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Probationary Periods

19th Oct 2017
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Up until three months ago, I was working in the management accounts team for a large housing association.

I got to engage in some pretty interesting stuff. Well, as far as accounts goes, I found it interesting.

What got to me was the woeful management (and there was plenty of it), efficiency savings (that were cuts in a very poor disguise) whilst at the same time creating more layers of management.

So with frustration growing, I began to look for another job.

The first interview I got was at a place that sold bacon. I love bacon. I didn’t love the potential employer. I was pleased when I got turned down for the job, because it saved me having the awkward conversation with the recruiter why I wouldn’t accept it.

My second interview was for a large distribution company. Good prospects, good salary and not too far from home. Both interviews went well, and the people that interviewed came across very friendly and professional. I accepted.

The first three months have been eventful.

The first day is always nerve racking. I think it is the fear of the unknown. Will I like the people there? Will I like the atmosphere? Will my chair be comfy? Will I have to walk 7 miles to get a coffee? When is it acceptable to bring in my own mug?

The first week of my employment was management accounts week. For those that work in management accounts, you’ll appreciate that it is a very hectic time of the month. For those that work in practice, imagine January for 5 days ... 12 times per year. This along with new software, new processes, new people and the rest made it quite stressful. The first week was a very steep learning curve, but I survived.

The second week into the job was the annual event. A trip to the races, all paid for (including the bar). It was difficult to resist the urge of the free bar. I can confirm that I was merry, yet sensible. Well, as sensible as you can be after 14 pints of Guinness. Getting everyone on the coach to sing Marching on Together on the way home was good – it annoyed the Ipswich Town supported that had been giving me stick about my beloved Leeds United all day.

Around a month ago, the FD called a few of us in to his office. He asked us to look out of his window and asked us what we could see. Outside was the Financial Accountant with a buck and sponge, scrubbing away at his car. A bird had done a big one on his car, and he was scared that it would damage the paintwork. To top it off, his car was parked outside the office of the CEO. Very funny to witness!

Working through your probationary period is odd. No matter how well the employer says you are doing, there’s always a bit of paranoia until you get that nice letter telling you that you have passed. I got the letter last week confirming that I had indeed passed and to keep up the good work.


Replies (7)

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By FirstTab
19th Oct 2017 11:45

Thank you.

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By Chipette
19th Oct 2017 13:08

Good luck in your new job!

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
22nd Oct 2017 20:16

Well done! Hope it proves to be the right move.

I use to get similar feelings when starting a new job - will I cut it?

You'll probably find out that you're more capable than a lot of the people there.

I also recently found out that that feeling of 'I'm bound to get found out' is imposter syndrome.

Explains a lot really...

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Replying to Kent accountant:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
25th Oct 2017 11:54

Being an arrogant sod, I always felt my employers were the imposters.

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
25th Oct 2017 11:53

Great blog, thanks.

You may have felt that you were "merry, yet sensible" but Gladys in Marketing was telling people something very different ...

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By Agutter Accounts
26th Oct 2017 15:51

I started in management accounts 31 years ago today. It was for the local bus company. We did 13 four-weekly periods so it one and a half weeks hard slog and two and a half weeks catch up.

And then we all got involved in budgeting at the appropriate time of year.

Later on I got seconded on to a special project compiling an asset register.

After three years I moved from Leeds to the north east and worked for a small property company, subsidiary of a large multinational.

The discipline and training I'd had previously stood me in good stead. After a year and a half I ended up as on site accountant. Unfortunately, the 90s recession was by then in full swing and we all got made redundant.

I am now in private practice. The service I provide has a strong management accounting element. The grounding I received all those years ago has been invaluable.

Best of luck with the rest of your career. Remember, financial accounting is for the benefit of keeping the taxman and Companies House off your back. Management accounting is the really useful bit.

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By Adams78
27th Oct 2017 09:05

Love your's so nice to read something so uplifting and non technical!

Good luck for the future!

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