Office politics have been around since before we even worked in offices.
When you put a group of people in a work setting together – a setting where there is a manager/boss/foreman/etc. – there is going to be a “game” that is played. Even the most healthy workplaces can’t escape the fact that coworkers find themselves competing for responsibility, opportunity, and favor in the eyes of their superiors.
Now, sometimes these kinds of games can get UGLY. And that drives many professionals to sit the office politics game out completely. It’s understandable.
But the reality is this – office politics exist, and if you want to progress in your career, there is an appropriate way to engage in them.
There’s a Money article titled “5 Signs You’re Not Playing The Political Game” that I feel does a good job of summing this whole thing up. It breaks down 5 things everyone should consider and/or self-reflect on, whether you are currently opting in to office politics or not. Here are the top-line signs, but read the whole article for more insight.
- You’re not politically aware.
- You’re only focused on getting the job done.
- You try to make yourself look good.
- You’re excluded from office politics.
- You’re too concerned with being liked.
Office politics are real. It’s how and when you choose to engage (or not) that can dictate how you grow in your organization’s corporate culture.