Making a Killer First Impression at Your New Accounting Job

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Here are some tips to help you make it count.

So here’s the situation: you’ve just nabbed a new accounting or financial job and are eager to get in your new co-workers’ – not to mention new bosses’ – good books. Of course, ingratiating yourself with your colleagues and superiors isn’t much different from making friends generally. Part of it involves simply giving things some time and letting relationships develop organically, as you grow acclimated to the culture of your company. The last thing you want, after all, is to come across as overly needy, pushy, or desperate.

That being said, there is still a fair bit you can do to help move things in the right direction. And so, we present you with four key strategies for starting off on the right foot and making a truly great first impression in your new accounting job.

Score some quick wins 
Every new position will offer the opportunity to reach for some low-hanging fruit right off the bat. Despite being new and inexperienced, you should be able to fairly quickly determine a few areas or tasks in which you’ll be able to shine. Perhaps it’s reorganizing a QuickBooks file, or tabling a clever idea during a brainstorming session. Whatever it is, figure out early on where you can achieve those quick wins and be sure to use them to your best advantage.

Ask questions – but also give solutions
One of the worst mistakes you can make in a new accounting job is to simply show up, put your head down, and bury yourself in your work. You want to demonstrate to everyone right away that you’re enthusiastic, curious, and proactive – not a robot.

That means showing a commitment to learning by coming equipped with constructive, thoughtful questions (to be asked at appropriate times, of course). But it also means proposing potential solutions to any challenges or issues you’ve noticed in the short time you’ve been there. New hires who are full of questions but short on answers tend not to be regarded too favourably, especially in finance and accounting jobs. You were hired to help improve the business, so offering – respectfully – suggestions as to how operations can be streamlined will show that you’re motivated, smart, and invested in the organization.

Despite being new and inexperienced, you should be able to fairly quickly determine a few areas or tasks in which you’ll be able to shine.

Build relationships across departments
Never underestimate the importance of making a good impression on everyone in every area of your new company. This means knowing the name of the receptionist (and where their kids went to college), as well as knowing the names, roles, and responsibilities of the key decision-makers with whom your direct team interacts.

New finance manager guide

Regardless of how busy you are in the early weeks or months of the job, make the time to introduce yourself to people across departments. Express an interest in getting to know who they are personally, as well as what they do at work. By establishing rapport with individuals at all levels of the company, you can ensure that your experience is positive on a broader scale (and it’s a good way to unobnoxiously build your network, too). 

Buy people coffee 
Over your first 30 days on the job, make a point of setting up one-on-one coffee dates – on you – with different colleagues and superiors. Explain that you’d really like to borrow a brief half hour of their time to get to know them a bit better, and to gain a deeper understanding of their role within the company. The best accountants know that taking time to sit down with different people individually and have a personal, face-to-face chat will go a long way in establishing yourself as a likeable, trustworthy, and enthusiastic new member of the team.

One of the worst mistakes you can make in a new job is to simply show up, put your head down, and bury yourself in your work.

To be a successful accountant, making a solid first impression on the people you will, potentially, be spending countless future hours interacting and collaborating with cannot be overstated; it’s almost as important as learning the ropes of the position itself. So make nice, and be sure to play your cards right during those crucial early days on the job.

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!