Starting a new job is always bittersweet. On one hand, you have beaten the odds by navigating applications, interviews, deliberations, and landed a role that you (hopefully) love. On the other, you are entering a new space with unfamiliar colleagues and a unique culture.
As the premier executive search firm in the Washington, D.C. area, we have helped place hundreds of finance and accounting professionals in jobs that accentuate their strengths and build successful career trajectories. Here are our tips for navigating your first few days in a new workplace.
Get Up and Running
The growing pains associated with adding a new team member can be sizable, so have some grace with your IT partners as they get your systems and programs up and running. Without being pushy, do your best to get your email and internal software functioning as quickly as possible. The faster you can engage in the daily workflows of your team, the more value you will add the more positive your impression.
Be Upfront about Your Abilities
Avoid digging yourself a hole by overstating your experience or proficiencies. Every accounting or finance job requires certain skills that are unique to that role, so be humble in asking for help in carrying out your responsibilities correctly. The first time you use a specific program, you may be slow compared to others, and that’s ok. Faking that you are more experienced than you are will only handicap you in the long run, as fewer people will be willing to offer help. If you don’t know something, be honest and upfront about it.
In your first few weeks (or even months) you will be inundated with information regarding processes, client backgrounds, and best practices. New hires in finance and accounting jobs always overestimate their ability to remember details. Make it a habit to take notes on a physical notepad when learning a new skill or process so you can be present in the moment while retaining information – these notes can be converted to digital form later on. Demonstrating that you can recollect an item later on due to thorough note-taking will prove that you are a detail-oriented self-starter.
Get to Know the Team
One of the most beneficial efforts you can expend during your introductory period is to get off on the right foot with your manager and co-workers. Set the stage for a collegial relationship by asking basic questions about their families and personal interests, where and when appropriate. Be genuinely interested in getting to know your teammates as individuals, and the trust between you will begin to build.
Observe and Listen
Learning the ins and outs of a finance job is about focused, intentional observation. Notice how veteran sales professionals speak to clients. Take note of how managers run meetings. Be cognizant of which behaviors in the workplace form the backbone of the company culture. The quicker you can get a handle on the way things work, the sooner you will be incorporated as a trusted member of the team. Be an active and engaged listener with every person you interact with.
Finally, learning and prepping are only useful if they can be successfully applied. Once you have learned how to execute certain tasks, take the initiative to spearhead a to-do item for your team or lead a project. As long as you are confident in your abilities, and you are sure no client relationships will be damaged, you should feel comfortable putting yourself out there. If your skills need refinement, your co-workers will understand, and they will respect you for adding value.
An Executive Search Firm that Cares About Your Career
Turn2Partners is one of Washington D.C.’s most reliable and effective executive search firms, and we want to bring your career to the next level. Our team specializes in matching top local and national candidates with finance, accounting, technology, and HR jobs that create a mutually beneficial connection. We will work alongside our candidates to source positions that benefit both your cultural preferences and long-term goals. Visit our website today to get started.
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