Whether you are just starting your first job or your 10th job, you will find that office politics is consistent in all companies. Office politics is something that is inherent in any company you may work for. It’s part of the culture and you won’t be able to avoid it. So just how do you survive office politics and still get to make your talents shine? Simple, you need to market your talents everyday, just as you did during the interview that got you the job.
You basically need to focus on fitting in with the scheme of things around the office. Be friendly and outgoing and offer support to your co-workers and management when possible. Refuse to engage in the sleazier side of office politics and soon management and your peers will take notice of you. You will win their support and respect.
Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn to management. Don’t assume that they should know what you do all day. They have their own agenda and may take notice of some things that you do, but many things may go unnoticed. Your positive attitude and activities will rally support and leave a lasting impression to everyone.
It’s ok to offer to take on additional responsibilities, but only do it if you have the time or someone else hasn’t stepped up to the plate. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, it will make matters worse and make you look incompetent. The trick is to show that you are worth more and soon you will not only fit in, but also come to be relied on for more important assignments. You will be a player in the game of office politics, no longer an outsider looking in. An increase in responsibilities usually means a raise as well.
Playing the game of office politics well can lead to many rewards in your career. In addition to fitting in and getting personal recognition when an opportunity presents itself, you also need to accept constructive criticism just as well. Never take it personally, rather look at it as a chance to grow and learn from mistakes. If you come off as defensive when you are being criticized, it will sabotage any chance you have of becoming part of a group.
Know your limitations, toot your own horn, play by the rules, make your talents shine and most of all, respect yourself and those around you. Remember that you will not be able to please all of the people all of the time. But pleasing those that count, those in authority and those that you work closely with is equal to winning half the battle. Be subtle, make the transition as seamless as possible and make yourself useful. Only then will you have a chance at winning the war. It is the easiest way to survive office politics in any company.