Begin Again

I am back in a cubicle. I have been back to work for the past week and a half and it has been different. The cubicles are a little lower and there is not as much sunlight. Outside of that, everything else seems to be going splendid. I do have to admit, the extra driving time is a slight drag, but I cannot complain too much. It is still less than an hour each direction.

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As I prepared to enter a new industry I worried that I would have a hard time coping. I had seen almost every aspect of the accounting side of the coal industry, but this was a completely foreign land for me. I knew that I understood the basic accounting concepts from one industry to another as there are some things that do not change regardless of the industry.

What I have found through these past eight days is that it is alright to tell someone you do not know. It is better to ask questions than it is to shake your head like you know what you are doing and cause issues later. Any manager would prefer to explain things one more time than have to explain to their boss why things were missed.

It is also important to ask people to slow things down if you feel overwhelmed. I work with people who have been in this field for almost thirty years and have been operating the same systems for just as long. When they spout off report numbers and leave you clueless it is easy to zone out. Rather than doing that, ask them to slow down and explain what the reports are representing and what the source information is. Having a background knowledge will help you later on down the road when someone is questioning your methodology. It is better to have a response than to tell someone that s procedure is the way it is simply because that is how you were trained.

I think that even if you do not find yourself in a new work environment, these are things that should be applied in every situation. It matters in an office, it matters in a church, and it matters in a family. Asking to understand and for clarification will help to make the adjustment easier.

What other words of advice to you have to offer? Have you ever been too afraid to ask someone to slow down? How did that end up working out in the long run?

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