Surviving Corporate Politics
To survive in the corporate world, you need to get political. Here's how.
Working within any large corporation can have its advantages – exposure to the industry, opportunity for advancement, diverse salary range and superior benefits. But there is a ‘flip side’ to the story and, in this case, it is often one that is discovered only after employment has begun, frequently taking the unsuspecting employee by surprise.
While your co-workers might at first seem friendly, and while you appear to pursue common goals, one person might turn out to be disgruntled or dissatisfied. Then, the true colours and personal agendas begin to surface and the cheerful, ‘healthy’ balance falls out of sync.
So, how do you survive the world of corporate politics? How does a dedicated, professional individual stand by and watch that one employee spend more time promoting himself than contributing to the team? How do you prevent spite, frustration and anger from overshadowing your own focus and desire to succeed?
The answer is to Stay True to Your Own Ethics and Professional Morality. You are the one who must live with your own decisions and chosen paths and, even though the underhanded methods of doing business may ‘fast track’ some careers, hard work, dedication and staying true to your own beliefs still remain the most solid, effective method for building a successful career.
Success is not only reflected by income, title and authority; it is also represented by the vision an individual holds of himself and how others around him view his professional conduct.
In considering your own desire to ‘move up the corporate ladder’, consider which path to take. There are always two choices: take the easy road by ‘playing the corporate game’ and following the lead of those in front of you; or choose to fight your way through, making the tough decisions when required, facing the challenges of those whose opinion may differ from yours and, ultimately, accepting success or defeat.
The second path may appear less attractive, but you will have the satisfaction of looking back and knowing you remained true to your own convictions and that, ultimately, the success of the whole far outweighed your own personal triumphs.
Surviving corporate politics is as simple as this: never lose sight of your own ethics, visions and beliefs, and never forget those who helped you get where you are today.
A wise man once said, ‘You are only as good as those around you’. That man never sacrificed his professional morals, never put his own interests in front of the team, and continues to wake up each morning, see his reflection in the mirror and know that he can live with himself and the decisions he continues to make each and every day.