When you start work, nothing will prepare you for what is in store. It isn’t only the realization that you have lived in a bubble, even though that is shocking. Mainly, it’s the lengths that people go to in the office to get ahead in their careers. To this day, people who have worked in these environments still don’t know how to navigate the choppy waters. And, that isn’t a dig because it is hard to know what to say and when. If you want to sharpen your skills, below are the tricks of the trade that keep politicians at bay.
Stamp Out Nasty Behavior
Some colleagues are like predators in the sense that they like to sniff out and target the weak. As a result, the odds are they will try their luck with you, especially if you are new, and sometimes it is more than just a competitive edge. They might accuse you of drug abuse in the workplace due to unexplained absences or what they consider as a lack of hygiene, or they might make obvious barbed comments about your appearance. If you feel it crosses the line into harassment, you should act swiftly. Usually, offices have protocols for such measures that you can follow. For those of you that think this makes the situation worse, pull the person to one side. Explain politely but with force that you can play the game too.
People that have friends have colleagues who are willing to watch their back. Those that don’t are alone and vulnerable, and this makes you a more attractive target. The best thing to do is to form a tight knit group that looks out for another’s interests. When you are a part of a clique, it is harder for people to discredit you as someone will come to your aid. So, the first step when you start a new job is to get to know as many people as possible. Once they vouch for you, they will integrate you into their friend group.
Document Your Work
It isn’t always rude and aggressive people that are the problem. Lots of the time, it is the dishonest person that acts as your friend and stabs you in the back. One of the main examples of this is taking credit for other people’s work. It happens all the time in offices, and there isn’t much you can do other than document your time. Calling people out looks desperate, particularly when it is common. By writing down what you did and when there is a record should it ever come up with the bosses.
Don’t Be Discouraged
The main reason individuals play the politics game is fear. They see a threat, and they want to eliminate it as soon as possible. So, take positives from your experience by acknowledging that they fear your abilities. You are someone who may get in the way and they want you out. Apart from anything else, this should encourage you to continue down the same path. After all, it is a sign you are doing something right. Otherwise, they wouldn’t bother in the first place.
Lastly, you can report bad behavior to HR as the final straw.