tcp | you are not crazy
On second thought, the title to this post may be a bit misleading for a select few. Considering the law of averages and the amount of people who will read this over time - some of you probably are a bit crazy. However, for the large majority of you who aren't - this post was created with you in mind. Maybe a suitable title should have been workplace politics and how they can make you go crazy. You see, we find that workplace politics and all of its exhausting shenanigans are present in every organization (how do we know?) because people, power and authority make up these organizations.
This indissoluble entity deserves some attention for a multitude of reasons however, for this entry, we just want to focus on what we feel is the most important one. That would be not allowing workplace politics put you in an insane asylum or a penitentiary for hurting someone (or both!). For those of you who have never worked in a corporate environment and never experienced any workplace politics (God bless your heart) - please read on as you will encounter this one day. I want you to think of the career plug when you finally get that entry level opportunity and everything is wonderful until that one day you get that email in your inbox or get pulled into your manager's office. If you find yourself subsequently saying to yourself any combination of the following, you're probably dead smack in the middle of some workplace politics:
"what are you talking about?" "where is this coming from?" "but we just talked about how we were going to do it.. now you're saying something else?" "This is ridiculous!" "Are you crazy?" "Am I crazy?"
We created a short list for you to remember so the next (or first) time you are about to lose your mind at work, you can reign it in and pull it together.
i. every action and every assignment should be done with integrity
Choose one - paranoia or peace of mind. It's actually pretty simple, do your job well and do it honestly and professionally. Your personal brand should always serve as a positive character witness in the event something comes up. This makes it difficult for even the most conniving person to pin anything against you.
ii. acknowledge the specifics of the politics in your office and proceed with caution
One of the worse things you could do is bury your head in the sand and act as if political issues do not exist inside your workplace. Trust us - they are there and if not given it's proper respect and consideration you could find yourself not understanding what may be happening around you. This is not a license to jump into everyone's business - in fact - minding your own business while staying acutely aware of your surroundings and interactions would be our suggestion. Remain cordial, listen closely and never entertain gossip.
iii. find a trusted advisor you can speak to
There's something about the way we are designed as humans that encourages social engagement. This rings true more than ever when we find ourselves wanting to bang our head against a wall due to some issues taking place at work. Find someone who you can trust that speaks with a rational perspective that also understands all about workplace dynamics. They are usually the best people to give you some guidance and wisdom. Not to mention, the very act of just letting it out and speaking to someone else about the situation usually goes a long way.
iv. keep the faith
Pray. Meditate. Whatever you want to call it - the fact of the matter is - it works.
- the career plug