office politics

How to Stay Above Board in Office Politics

Unfortunately, office politics occur in most companies. When people spend the majority of their waking hours together vying for the same raises, competition is inevitable. A survey of over 1000 workers revealed that just over half participate to some degree in water cooler activities. Three-quarters believed that their office politicking is a means of getting ahead. However, there are numerous pitfalls to getting swept up in office politics.  So, what steps can you take to prevent your career from being damaged by negative office politics?

Steer Clear of Gossip

It can be tempting to get caught up in the rumor mill in the break room. Despite these temptations, it is best to refrain:

  • Although, rumors about corporate and department changes may be well founded. It’s better to listen, gaining information without becoming engaged.
  • Stay away from the personal side of things. Others’ lives and choices outside of the workplace best remain there.

Beware of the Constant Flatterer

Strike a balance between sincere compliments and gratitude and use of flattery as a ploy for position. Astute colleagues know the difference and can become dismissive of people with this calculating behavior.

Communicate Consistently

Clear, consistent communication is an effective way of navigating office politics while maintaining integrity.

  • Keep pace with managers’ preferred communication methods, be it email, phone, in person, or a variety.
  • Be true to yourself, your role, and assuring your responsibilities are fulfilled effectively.
  • Rely on effective listening skills to be clear about others’ messages.
    • Doing so avoids confusion, especially about more controversial issues that lead to rumors.
    • Equal talk opportunity lets you know what’s on colleagues’ minds about their work and the organization.
  • Hold your ground when and where it matters, doing so clearly and graciously.

Give Credit Where Due

Act in an above-board manner on behalf of your team’s creators, innovators, and mentors.

  • Doing so helps to counter the office politics actions of those who take credit for others’ work.
  • Giving sincere credit where due shows your respect for colleagues and your mutual work.


Office politics can change an awesome job into something you dread very quickly. So keep yourself above gossip and remembering why you are there — to create value.

cfo office

Plan Your Path to the CFO Office

Design a path that offers you the diverse skill set that the Chief Financial Role role requires. According to recent surveys, most CFOs started their career paths in business development and human resources, followed by technology.  Very few executives jump directly in the CFO office. In fact, most CFOs report that they earned an average of nearly ten years of accounting and finance experience before making their way into the CFO office.

Decide if the CFO Office is Right for You

With leadership comes responsibility. Determine if achieving these are among your aspirations and skills:

  • Managing financial risk as well as planning and ongoing accounting systems.
  • Analyzing the sector’s financial trends.
  • Negotiating and overseeing the finances of acquisitions, mergers, and business salvages.
  • Fulfilling the dual role of Chief Executive Officer and CFO in smaller companies.
  • Dedicating yourself to 10-15 years of progressive, diverse experience to get to the CFO office.

Get on the CFO Path by Taking These Steps

Because the route to becoming a CFO is diverse, select where to begin and go from there.

  • Be intentional with your planning.
  • Stay up-to-date with CFO skill trends, paying particular attention to projected needs.
  • Scan for positions in organizations that offer you needed skills and growth opportunities.
  • Prepare yourself and those in your life for ongoing change, including continued education.

Develop CFO Knowledge and Skills

Assure you have a broad base of financial experience.

  • This may include working in non-profit as well as profit-based settings.
  • Be secure with financial fundamentals and accounting principles.
  • Gain digital knowledge to keep pace with cloud-based information, big data analytics benefits and functions, and cybersecurity needs.

Advancement, Continued Learning, and Certification

  • The CFO role requires advanced education, such as holding a master’s in business administration (MBA).
  • Position yourself for advanced positions, including that of accounting manager, controller, or managing treasury functions.
  • Become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) as almost half of CFOs hold one.

Broaden Your Customer Service Awareness

  • Review customer service trends in your current organization.
  • Consider these in terms of financial implications and determine methods for improvement.
  • Learn about the CFO’s role in assuring quality customer service.
  • Develop solid soft skills to work well with customers and colleagues.

Are you an accounting and finance professional who is job hunting?  Click here to see Beacon Resources’ current job openings.


big data

Big Data is a Boon for Business Analysts

Whether you are presently a business analyst or considering it as a career path, big data is affecting your work. Its influence is broadening required skills, overall responsibilities, and your position within organizations. Develop big data aptitude to boost your career.

With average base pay at just over $69K, and an upper range of $90K+, pursuing this role offers current and promising future potential. Manager salaries range 20% higher with annual increases being above average.

Grow with Big Data Capability

As data capacity and analytics evolve, so is the business analyst role, also referred to as a systems analyst. This role has typically meant working on team projects, using data to shape and improve the efficiency of business operations. Big data analytics capacity is stimulating the need for the broadening of business analyst skills to include:

  • Working knowledge of programming platforms and language.
  • Merging business operations acumen with technical capacity. Simply put, the business/systems analyst translates data language for business operations understanding and application.
  • Using data analysis across departments to identify points of efficiency and discrepancy.
  • Designing queries to collect data that:
    • Relates marketing methods with supply and demand ratios;
    • Associates geographical distribution with competitors’ measures; and
    • Aids in projecting trends in relation to internal capacity.
  • Sophisticated critical thinking abilities.

Prepare Yourself for Required and Preferred Qualifications

Just as business analyst roles and responsibilities are expanding the job description, so too are employee qualifications. To increase your future opportunities, such as moving into a senior business analyst role:

  • Acquire at least three to five years of progressive business analyst experience.
  • Continually grow your technology, analytical, and soft skills to demonstrate a diverse set of abilities.
  • Track emerging trends for business analysts across sectors to assure your experience and learning is keeping pace with the field.
  • Advance your education, moving toward acquiring a Master of Information Management, Business Analytics, or Applied Analytics.
  • Pursue a business analyst credential such as:
    • The IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis;
    • The PMI-Professional in Business Analysis Certification; or
    • One of the other certifications available for business analysts.

If you are a Business Analyst interested in new job opportunities, click here to explore Beacon Resources’ open positions.