Office politics are a difficult part of almost any traditional office environment. Shortly after starting a new position, you’ll often begin to notice the dynamics of the new group you’ve joined. Invariably, you’ll find department heads, middle managers, unwritten rules, HR, the annoying guy who always works too hard to make friends with new employees, and countless other office obstacles you’ll have to navigate carefully.It can feel like living in your own Dilbert cartoon. Even though it’s usually endurable, office politics are rarely something that most people enjoy. Beyond the simple irritations mentioned, office politics such as sexism, favoritism, and ageism can be detrimental to your bottom line. It’s important to know how to assert yourself and avoid the worst aspects of conventional office politics. Here are a few ways.
Be an Independent Worker
One of the best ways to get through work without being subjected to all the nonsense of the workplace is to be independent and productive. Many companies around the United States are starting to offer their employees more workplace freedom than ever before. More and more, companies are letting employees work from home, or from coworking spaces, with great results. If you can establish yourself among your peers as independent, resourceful, and productive, you just might be able to work outside of the office, effectively avoiding problematic office politics.
Know Your Worth
2016 is an amazing year for high-performing workers. Many industries are facing a talent shortage, as the best and brightest are setting out on their own in search ofnew opportunities. For this reason, it’s easier for experienced workers to get good jobs wherever they want them, and employers know this. Take advantage of your desirability by negotiating your salary according to your own needs, and find benefits that agree with your lifestyle. By establishing yourself well in a new position, you can more easily overcome the negative effects of office politics.
Start Your Own Business
Some people don’t enjoy the conventional workplace because they’re just not cut outto work in one. It may not be a matter of “finding the right place”because, for some people,there might not be a right place. If you’re one of those people, it’s a great idea to consider starting your own business. If you prefer to avoid the office politics you find in traditional workplaces, establish a superior political system of your own.With the proliferation of new options like coworking spaces there are more opportunities for new businesses than ever before.
Office politics may be drag, but if you manage to keep your head down and do your job well, you might just be able to avoid the negative effects. Be independent, assert your rights, and go out on your own if you really can’t handle the current sociopolitical structure of the American workplace.