How many times do you stop and think (at work) about the office politics? Do you think it is important? It is all around!
When I first started out in the workplace, I had my head down and was under the impression that my work and accomplishments will carry me to the promised land. Well, it still can, but not all the way to the promised land. You need to insure that you play the office politics game.
No secret that large corporations have a very noticeable office political system. All you need to do is walk around with a friend for a day (with your eyes and ears open) and you will see for yourself. Why is it there? Simple – business is about competition. This could be around budgets, opportunities to work on the “hot” projects or with a certain customer. Let’s not forget for personal reasons like promotions, prestige, recognition and bigger salaries. Results are those that politick – win.
The sad truth is, office politics is there if you like it or not. I know of many folks that have refused to play the game. Completely focus on their jobs and work extremely hard in order to be noticed and rewarded for their efforts. With frankly limited results. No one wants to be overlooked! I have also witnessed those that enjoy playing the game too much. They go out of their way to manipulate or use people for their own gain. They normally end up getting caught (either by the team or their management chain). Once caught, you get branded as being “political” – oh no that label is not good. When I was writing this post, I could picture each person as if they were sitting here with me discussing their experiences. Can you?
So, what should you do? You have to find a balance… Office politics does not have to be bad, you have to have an understanding of the politics. Once you understand it, use that for your advantage. You can influence folks and achieve the goals of the organization – which should help you as well. Knowing the people and what makes them tick – can help to drive the end goals or the desired results. I used to think – this is not for me, but after careful review and some strong coaching – I quickly realized I need to play the game. I just play it fair and with the overall intentions of the organization and end results in mind. My individual reward will come from the end results. Am I any good at it? Sometimes – I still want to believe that it is not “that” important (rose color glasses sometimes are put on).
You can either play or get lost in the shuffle. You pick!