When others walk past you in the office without so much as a Merry Christmas and when you don’t receive invites to holiday parties, these slights indicate the way co-workers view you. When you get passed over when bonuses are handed out or you’re short-changed on gift-bag goodies at the holidays, it’s a clear sign that you don’t play well with others and your attitude at work may be affecting how co-workers and bosses are viewing your contributions at the office.
Most businesses review their employees’ contributions to the business twice a year, generally at the beginning, middle or end of the year. These reviews are used to elevate an employee to a better position, as an indication for a raise, as a motivation to give less or more during yearly bonuses and sometimes as a reason to fire employees.
A smart employee would learn to tread well around the office and would benefit from recognizing the politics at work on the job.
A cartoon I watched recently, titled, “Recess” is an example of how children play together to make a system flow. There’s a leader named TJ who is the mastermind-think manager. There’s a smart girl named Gretchen who never gets anything wrong-think go-to guy. There’s a bully named Spinelli who’d work well in any collections department. The black kid, Vince, a sports freak who fulfills the diversity code, is a team player. And there’s a nerd and a daydreamer-fringe characters who complete the pack.
Disney’s “Recess” is true to an office environment where the team with the most capability is the winner in the race for business success. The only difference between “Recess” and real-life work environments is friendship. The children in the cartoon are developing life-long friendships while enjoying learning life lessons. The work place is completely opposite this because it is competitive due to the fact that employees are competing against each other for position and power that lead to greater income to support their lifestyle.
So how does a wise employee navigate the playing field to become a key player worthy of raises, bonuses and office status? Avoid being predictable and despicable.
The play to avoid
Overachiever – The smug male or female who knows everything and is chummy with the boss for the simple reason of advancement rather than mentorship. Learn from this employee while being wise enough to stay out of his path. He will run you over to achieve.
Attitude – This girl or boy interrupted has a chip on his or her shoulder, and it has nothing to do with you. Don’t take his or her slights personally. The attitude is a facade and is meant to work to lower your esteem and feeling for the job so that they can achieve more. Don’t fall for it.
The Bully – This guy or girl will take out his frustrations about life and the job on the staff. Avoid him like the plague or you’ll be caught up in his tornado and consequently in his termination.
The Gnat – Annoying and nosy, the gnat flits from staff member to staff member trying to find out details about your work or personal life. Kill this bug before it boroughs into your life and destroys your career with a piece of gossip about you, your life or the way you do your job. Speak only about work to this pest.
The office is like a playground of politics. Graduate from the playground into maturity by avoiding too many personal exchanges with employees, learning all you can about your job to advance your position and avoiding gossip. All these tactics can help you achieve a promotion along with better pay. And if you’ve already made a bad play for yourself in the office, it’s never too soon to do a 360 and start over for the new year.