your first month in a new position and it's rougher going
than you'd anticipated. You feel like an outsider and you're
miserable. Pondering how this happened, you nostalgically recall
how comfortable and well-liked you felt in your last job.
Not only do
you possess the requisite skills to do well in your new position,
you've also built a solid reputation in this field. Yet,
you are floundering. Badly.
not the actual work that is driving you crazy; you like the work.
Even the long hours are not the problem.
the emotional undercurrents, gossiping and backstabbing thickening
the air that you find exhausting.
Don't complain, gossip or join in backstabbing conversations. Kvetching
will get you nowhere...
You can't seem to find your feet and get traction in your new environment. And people have started to notice and are making comments.
What the heck is going on here? Welcome to the world of office politics.
Here are tips to help you survive and thrive:
mentor either inside or outside the company. A mentor
can offer advice, counsel and act as a sounding board. Getting
objective, professional support is crucial.
of who performs well in your company. Observe their use of language,
tone of voice, confidence level, and preparedness. Learn from
their behavior and emulate it.
complain, gossip or join in backstabbing conversations. Kvetching
will get you nowhere.
read the company's culture. How do people dress and speak?
What is the company's mission statement? How is it reflected
in the workplace and in the treatment of employees? For example,
if you work for an environmentally-friendly company, don't
brag about your SUV.
alliances. Make yourself valuable to those with power, knowledge
or tenure. Go out of your way to offer assistance. When you
need help, you'll have established a network of supporters.
you speak or act. One impulsive, off the cuff statement or act
can significantly damage your career. Silence is golden, especially
when you are angry, tired or at a company-sponsored office party.
e-mails for typos and politically incorrect language. Every
message you send is being judged. Make sure you don't bury
the lead in your business e-mail. Get to the point quickly and
end with a call to action.
second-party endorsements. If you've performed well in
an assignment or project, asking the manager whom you've
helped to pass along words of praise to your boss is a smart
thing to do. If they are willing to put it in writing, better
sense of humor. This can be your ace in the hole! It will get
you through trying times and people will seek out your company.
effectively survive office politics is a skill that you perfect
with trial and error. Anytime there are more than two people working
together, you can experience tension and conflicting desires.
You'll need a tool kit of survival techniques. Start practicing