Trainee troubles: Fear of the phones
Accountancy is a challenging career, not just for its technical complexities, but also the requirement to deal with all sorts of people in potentially stressful situations. One budding practitioner brought their concerns recently to our Any Answers page and received some useful advice from the AccountingWEB community.
Speaking to clients for the first time can be particularly daunting. But having to talk to stranges on the phone appears to be a doubly stressful event for some accountants - trainee or experienced alike.
"Anonymous_student", an AAT student working in practice confessed they have "never been very good socially" and never liked using the phone in public.
"I am OK if I am alone and no one is listening, however as soon as I have people around I struggle. Obviously as part of my job I am required to call clients to confirm or request information. This is very difficult for me as it is in an office environment," they wrote.
The fear factor was raised by others listening in and the anxiety that a client might ask questions to which they do not know the answers.
One technique the student uses is to write out what they're going to say before the call, but they still get sweaty palms and palpitations when they have to dial a client.
Have a little patience
Many AccountingWEB members recognised the syndrome and reassured the student that it was part and parcel of the job; eventually you get used to it.
Register for free and log in to see all of the members' advice and practical tips on dealing with phone phobia.