with no foot holes!

Implementing certain strategies prior to 30 June can have a significant impact on clients, often both financially and mentally. Sometimes, missing this deadline can create irreparable damage to a client’s future, financially.  It is a peak pressure time where we as advisers are dealing with lots of different clients and lots of different initiatives, within a very small window of opportunity to implement.

Sounds hectic and it is, but that’s not all that is going on. Life in general is also happening. The rest of the world doesn’t stop because the end of financial year is approaching. Actually, I believe due to the pressure and stress created at this time, other things feel bigger or more challenging to handle than perhaps they otherwise would.

For me, this end of financial year was particularly challenging.

As the pressure started to build (and I swear this starts earlier and earlier each year) I got sick. It was just a cold, but you know yourself, when you are not 100%, everything is so much harder. With a deadline looming, I couldn’t simply rest and give my body a chance to recover.

This end of financial year this year coincided directly with the end of the school term too. My kids turn into mini-monsters towards the end of term, every term. It’s a bit of a phenomenon actually, just how they morph at the start of term from these amazing, engaged small humans, to these little beasts you hardly recognise by the end of term.

Earlier this year I commenced further study and as you might expect the timing of the final assessment, an exam, fell in this crazy end of financial year period. 

A week out from the 30 June deadline, I was a bit of an emotional train wreck. It was my mum’s birthday, the first birthday after her passing. It was a very emotional time.

I got through though. There is no other choice but to get through. It is part of the responsibility, the duty we take on when we choose to serve others. It’s a choice to take part in this crazy, manic and sometimes traumatic time of year and I wouldn’t change what I do for a career to avoid it. The trade off to the suffering, namely the privilege to impact people’s lives in the meaningful way in which we do, makes it so worthwhile.

Guide To Thrive Resource: TED TALK, by Kelly McGonigal on how to make stress your friend

A lot of us think of stress as a bad thing but perhaps it is not all bad. Perhaps it is just the way we look at it? In this interesting TED talk, Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal shares a different perspective. Click the link to watch.