If you’re looking to land your first finance and accounting job, you know it’s a great time to be starting out. The demand for professionals with your skillset is high, and there are many opportunities for you, if you know where to look.
So, for those about to take those first steps, VALiNTRYfinancial would like to submit to you these six tips for how to succeed in your first Finance and Accounting job.
1. Tap into your passion
What motivated you to choose this field of study in school? Was it a love of numbers or was it a means to an end to help you achieve some other goal? Maybe you want to help your community, or you are interested in keeping clients on the right track and above board. Perhaps you’re looking to start your own firm someday?
No matter the reason, to thrive in your first, or any, finance and accounting job, keep those motivations top of mind during challenging times like certification exam prep, the long hours of tax season, or as you interview with a new firm.
2. Keep an open mind
Even though your passion put you on this path to a financial accounting career, you may find the path isn’t what you expected, or you may find new passions as you grow in your career. To ensure you are best prepared for what life throws your way, take every chance to work with as many different people and scenarios as possible. Revel in the fact that you don’t know everything and ask lots of questions while networking with a wide variety of people in your area and online.
3. Stay focused
Focus can come in many forms. But you need to master them all to be successful. Focus on:
Collaboration: Your Finance & Accounting degree was about you. Your Finance Career is about the organization who pays your paycheck. Focus on the “how” of your successes not the “what.” That also means you should share the credit by bringing others along with you and highlighting their contributions above your own. Remember, the lone wolf dies, while the pack survives.
Measurement: As someone in a Finance & Accounting job, you already know the value of being able to quantify results. Don’t forget to apply that same mindset to your contribution to the business and ensure that your efforts are aligned with the organization’s broader business goals.
Learning: Your first job in Finance & Accounting may seem like a dream come true but it’s primarily a learning experience. Yes, you’ll make mistakes. Everyone does and the world goes on. Accept responsibility with grace. Then take that experience and figure out how to avoid that in the future.
4. Get Connected
You’ve got skills, you’re starting a new job, but you still need to stay connected with others in your field. These connections can come in many forms:
Peers: You can learn from other newly hired grads who may be experiencing the same challenges and together you can create innovative approaches and solutions.
Mentors: They have been there, done that. Mentors can give you advice, provide different perspectives and even help introduce you to others who can help your career.
Professional Organizations: From providing continuing education in accounting and finance to sharing best practices from experts throughout your industry, you’ll never stop learning from them. They are also a great place to meet mentors and peers!
5. Aim High
Sure, it can feel awesome (and even a relief) to land your first accounting job. But remember this is just the first step in your career journey not the finish line. Keep that long-term goal front and center so you can be better positioned to develop the skills, network, and experience to achieve it.
Be one of the people that make things happen both for yourself and your new employer. The best way to do that is to find ways to get involved, be proactive, use your strengths to their full potential, and work on gaining competency in your areas of weakness.
Bottom line: If you are good for the business, the business will be good to you. If that’s not the case, then it may be time to try the next tip:
6. Use a Financial Recruitment Agency
We are VALiNTRYfinancial. Staffing accountants and other finance roles is what we do. We are one of the top financial staffing agencies in the U.S. and we pride ourselves on being more than just an accounting job board. We provide personalized, individual attention to all of our candidates whether you are just starting out or looking for a finance & accounting role that leverages your extensive experience. We work hard to ensure that the roles we present you fit your personal and professional expectations. Our team of experienced headhunters walk you through every step of the job search process from resume development, candidate marketing, interview prep, and offer negotiation. With over 300 organizations under contract nationwide, including the Big 4, we can help you find your dream job! Contact us today to get started!