Survey Identifies Greatest Challenges When Starting a New Job

Dec 20th 2012
Share this content

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. Forty-four percent of employees and 60 percent of managers interviewed said mastering new processes and procedures tops their list of concerns when joining a company. One in five respondents (20 percent) from each group cited getting to know a new boss and colleagues as the greatest hurdle.

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


  • Learning new processes and procedures: 44 percent
  • Getting to know a new boss and coworkers: 20 percent
  • Learning how to use new technology and tools: 17 percent
  • Fitting into the corporate culture: 12 percent
  • Other/don't know/no answer: 7 percent


  • Learning new processes and procedures: 60 percent
  • Getting to know a new boss and coworkers: 20 percent
  • Learning how to use new technology and tools: 12 percent
  • Fitting into the corporate culture: 7 percent
  • Other/don't know/no answer: 1 percent

"The first few days and weeks on a job can be both exciting and overwhelming as new hires familiarize themselves with the company's work environment and policies, including any unwritten rules", said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Human Resources Kit for Dummies, 3rd Edition. "Taking full advantage of orientation events and opportunities to meet and interact with colleagues can help smooth the transition." 

Messmer added",Most companies provide training so employees can get up to speed on formal procedures. However, it's often more challenging to learn the cultural nuances of the firm, including how people prefer to communicate and collaborate."

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 time line 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 organization has its own unwritten rules. Observe how a top performer approaches problems and try to emulate his or her behavior.
  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 the survey:

The joint surveys of workers and senior managers were developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance, and bookkeeping professionals. The survey was conducted by an independent research firm. The surveys include responses from 420 working adults eighteen years of age or older and employed in an office environment, and 1,014 senior managers at US companies with twenty or more employees.

About Accountemps:

Accountemps has more than 350 offices worldwide and offers online job search services. Follow Accountemps for workplace news at and gain insights into the latest accounting and finance hiring and salary trends. For further information, contact Michael Weiss at (650) 234-6383 or [email protected].

SOURCE: Accountemps


Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.