New CPA On the Block

Julie Shenkman
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A new job. Your first "real" job. Wow! This can be a very exciting time filled with all kinds of emotions and questions. You may wonder: How will I do? How will I meet anyone? Are my co-workers going to like me? How will I learn everything I need to know? Don't worry. All of these questions are normal when beginning a new job.

What should you expect after walking through the door? A lot of time spent learning. Your orientation period will include learning everything from where the coffee machine and bathrooms are to where the staff printer is located. The size of the company will determine how and where you get your training. In a small business environment, most of your training will be performed on the job. In medium and large firms you may attend up to two weeks of in-house training on everything from how to document your time to accounting and auditing policies.

At a small firm, initial training time generally is limited to less than one day and you will quickly be learning on the job. As a new staff member, you will meet most staff personnel the first morning and be informed of office policies and procedures. By the second day, you will be up and running in your new career.

On the first day at a medium or large business, the Human Resources Director will greet you, review the employee manual and basic office procedures, ask you to complete the standard administrative forms and give you a tour of the office. Human Resources may arrange to take you out for lunch. You also will receive the necessary tools and equipment, such as calendars and desk supplies; you will need to be a viable part of your organization.

The rest of the week will consist of learning - learning new software, new names, new policies and procedures. You will learn how the software works, as well as the fundamentals of the phone and voice-mail system, including access codes and more. You will be introduced to new people and told how their role interacts with your position. It will hit you like a wave. Every time you turn around someone or something new will confront you - a new form, a new person, a new policy.

You may begin to wonder when you will become accustomed to your new environment. But don't worry; in a short amount of time, you will become comfortable in your new surroundings. While it might appear overwhelming at first, in a matter of time you will be a seasoned veteran helping the new recruits ease their anxieties.

Easing into your new job:

  • Have lunch or talk with seasoned employees during a break.
  • Keep a list of questions, then pursue answers.
  • When organizing files, ask how others keep their system.
  • Review office policies at the end of the first week as a reminder.
  • Post office map and phone extensions at your new desk. Admit when you have forgotten a name.
  • Bring personal items to place in your workspace to make your surroundings more familiar.
  • Realize that you are a valuable employee and that everyone has experienced being the "new kid on the block."

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  • Cassara
    You've covered all the bases with this answer!
  • Ethanael
    Kudos to you! I hadn't thought of that!
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