top of page
  • Writer's picturePGAA Tax

Our last four placements were for newly created roles. This is how these tax professionals blazed a path of success in their first year

Being hired for a brand new role can be both exciting and intimidating for both the candidate and the hiring manager. On one hand, for the hiring manager, this is an opportunity to shape a position and make it exactly what you need from the ground up. On the other hand, there's no predecessor to model or metrics to strive for. You're truly blazing a new trail and the new hire is looking for guidance, references, and examples of how to be successful when some of these resources aren't documented.

If you are in the position of the new hire, treading in uncharted territory has its challenges, it also allows you to demonstrate your ability to thrive in ambiguity and solve problems creatively. If you approach it with the right mindset and strategies, a newly minted role can be an amazing catalyst for expanding your tax expertise without having shoes to fill so to speak. Here are some tips for a new hire for a newly created role who wants to make a stellar impression and hit the ground running:

Get Clarification on Expectations

Without legacy performance data, it's critical to have in-depth discussions with your hiring manager about their vision for the role's priorities, goals, and key responsibilities. Ask probing questions to gain as much context as possible about what "success" looks like in their eyes, at least initially.

Collaborate on Defining Metrics

Since there are no previous benchmarks for the role, you'll need to work closely with leadership to mutually establish performance metrics and targets. Help create a system for tracking and measuring your outputs in a quantifiable way. This will provide structure around your deliverables.

Conduct a Listen & Learn Tour

When entering an organization in a first-of-its-kind capacity, assume a student mindset. Meet with key stakeholders across various teams to gather insights on their challenges, needs, and perspectives regarding how your role could provide value. Use these conversations to hone your priorities and potential areas of impact. Keep your job description on your desk to make notes, changes, additions to clarify your role as it becomes more clear. This will help you advocate for any promotions, title changes in the future.

Identify Capability Gaps

Within your first few months, you'll start recognizing existing knowledge gaps, process deficiencies, or resource constraints that could undermine your productivity or effectiveness. Proactively document these gaps and propose solutions for addressing them, such as securing additional support staff, implementing new software/systems, etc.


In the absence of defined workflows or milestones for your role, err on the side of over-communicating. Provide regular progress updates to leadership so they understand your priorities and can re-align you if needed. Transparency will breed trust as you navigate uncertainties together.

Seize the Opportunity for Innovation

With no predecessor defining "how things have always been done," you have a unique greenfield to get creative. Identify areas ripe for streamlining or new ways of delivering value. Use your fresh perspective to spearhead positive changes right out of the gate.

Maintain a Flexible Mindset

Expectations and priorities may evolve rapidly in those first months as realities become clearer. Remain nimble and adaptable, continuously revisiting your focus areas with an open mind. What seems important today could shift significantly tomorrow.

While joining a tax department that is growing in its in-house capacity has its uncertainties, it's also a chance to shape something from scratch and leave your indelible mark. Embrace the ambiguity, bring your innovative ideas to the fore, and forge new paths to success. Those who can thrive in uncharted territory have the opportunity to elevate their impact and propel their careers in unique ways.


bottom of page