You know how people emphasize on the basics? I'm familiar with that term from university. The basics are the foundation, and foundation is the most important part of anything that anyone wants to excel in.
Let me fill you in on the basics I'm talking about. These basics are things I didn't think were so important (in addition to other minor accountant-related work I had been doing):
|So glad that my colleague agreed to be featured on the blog! Yas! 😜|
There were times when I thought it was unfair and just crazy to be making coffee when I should be doing "accountant" work. I had to make coffee for clients too, who come in for meetings (I still do😂🙈 ).
I ended up appreciating the fact that I can finally make filter-coffee and that I can be humble - treat others as I would like to be treated if I were in their shoes: making sure the coffee is hot enough, cups not wet outside, all necessary goods and cups served using a tray, etc.
Such an attitude is the kind that can open a door for you to be trusted for more and bigger tasks. Our willingness to do anything and how well we do it can take us far.
2. Preparing printing paper
In the spirit of saving paper, there is a rule/policy in the office that any work we need printed for our use (be it for filing or use for our personal tasks) must be printed on scrap paper, i.e paper that already has a printout on the one side. We'd have to use the unused side of the paper.
Now, the duty to prepare these papers has been passed on to me. I have to remove staples from stapled paper, make sure that the right side of the paper is placed on the printer. I had to make sure we never run out of scrap paper - that no one prints only to find that there is no paper on the printer. You can imagine how in trouble I would be if the printer got broken because of paper with staples that went through it, or if someone prints only to find there's no paper on the printer, or if someone printed on the side that already has a printout. Again, this boils down to ensuring that I am excellent on the tasks: make sure there are no mistakes, just like I would want it to be if it were my own company. I would not want unnecessary delays either.
3. Preparing job applications
One of the many other tasks I have is to apply for the boss to be in boards of certain organizations. After a while that I had been given this task, I got to a point where I started saying I want more accounting-related work. Remember, I'm training to be a professional accountant, and my limited knowledge of what that means is that I must only deal with numbers and accounting standards, not job applications.
Now, here's the fascinating thing: the ability to complete and forward these kinds of applications is one of the competencies expected from a professional accountant. It's not just about completing applications. I also have to prepare them for postal: make sure the correct address is written on the envelop, make sure it is addressed to the correct person, make sure all the suporting documents are included. The same goes for emailing applications: the way I communicate to the receiver, making sure that the correct documents are attached, making sure that the email address to which email is being sent is actually correct! All of that may seem simple but is very important, and we can't afford to be making silly mistakes.
More-so, there is a lot more knowledge gained in these applications, information that professional accountants need to know for the general execution of their job as professional accountants.
Now, I'm even more appreciative and very much fortunate to have this job. Not so long ago, the boss even acknowledged my gift of writing and customizing the motivation to the job applications. This is actually the expertise that I had planned to use in the services I provide through Mpilo Publishing (Pty) Ltd: assisting those that apply for jobs with letters of motivation and customising their Curriculum Vitae to the applications.
P.S: you can check out the Facebook page for more information about the services I provide through Mpilo right here.
4. Answering the phone
This is one the the tasks I had undermined for a while, until a colleague mentioned that I must speak clearly and louder, no mono-tone. That may not have moved me, but when he stressed the point about losing clients - uh-oh!
We could have bad days and let that get to us: that mono-tone, unfriendly and soft voice won't be a surprise.
It may seem lame as a task, but it's important, especially if it's that simple task that can make us lose clients. It doesn't even end there: when a call is made, it's important to know who is calling and for what, so that you can pass on the correct message to the relevant person. I have to remember how to accept the call, too (because it's not just pressing the receive button) and I must also know how to transfer a call to another phone.
I could go on forever about more small tasks I do, but one thing I want to stress is the fact that I wasn't able to do all these tasks before, let alone excel in them, but now I can. I acquired skills and abilities that I didn't have.
Once I mastered/got enough experience in the tasks and could be trusted with them, I see now that I have been taken to another level and given an opportunity to master other tasks - more of them being accountant-related.
In a nutshell, I learnt this: don't take anything you learn in the working environment for granted. You acquire skills you didn't have. They may be "lame" but they are the basic tasks that are important in the working world, and not being able to do the basics in the working world is not a good impression to the employer. The basics are needed for us to be able to survive/work in such an environment, in fact to be able to survive in this world!.
I certainly hope you enjoyed that - that it shed some light and helped to see things differently when it comes to the working environment.
Do share your experiences or thoughts on the topic. Check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Student-talk-blog-For-learners-and-students-496094020519505/
Until the next blogpost :)