Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Office Politics Know-how

Life in an Accounting Job, Banking Job, Admin Job, HR Job, IT Job, Call Center Job, and Writing Job can be summarized in one sentence: sitting down and staring at a computer monitor for eight straight hours. That’s it. It’s not surprising that more office professionals get burned out than workers in other environments -- albeit not physically exhausting, this kind of (in)activity is not the most enjoyable as it brings forth mental stress. Good thing, there is office politics that adds thrill to an otherwise boring routine that conventional offices follow.

But don't get us wrong, we're not saying that office politics is a joy nor are we suggesting you to play by its rules to achieve career success. You will be stepping on other people's dreams in the process by doing that. We have to admit though, that there are times that doing so is the only way out. So, should you embrace its influences in your career or resist them? Think of the situation you're currently in. Singapore hopes to help you find your answer in this article.

First things first, what is office politics? The office is an ecosystem that follows the rules of politics -- that's not debatable. The ones with the most number of contacts get to be on top. Quite obviously, the ones who see this office set-up as a career threat are either too good to be able to stomach any activity that involves self indulging or shy. Yes, shy. Either way, you should be aware that positioning yourself as a “commoner” in this kind of setting isn't the smartest of ideas. Office politics is crappy -- Singapore knows that, but if you believe that you are being deprived of privileges in an awfully wrong way, it won't hurt to resist bits of this concept's influences in your career as a professional.

Now, how do you resist these influences? To be able to resist influences of office politics in your career, identify its elements that affect you firsthand.

Let's start with your boss. Is he a power tripper? Does he inhumanely exhaust you? Not all power tripper bosses can be considered a sign of office politics infliction, though a boss that doesn't respect your personal life borders to being such.

Although bosses like to be stoic most of the time, they will talk to you if you ask them to. So, instigate a conversation with yours. Ask him his goals and tell him how you are planning to go about those goals. See if your working policy matches his. If not, suggest ways to make them correlate. Sounds too pushy? Not really, if it's your career that you're trying to save, this is not something to be afraid of. Your boss might even adore your honesty.

Commotion among coworkers is another common element of office politics. Self indulgent coworkers will embrace every means possible to set the odds into their favor. But every office in existence houses such beings so don't pity yourself for having to deal with people like that every working day. How do you deal with this career threat? It's best to ignore them and just do your thing. Pretend that their bantering don't exist, unless necessary. And no, we don't want you to be like them either, please. There are ways in which you can show your boss that you are a good employee without transforming yourself into another office politics element. Let their childish actions be your drive to improve your performance. Enough said.

We’d like to think that you’re already getting the point. Any form of inequality stemming from someone assuming the role of an authority is an office politics element. If you believe that such an element is slowing eating your career prospects up, don’t be afraid to serve justice.