Office Politics 101

Employees should keep their heads low and get busy.

Whether you agree or not, the statement above is often reinforced by years of experience.

The inexperienced often ruffle feathers thinking they are bringing progress only to find themselves at loggerheads with the boss or other powerful employees.

There is a method to getting influence at the workplace, operate smoothly for your own sake.

As an employee, each office has its own different set of politics. As soon as you arrive, some people like you, others have no issue whether you are there or not. Others outrightly hate you from the get-go. It’s important to note these subtle things and from whom they are coming. With time some may change their approach while others will be snakes in the long run.

It’s advisable to be aloof as much as you can and show your brilliance only to those that enable your ascent to the top. Showing peers and others competing for the same ladder advance will breed jealousy and backstabbing early.

Take note of everything that happens, reserve your feelings towards this. Just know. All this information will come in handy at times.

Be useful to the boss.

Above all else, there is work that brought you to the workplace, that gets you through the door. Find more ways to be useful than any other person, constantly improve on your skills, and get additional skills related to what you do. Be faster and dedicate a good amount of time to do your job. Above all be a reliable person at the workplace. If you say something, follow through with it.

Give the boss all the credit.

At any given opportunity, find a way to pass glory to the boss on work well done, find a reason and a way to make sure your success is tied to your superiors. It’s very difficult for seniors to counter this, it’s difficult for fellow employees to match your ethic. Make sure it’s not cynical, let it be sincere. It’s an art to learn how to give others glory. Whenever things go wrong, find a way to shift the blame elsewhere in public but in private with the bosses find a way to take ownership of your mistakes and offer remedies.

Stay off any scandals involving your boss.

In the workplace power struggles, avoid any that brings you in conflict with the boss. This is usually divided into two for context.

  1. Avoid competition with any romantic interests the bosses may have on others, it happens.
  2. Stay out of power struggles between senior employees, take note of them early, and keep off.

If your boss has any romantic interests in someone, it’s better to coil up in a fetal position and dream of faraway destinations you may want to visit alone. Don’t crack jokes and bring your personal interests in that play.

Bosses may avoid such scenarios when the advantage is not on their side but the payback will come when least expected. They note this down in their mental notebooks and wait for company restructuring. They often also accelerate company restructuring dates for this one reason alone.

Your bosses noting your romantic plays that are at friction with their interests only gives them an ax to grind later. Their silence and attitude shift point to a sharper ax.

Find out how other employees got employed.

Never overlook this aspect in the broader picture of understanding office powerplays. It’s often that lovers are employed in the workplace. Some have the bosses’ ear and private parts secretly. In the balance for power, their influence holds much more sway over logic. Some may be way younger than you but move mountains in the office powerplays.

Stay off the senior’s girlfriends, wives, relatives, and any other that may come into this sort of relationship. You will suffer!

Be loud when coming to the office in the evening and morning.

You do not want to catch anyone above your paygrade in a compromising position. You do not want to be a party to secrets. While some of you may think that you can hold the boss at ransom when you find them making out with an employee or someone else, in the real world you are often a marked man for termination. The senior’s station doesn’t allow them to apologize and their egos have no room for such embarrassment. Just be noisy and give time for people to expect you. No surprises.

lastly, Leave work early, at the official time every day.

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