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Career Counselor
Your First Day on a New Job

April 2007 Graduates approaching the workplace for the first time can arrive with a number of different feelings: excitement, stress, pride and anxiety -- just to name a few. Landing that initial accounting position is a major achievement, but your knowledge and credentials will mean little if you don't begin immediately learning how to fit in and become a team player in the new environment.

Prepare. A great way to prepare for Day One is by getting to know the company thoroughly before you walk through the door. Building on the research you did prior to the job interview, try to find out more about the company's mission, history, markets and competitors. Also be sure to brush up on who's who in the corporate structure, as you'll likely meet a lot of people during your first day. Familiarizing yourself now will give you a good head start. 

Look for likely support. You'll probably be asked to make the rounds and meet everyone on your new team, but as you're learning each person's role, pay particular attention to those whom you'll need to rely on the most. Note not only colleagues who might help in making your transition a smoother one, but also who might be of assistance to you further on down the line. Coworkers, managers and department administrators are all potential allies. While the process of forming strong bonds will likely take you several weeks or more, Day One is a great time to begin scouting.

Scope out the culture. Keen observation will make adjusting to your new environment easier. Keep an eye out especially for what seem to be the established "rules of the game." What is the prevailing work style among your colleagues, and how do they interact with one another? It may be tempting to compare your new company's customs to those of previous jobs, but doing so may only complicate your transition. The sooner you adopt your organization's practices as your own, the better.

Although your first day at a new job can feel a bit overwhelming, it doesn't have to. To make it as easy on yourself as possible, a little pre-game research and using your skills of observation once there can go a long way in helping you to fit in right away.

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ACCOUNTEMPS is a specialized temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps provides support throughout an accounting department. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., Accountemps and has more than 270 offices in North America, Europe and Australia. Accountemps' Career Counselor column, a SmartPros staple for over four years, is refreshed twice a month.

2007 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

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