What Are You Looking For From Your Next Boss?

They say that people don’t leave organisations.

They leave or stay depending on their direct boss.

I know that when I look back over the last 40 years of my career, what difference a good boss made.

In many ways I would have achieved nothing in my career in accounting if it wasn’t for the boss who saw potential and gave me a gentle nudge to sign up for an accounting diploma.

That boss got me on the road to becoming a qualified accountant.

Here’s the thing, many accountants in my experience, don’t even consider what they are looking for in a boss when looking for their next job.

Despite the fact that they are probably going to spending a significant part of their week with their boss.

That’s the reason why, when I’m working with people, one to one on their next career move, I get them to articulate what they are looking for from their next boss.

Some of what they tell me isn’t a surprise.  Other things are.

So what might you be looking for in a boss, if you’re an accountant?


This is particularly important in the early stages of your career, when you maybe are looking for support to get professionally qualified.

Financial support helps. 

Often it’s the support to you finishing at a regular time, so that you can study to a schedule helps.

So does paid time off ahead of exams.

As you become more senior it might be support to get involved in projects to help you develop your broader business and interpersonal skills.


Different people have different career aspirations.

Accountants are no different.

At the same time it’s always good to have the opportunity to access training or conferences if you want it.


As you gain experience, you find your own ways.

A lot of accountants really want to have the freedom to find their own solutions to problems.

Or even get to the end result on their own path.

A boss who’s a micro manager is going to be a nightmare for someone who wants freedom.


What I’ve noticed over the years you can learn an awful lot by observing.

Seeing traits or behaviours you want to develop.

And even traits or behaviours you never want to have.

Fundamental to this is having a boss who you might call a role model.


I don’t just mean being told how great you are.

What I mean is constructive feedback. 

A boss who will let you know where you are doing really well and will give you practical help you to get even better.

So over to you.  What are you looking for from your next boss?

  • […] CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Goals and Achievements […]

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