In the Dark About Your Career Path? You’re Not Alone

Career Path

You’re expecting a performance review any day now. You’re waiting for your manager to bring it up. Many of your coworkers are already talking to their bosses about their career path, raises and promotions. It’s that time of year.

But then that time of year comes and goes, and still, you hear nothing.

You’re not the only one in this position. In fact, 40 percent of finance and accounting professionals in a Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey say their managers never discuss their career path with them. But 93 percent of finance and accounting professionals said they’d like the chance for a career discussion with their manager. 

In the research, finance and accounting professionals were asked, “How often would you like your manager to discuss your career path with you?” and “How often does your manager discuss your career path with you?” Their responses:

Career Path








To quote author Lisa Quast, founder of Career Woman Inc., “You need to take ownership in driving your career advancement.” Nobody else is responsible, except you.

That being said, here are some tips when approaching your manager about your career path:

1. Evaluate yourself first

Take a look at your performance since your last review (or your start date) and spend some time writing down the projects and responsibilities you’ve handled. What went well? Where could you improve?

2. Strategize goals for the coming year

Know that this discussion is one centered around goals – goals you’ve met, and goals you and your manager will set. 

3. Write down your questions and be prepared to ask them

This is your opportunity to get direct feedback regarding your performance and future with the company. Some additional questions to consider:

  • Do you have specific training and development opportunities or a credential in mind that could add to your skill set?
  • Is there a new accounting software program you want to implement that could save your company time and money?
  • Do you know how much of a salary bump you want, and what research have you done to show why you deserve it? (Consult our latest Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance.)
  • Do you have an answer in mind to the question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Avoiding a career path discussion could result in negative feedback or a pile of more work. But conversely, if you ask for the meeting, you could receive a special recognition for all the long hours you’ve put in on a project or that better title.

You’ll never know, unless you ask. 

Download our infographic, which shows more of the career path survey findings.

Career path infographic

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