Confessions from a 26-year-old accountaholic

What accountants really want from their employers

When you're an ambitious young accountant trying to make your way in the world, climbing the jobs ladder as best you can, it pays to know what you want from your job. Like your Gen Y counterparts, you're educated, digitally engaged and enthusiastic about developing your career. You know what you want, and how to get it.

But at every turn, it seems like there's obstacles - some major, some minor - standing in the way of your career advancement. Why is it that, in the digital age, you should feel constrained by systems and structures which belong to a different century?

You may be qualified, certified and ready to make a splash - but unless your employer switches on and gets up to speed, there's a danger you could be held back. Does your employer know who you are, what you can offer and what you need?:

Mobile device support

You own a next-gen tablet and smartphone, and have super-fast 4G access, yet you find yourself saddled with outmoded corporate devices for work purposes. What use is a company-owned Nokia brick when you're already carrying an iPhone 6? Ideally, you need need network support and permissions for the latest tech at your disposal.

Freedom and flexibility

You're online, all your files and documents are in the cloud, and you're contactable 24/7 online and by phone. So why come into the office 9-5 every day? Technology means you can be mobile, flexible and productive from any location - something which can improve the quality of service delivered to clients.

Social networks

You understand the power of social media and online networks - their ability to inform, engage and build relationships with clients, colleagues and industry contacts. Yet you're blocked from using social media - cutting your connections to the outside world. So it's a case of waiting for your emails to be answered - if they ever get read.

Training and mentorship

You've got your accountancy qualifications, but what you need now is role-specific training, coaching, feedback and expert advice. Where is your access to an experienced industry specialist? You need an open communication channel and regular, constructive dialogue with an expert to support your development.

Stimulating work

Work on key accounts with major clients - that's what you signed up for when you graduated from university. You want exposure to the cutting edge of the sector and the chance to prove your worth to your employer - not menial tasks in the back-office.

Foreign travel

You understand the value of international experience to any accounting CV - so when does the next flight leave? In your mid-20s, it's the ideal time to head overseas. You've found your feet in the sector, but there aren't too many responsibilities at home.

A great contract

You're talented, energetic and eager to make your mark - not to mention outward-looking and upwardly mobile. As such, you want paying the going rate or better - otherwise you'll be looking to move elsewhere. To find out what you should be earning, see the Robert Half Salary Guide to find out what you're worth.

Rapid progression

Given the opportunity, tools and resources, you feel capable of achieving great things. You don't want to wait in line while your colleagues take their promotions - all you ask is to be judged on ability and results. When the chance to move up comes, you'll grab it with both hands.