College is over, and the new job starts on Monday.  Panic sets in while tossing around all the thoughts of who, what, when, where, and why the job will be a challenge.  It is crucial to understand what is required of the novice accountant.

Survey data suggests that newly hired accountants have 90 days to prove that they mesh with the company.  Employers are very strict, as financial data is one of the most sensitive areas in which one could work.

People do not like to have problems with their financial dealings. Perfection is highly valued, but take heed young CPAs.  There are a few noteworthy tips to be shared that will help guide new hires in the right direction.

Dress the part

It really does not matter whether the new job is working for a big bank in mortgage lending or preparing financial documentation for a small business on the corner.  Dress to impress.  Accountants deal with a whole lot of money.

It makes people feel safer when they see someone well-groomed and well-dressed handling their finances.  Remember this when preparing for work; It will not make a poor impression to dress more conservatively, but it will always hurt to be dressed too casually.

Do not limit challenges

Do not limit challenges.  Challenge limits.  Strive to do better, every day. Employers want to see a drive to learn and refine a person’s skills.  Seek out opportunities that “stretch” current capabilities.

Just as we build new muscle from stretching and carefully tearing old muscles, our skills as an accountant should have the opportunity to build. It is not too “cheesy” to directly discuss ways to stretch foundational knowledge and build upon it.

Refrain from engaging in office politics

It is good form to refrain from engaging in office politics and other idle chatter.  Do not be a proverbial stick in the mud, but leave personal conversations to a more personal setting.

Try to stay above the curve when office chatter turns into complaints or rumors about other coworkers.  Cubicle gossip is not relevant to business, especially for a new accountant.  Engaging in this type of conversation can damage future relationships in the office.

Seek out mentors

We are never too intelligent or perfect to refuse quality guidance.  Just because college is conquered and the new job requires a suit and tie, it does not mean the thirst for knowledge should die.

Seek out veterans that are willing to offer occasional guidance in the office.  A good mentor could mean the difference between a six-figure paycheck and a skip above minimum wage.  Listening skills are highly rewarded in the realm of accounting.  It is never a bad idea to shut up and listen.

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