Tips for New Accountants

It’s your first job, you’re ready to work hard, make a good impres­sion and jump on the fast track.  But you see a lot of others just like you. In the staff room is a collec­tion of shining stars all burning with ambition and determination. Rumors are flying about one person’s family ties to a vice president, another’s great grades at an Ivy League school, a third’s , incredible work as an intern … and then there is you, an unknown, who is presently very unsure about your chances for success.

Whether you’re an unknown or any of the others described above, there are ways to improve your chances. The first is to forget about things you cannot control.  If you’re going to have less success because of some factor you have no control over, so be it. But do everything you can to enhance your abilities, overcome any disadvantages, and provide your very best effort. Then you can be satisfied that you performed your best and thus maximized your achievement. Sure, happen­stance plays a factor in all careers, but being prepared to accept and take advantage of the breaks that come your way is far more impor­tant than luck.

Other ways you can improve your chances for success include:

  • Listen carefully to everything your boss says. Create an image that you are eager to learn.
  • Work hard. Always give 100 percent effort. You will be noted for your effort and be better prepared than your peers, who like to coast when not under pressure and provide maximum effort only when it really counts.
  • Develop a professional atti­tude. Don’t second guess and never participate in gripe or gossip sessions. If you don’t understand something, ask for a fuller explanation when the time is right.
  • Never criticize peers. You may make yourself look better in the short run, but others will assume you must not be measuring up if you need to hide behind criticism.  Know and follow the rules, customs and traditions of your organization.  Failure to do so will make others question your commitment and seriousness, and place you behind others of equal ability who appear more diligent.
  • Be visible. If you are too passive or reserved, you may not be noticed as much as those who express themselves. But be careful how you are seen. Cockiness or arrogance are not the best ways to get yourself noticed. One good way to attract positive attention is through honest enthusiasm. By being one who contributes to a fast-paced environment, you’ll distinguish yourself as not only a contributor, but a leader.
  • Most important of all, be a producer. This is the best method for getting ahead. A good producer cannot go unnoticed for long, but recog­nize the difference between effort and production.  At the end of the .day it’s not how hard or long you worked but only what you produced that matters.