Date posted: 18/05/2017 3 min read

Three simple steps for impressing your new boss

What young CAs should do to help ensure they make the right impression on their new boss.

In brief

  • Being authentic and genuine is equally as important as appearance.
  • How you represent yourself will impact how others view your work ethic.
  • Be positive, collaborate and identify opportunities that will set you apart.

When young CAs start a new job there will inevitably be pressure to impress the boss. There are steps that young professionals can take to ensure they make a good impression from day one of their career. Here are three steps to set you on the right track.  

Be genuine, be yourself

Being authentic and genuine is key to making a good first impression on your new boss. Russell Windsor CA, a partner at PwC in Auckland, says it’s important not to be scared of being yourself and to show your new boss the real you.  

“The first thing we look for is people to be themselves – to be genuine and bring their own fresh ideas and perspective,” Windsor says. “It’s no longer technical abilities – they’re taken for granted.  

“We look for juniors who collaborate courageously – appreciating the status quo but speaking out if they see opportunities. Most importantly, we want team members to be passionate and play to their strengths.”  

Dress for success

What you wear on day one is equally as important as it was at the job interview. Ensuring you dress professionally and present well goes beyond appearance – it’s also about attitude, according to David Hutchings FCA, senior partner at AFS and Associates.  

Being authentic and genuine is key to making a good first impression on your new boss.

“Be organised, open and positive to taking on new experiences. If you are not sure what to do, find out,” says Hutchings.  

“Believe in yourself and your ability. This is confidence that doesn’t present as arrogance. Manage upwards, take work from your boss and be there to assist where necessary.”

Think of things you should do before the boss asks for them to be done, he says.   “Ask questions and learn from the answers. Don’t make uneducated assumptions.”  

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Commit to your cause

The things that impress the boss are no different in not-for-profit entities. Melbourne-based Sashenka Worsman, CEO of Oaktree, says always ensure you do what you say you’ll do – and do it to the quality that was expected.  

“Being authentic, and aligning who you are as a person with all you do, impresses me,” says Worsman. “If you do not believe in what you are doing, then change what you are doing. If you do, go for it. Don’t try and fit into the same box as everyone else.  

“Take the initiative and communicate. With technology, you can Google anything while waiting for the boss and by the time the boss gets back you have either finished it, or certainly know enough to ask the right questions.”  

The common advice for team members to be themselves accords well with the life advice given in The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, written by Australian palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware.  

Ware says the most common regret of the many palliative patients she nursed was: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”  

Such a mantra is key to not just impressing your new boss, but also to living a fulfilling, rewarding life.  

This article is part of an ongoing Careers column offering tips and advice for provisional members of CA ANZ and younger full members. For more information on the Chartered Accountants Program, as well as inspiring stories of young chartered accountants, visit now.