No matter what anyone tell you about leaving school and ‘growing up’, I can safely and confidently tell you that in ALL OFFICE ENVIRONMENTS you will encounter ‘Office Politics’. Even though we are all meant to be ‘adults’ and beyond all of that. It’s not too dissimilar to high school at times in all honesty.
Even in the very best offices, where the pay is great, conditions are good and the office is fancy… There will be office politics there in one form or another. No one prepares you for it, you are thrown in at the deep end and it’s easy to find yourself on the wrong side of it all.
The new guy is naturally on the outside as everyone susses him or her out, there are office ‘clicks’, the boss’s ‘favorite’, the ones who speak out (the freedom fighters) and those who quite literally always manage to stay out of any trouble or commotion.
Personality types can clash or work in complete harmony. Now consider that you chuck them all in a room together for 8 hours a day and then throw MONEY into the mix.
A lot of things goes on during your time within those walls of your office that are far outside of your control. What you can control is what’s important and the experience that you have whilst you are there. It’s natural to want to be everyone’s friend, but it’s important to know that being everyone’s friend will not always get you to where you want to be on your career journey.
Most common mistakes to avoid :
The most common mistakes to avoid if you want to get to encounter office politics and how to TOP your career game:
1. Don’t try to be everyone’s best friend
It’s not a social club, this took me a while as I’m a people leaser! By all means, make friends, but don’t exert any energy on trying to please everyone or prioritize being friends with everyone over getting the job done. Some people will be negative or want to whine, you don’t have to jump on every bandwagon, try to be the neutral person of the office and focus on a job well done.
2. Don’t speculate
You know that buddy in the office that you talk to about what happened in ‘so and so meeting’ or whinge together about what annoyed you when the new process came out while you sat at your desk or talked at the water cooler. Even when you think you are being REALLY discrete, you aren’t.
The boss will know when you are gossiping about things, this is why the ‘Starbucks’ rule was invented. The Starbucks rule means if you ARE going to talk about things that are going on, don’t do it until you walk past a Starbucks. If you do it in the office, someone will pop up behind you and hear it. (it’s inevitable).
So at least wait until you are far away from the office without a chance of the boss being behind the thin wall or large plant.
3. Don’t smack talk about your boss to your colleagues
Don’t smack talk about your boss to your colleagues, they will tell your boss at the Christmas function.
Yep, it’s a thing. Even your closest colleagues have the potential to have one to many espresso martinis and innocently spill the beans on the things you may have regretted venting about weeks ago. Be careful of the words that come out of your mouth as there’s every chance they may come back to hunt you later on. Normally at the work functions.
4. When you’ve had a terrible morning :
Even when you’ve had a terrible morning, don’t let the people around you see it, the boss will always notice your attitude and the impact you have on the people around you
You are always being watched. Creepy right? But it’s true. It’s your job to do your thing. Its someone else’s job to make sure you are doing your thing well. That person will be feeding back your attitude, efficiency, and results. Just make sure you don’t give that person anything to report back on that’s bad, simple eh? No, we all have wobbles, no one is perfect.
Just take note and be aware of this fact and things will work out a whole lot better down the track for you.