Why is it that a motivated, hard-working, educated, professional and consistent top-performer, such as myself, can’t get a promotion without playing the office politics game? How many people does one need to suck up to in order to get ahead?
After recently being passed up for a promotion, I discussed with my superiors what I needed to do differently or skills to work on to get promoted when the next opportunity arises. The answer I got was “Keep on doing what you’re doing. You’ll get your chance soon.” I call SHENANIGANS!
If what I’m doing now was enough, I would have gotten the job, right? So I dug a little deeper. I called in favors that were owed to me and got the real scoop. What it came down to was that some of the higher ups making the decision didn’t “know me” well enough. They went with a worse candidate simply because they had worked more closely with him in the past. The advice I received was simply to suck up to the bosses so that next time they will “know me” better.
Now I find myself neck deep in the office politics game. First up was the “organize a new program” round to show I’m a forward thinker. Then the “work in other departments” round to show my versatility. Now a quick round of “look at what I did” emails. The whole thing makes me feel sick because it just isn’t who I am. I’m not, and have never been, a schmoozer!
However, I do like the company, I like what we do and I know I’ll enjoy the next-level job that awaits me. So this time I’ll lace up my gloves and slug it out in the ring of office politics. Corporate world 1, Jeff 0.