Recently my company (who I've been with for just under a year) was acquired by another group. Later this month my new superiors are visiting my branch to meet everyone and have one-on-one meetings.

I've been putting together a list of things to talk about when they come. The list is mostly things like projects I've initiated that are going well, things I'm actively working to improve, and some minor concerns about day to day operations/management.

Is it appropriate to ask my superiors about their view of my upward mobility in a meeting like this? I am a one-person department in one of several branch offices. My supervisors positions are related to other aspects of the business that are not tied to my work. As such, I'm uncertain as to the path for progression within the company.

Any thoughts or perspective is greatly appreciated, this is my first "real" job since finishing grad-school and I'm still adjusting to corporate culture after so many years in academia.


3 Answers 3


Is it appropriate to ask my superiors about their view of my upward mobility in a meeting like this?

If your new superiors already know you well, and understand the great work you have been doing, then it is certainly appropriate to discuss what kinds of career paths they might see for you.

But if the acquisition is very new, and particularly if you have never met with them before, it's unlikely they will have put any thought into individuals' specific situations. You could still ask, but will likely only hear vague generalities.

My company was acquired more than 2 years ago. It is only in the past few months that specific directions have emerged for our division. While the fate of a few individuals working in redundant overhead departments was clear from the beginning (they are long gone), for the rest of us, it's been far more of a wait to see how we fit in. In our case, the acquiring company had only a general idea of where we were going - we got to shape our own future for the most part.

You can always ask anything. But you may want to do it a bit cautiously. Don't expect too much, and don't push too hard - it's likely that the first meetings will be more of a "meet-and-greet" than a "here's where you are going" discussion.


It's not unseemly to ask your supervisor about how you can grow in your career. Since this is an acquisition, my first focus would be on sharing information with them about what you're doing. If they ask you what questions you have, you can think of it as being similar to the kinds of questions that you would ask when you're interviewing for a new job. An appropriate question is about how they measure success in this new company (do they do annual reviews? what is the process for that?), when and how they deliver performance feedback to employees, and how you can grow your skills to contribute more to the company. When talking about upward mobility, make sure that you tie the conversation to the skills that the company values for your position (or for other related positions in which you might be interested) and how your goal is to be more effective in your role.

If you've got access to their internal website, you might want to see if there are HR webpages with information about career growth, available training, career ladders, and other information about growing your career. Reading that before your meeting will help you better understand what they've got in place and help you create better questions about how you can grow.


Since you are meeting your new bosses (from an acquiring company) for the first time, the question I would ask them is "What can I do for you?"

If all goes well, that will get a conversation rolling. After that conversation gets started, then you can ask them about upward mobility. But not before.

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