How to Navigate Office Politics: Your Guide to Getting Ahead

The cover of How to Navigate Office Politics: Your Guide to Getting Ahead by Robert Half

Are office politics helping or harming your career? How you handle sensitive workplace situations can make or break your professional image. Whether you work for a major accounting firm or lead a small business, there’s likely some degree of office politics within your company. Most organizations are not immune to political issues, especially small businesses with few employees, where office politics can have a big impact.

Understanding your company’s political landscape can be an important step in your accounting and finance career. At times, your job or office culture may feel like one big political game – office gossip and rumors can spread like wildfire – but navigating office politics does not have to be complex. It’s possible to hire the right fit for your workplace culture in good taste or advance your accounting or finance career fairly! This guide reviews the common types of "political players" in the workplace, how to navigate office politics without compromising your career and how managers can "lobby" for a winning workplace.

Download How to Navigate Office Politics: Your Guide to Getting Ahead to learn how to:

  • Navigate office politics without damaging your reputation, professional financial relationships or accounting career
  • Identify and work with political people in your office and remain attuned to workplace dynamics
  • Manage and mitigate political problems without getting drawn into power struggles or playing petty games
  • Advance your accounting and finance career fairly and with integrity


How to use this guide

Dealing with office politics can be time-consuming and draining. Furthermore, it can be difficult to recruit and retain good employees when political issues are stirring around the office. How you handle office politics in your accounting firm or small business is especially important as your team expands. The key themes of this guide are: managing and mitigating political problems, navigating the waters of office politics without damaging professional relationships and advancing your career fairly and with integrity. The guide offers details on how companies can identify political players and avoid political fallout.

Each section of the report and some key questions answered are detailed below.

Mastering Workplace Diplomacy

Some people will do just about anything to advance their accounting and finance careers. This section will help you identify seven strategies to rise above the fray and climb through the ranks with confidence.

  • How important is small talk in advancing my career?
  • When should I tune into the grapevine or office hearsay?
  • Who should I include in my coalition of support?

Office Politicians: A Field Guide

To identify some of the most prevalent political players in your office along with tips for working with them, use this section.

  • What kind of political players are most prevalent in my accounting firm or small business?
  • How do I work with people who take office politics to an extreme?
  • How do I “self-promote” without bragging?

Managers: Tips on Avoiding Political Fallouts

Managers have an extra responsibility to mitigate political problems in the office. In this section, get questions like these answered:

  • How do I create a positive work environment to encourage workplace productivity?
  • How do I address interpersonal issues in a healthy way?
  • How do I increase employee retention and trust?

How have office politics shaped your career or job? See what other accounting and finance professionals have to say.

Download the infographic here.