Tips for Young Accountants in the Workplace
By Bade S. Eraslan
Imagine yourself fresh out of college, sitting in a room with recruiters trying to impress them with your resume and networking skills. As you sit there, you try to remember all the answers to possible questions they might ask during an interview that might score the first job of your career. Next thing you know, you get an offer letter and you find yourself sitting in an office ready to start crunching numbers. There you sit, with what I call the “newbie feeling”- the excitement of starting your first job, undermined by a strong undertow of nervousness from not knowing what to expect…
In this blog I want to talk about starting out your career as a young accountant and provide you with tips that I have learned along the way (and continue to learn every day). While I am sure the experience is different for everyone, I hope you will find my insights helpful.
Before your first day or in the first few weeks, you may get caught up in thinking that they expect you to know everything off the bat and you might be ashamed of asking questions. I myself am guilty of this and learned quickly, that’s not the case. Your coworkers or partners know you will have questions and they expect you to ask in order to learn. Also keep in mind that no matter how many years of experience someone has, things are always changing and everyone is always learning something new. Therefore, everyone has questions sometimes. That is the best way to learn and fortunately, I have a great team around me that is always there to help.
Take notes. Get organized. Engage co-workers.
Aside from asking questions, other tricks that have helped me the most is taking notes or saving emails with feedback into a folder in order to reference later. This helps if I ever find myself trying to refresh my memory on a topic I had seen before. Also, sometimes talking out the issue or problem with a co-worker helps as well. There have been many times when I have seen co-workers go over the work together just to make sure they interpreted it correctly.
The beginning of your career can be so exciting but also very nerve racking at the same time. It is easy to get caught up trying to be your best, and learn as quickly as possible to impress your partners. Therefore, it is so important to keep yourself from overthinking and taking too much on at once. It is important to stay calm, organized and be positive! Organization is definitely key as well. It’s important to always stay on track. Keeping a schedule of things to do and trying to stick to it will make it much easier to avoid getting caught up in all of your work and getting messy.
The most important tips I can give to anyone who is about to start their career, would be to be positive and a) ask many questions, b) take a lot of notes, c) be organized and d) learn as much as you can from everyone around you. These steps can help alleviate any nerves or anxious feelings as a “newbie” in the workplace.
Bade S. Eraslan is accounting professional at Bederson LLP in Fairfield. She can be reached at [email protected] or 973.530.9184.