3 Things to Do If Given the Opportunity to Start Over One’s First Job

Xue Zing
5 min readJun 8, 2021
Taken from www.mattdisero.com

4 Dec 2017 was the day that held a special meaning to me. It was the day I took my first baby steps into the corporate world, a Big 4 Accounting firm. The mix of apprehension and excitement could probably be seen on my face, the one which all fresh graduates in their first job have.

Fast forward 3.5 years later, it feels like I aged 10 years. Turns out the memes of public accounting were true.

To be fair, accounting is not auditing

I learned a lot throughout my time in the fast-paced audit environment but there were also plenty of regrets, things which I could have done better.

Hence, I have penned down the top 3 things I would have done if given the opportunity to turn back time and start over my first job.

1) Learn more than necessary.

There is a lot to learn in the audit industry. Think of it as being thrown into a warzone and not knowing a single thing about what was going on or what to do. A sample sentence from a senior.

“Get the bank recon from the client and complete the cash section using PYAWP’s as a reference and make sure to cross ref it. It should take only an hour.”

— My Beloved Senior

So I had to learn all at once about, who your client was, how many bank recons there were, what was a cash section, what is a PYAWP, what a crossref is, and how to do it. All of it within an hour.

Fun times.

All I could do at that moment was chaotically learn whatever bits and pieces were necessary to get the job done.

Unstructured learning during stressful times is the worse way of learning anything.

In hindsight, I should have studied more, been more curious, revised more. Revisiting the work during my spare time and slowly retracing my steps should have been a weekly routine.

Why?

Building a strong foundation is the basis of mastering any skill. The same goes for audit. In the long term, learning only what is necessary will cause…

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Xue Zing

Writing about thought provokers that go against conventional self-help