I really do. Like, why must people have such fragile egos in the workplace? It’s work, not prom. No one is getting crowned king or queen around here.
According to Wikipedia, workplace or office politics is defined as:
The strategies that people play to gain advantage, personally or for a cause they support. The term often has a negative connotation, in that influence by individuals may serve personal interests without regard to their effect on the organization itself.
Workplace politics often play a huge role in how you communicate and interact with those in authority or those with a higher title than you. More than likely, you’ll experience this at any large organization. (Sometimes small ones, too!) But I’ve been going through it a lot lately and it’s seriously so tiring. Don’t get me wrong. There are ways to use workplace politics for good. But that’s not what I’ll be discussing in THIS post. If you’re like me, and you’re still working your way up the food chain, below is a list of a few office politic-y things to watch out for.
Disclaimer: Strong sarcasm will be used.
Double check your emails. Then, check them again.
Be careful about how you ask for things from managers and directors/executives. You wouldn’t want to make them think that you’re “demanding” anything. They’re above you, so make sure you treat them as such. And by golly, be ready to pack up your desk if you don’t address them first in a group email. I know you have more important things to think about, but these things matter, too.
Get ready for the you’re-not-a-manager treatment.
Oh, you thought that since you were planning the big end-of-year conference, that you would get treated with more respect? No, no. You’re still just another worker bee in a field of honey combs. You thought your job was important? Eh, not that important. Because the word “manager” is not in your job title. You might be the only marketing coordinator employed at your organization, but trust me, other people can do your job better than you.
Your opinions matter.
Just kidding. Be prepared to get talked over in strategy meetings and pushed aside when expressing concerns about legitimate issues. Your opinions don’t matter. They only matter to your spouse. And maybe your dog.
Be EXTRA nice to your boss’ friends.
They have an impact on whether you keep your job, too.
And lastly, the only people you’ll interact with is your boss and anyone with “coordinator”, “specialist” or “assistant” in their job title.
Don’t worry. You’ll get used to keeping your head low and worshipping the ground these executives walk on.
I read this article called Corporate Politics 101: The Nine Signs of an Overly Political Organization. And the author did a really good job of explaining what a political organization looks like and some ways you can help fix it. It was a great read!
Despite what I wrote in this post, I’m not here to complain. I understand the importance of higher positions, and I completely abide by the chain of command. HOWEVER, we all have a job to get done. And when there’s a job to get done, I have less time to worry about managers and their mammoth-sized egos. Unless I’m being completely disrespectful (which I’ll never be), let’s move on. Time is money.
I hope you all enjoyed my rant for the day. Are any of you going through a similar problem at work? Feel free to share your story in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!