NEW YEAR, NEW JOB? Survey Identifies Greatest Challenges When Starting a New Job

TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Workers who ring in the new year with a new job may find learning the ropes to be their biggest challenge, a new Accountemps survey suggests. Nearly half (49 per cent) of employees and 39 per cent of managers interviewed said mastering new processes and procedures tops their list of concerns when joining a company. Twenty-three per cent from each group cited getting to know a new boss and colleagues as the greatest hurdle.

The joint surveys of workers and senior managers were developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialised staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals, and conducted by independent research firms. The surveys include responses from 285 working adults 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment and 342 senior managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

Workers and managers were asked, "Which of the following is the greatest challenge when starting a new job?" Their responses:

                                                      Workers      Managers
    Learning new processes and procedures                49%           39%
    Getting to know a new boss and coworkers             23%           23%
    Fitting into the corporate culture                   15%           21%
    Learning how to use new technology and tools          7%           14%
    Other/don't know/no answer                            6%            5%
                                                        ----          ----
    Total                                               100%          102%*

    *Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

"As professionals gear up to begin a new job, oftentimes they feel both excited and nervous," said Kathryn Bolt, Canadian president of Accountemps. "Newcomers can get off to a great start by quickly learning the organisational processes and 'unwritten rules' of communication in the office."

Added Bolt, "Many organisations offer training and orientation programs for employees to get up to speed on formal procedures. However, some cultural norms within a company aren't as easily apparent -- making it more crucial for new workers to be particularly observant during the interview process, on the first day of the job and beyond."

Accountemps highlights seven tips for employees starting a new job in 2013:

    1.  Clarify expectations. Create a list of goals and responsibilities
        with your supervisor and establish a timeline for achieving them.
        Request feedback to ensure you're on the right track.

    2.  Find a role model. An experienced team member can provide newcomers
        with insight related to office protocol and performance expectations.

    3.  Watch, listen and learn. Each organisation has its own unwritten
        rules. Observe how a top performer approaches problems and try to
        emulate his or her behaviour.

    4.  Go out for coffee or lunch. Get to know your colleagues in less
        formal settings to build rapport.

    5.  Travel in different circles. Use orientation and training courses to
        network with coworkers in other departments. You'll learn company
        jargon, operational practices and values.

    6.  Ask questions. Not asking enough questions is a top mistake new hires
        make when starting a job. When in doubt, seek clarification.

    7.  Strike a balance. Exude confidence, but don't come across as a know-
        it-all. Take in all information before suggesting alternatives to
        current practices.

About Accountemps

Accountemps has more than 350 offices worldwide and offers online job search services at Follow Accountemps for workplace news at, and gain insights into the latest accounting and finance hiring and salary trends at

SOURCE: Accountemps

For further information: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330,


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