“I’m studying for exams while working full time and it’s killing me

Can anyone give me some advice? I’m studying for the U.S. Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exams while working full time in project finance and it’s proving almost impossible.

I’ve been working in a regional banking role for five years and I typically put in 10 or 11 hour days and have no social life. I want to improve my career prospects, so have started studying the CMA but am open to alternatives like the CFA exams. However, I’m only a few months into this, but already am really struggling.

I’d thought that I would be able to devote two hours every morning to studying, plus extra time at the weekends. But my day job seems to be taking up an increasing amount of my time and I’m under pressure to take on more and more work. It’s become the case that I’m not only working 11-hour days during the weeks, but am putting in an additional five or six hours’ work each weekend. 

In the circumstances, studying is almost impossible unless I give up on sleep. I’m married and my wife is very supportive but it’s still not easy.

Does anyone else have experience of this? I’m at a crossroads. I’m thinking of simply giving up work and devoting myself to study so that I can get a good grade and a better job, but that’s a big risk – and will these qualifications really make any difference?

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