Office Politics

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.

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2 thoughts on “Office Politics

  1. I hear ya on this one. I think there are ways to gain notoriety without being a total putz, though. I’ve found that I easily and quickly have been able to build my reputation and broaden my network by volunteering for special projects. Right now, I’m on two committees that I’ve been able to use to prove that I’m both a consistent worker that puts out a good product, and an active contributor. If there are opportunities for you to get more involved in work or in the broader community of your profession, even outside of your immediate purview, take them. The payoff is amazingly quick, credible, and more lasting than just your basic brown-nosing.

  2. Oh come on, Jeff…just kick a little ass and don’t be afraid to toot your own horn louder than the next dweeb. You have worked so hard for so long and deserve to be promoted higher than most of the fellahs I met. You’ll get there if you do just what it is you propose to do…slug it out. And, kiss some butt along the way. Politics are inescapable.

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