Office Politics 101: The Rules of the Game

Climbing up the corporate ladder is not easy. There is no real formula. You can be the most qualified in the room and still not get that job or promotion. The Oval Office clearly teaches us that it is not about what you know anymore. So how do we as young women navigate through this confusion?

My senior year of college I was ready to graduate and conquer the world. Then, life smacked me in the face and I quickly realized how I was NOT prepared for this next chapter. I hated my 1st job so I quit, then became unemployed for months (didn’t see that coming). My 2nd job wasn’t that much better and I began to feel the pressures of adulthood. I started to question, did I waste the past four years of my life? Was I now another statistic? Why is it so difficult to jumpstart the career I want?

You may be facing a similar situation. You are now a freshman at life, a little guppy in a big ocean full of sharks. It’s up to you to decide whether you are going to get bullied, pushed aside, and walked all over OR whether you are going to play the game.

The Rules of the Game.

  1. Don’t be afraid to fail learn.

Beginning a new career can be a challenge, as your 1st role will allow you to set the pace for the future. Start with confidence. In my world, there is no such thing as failing, as the best teacher in life is life itself.

No matter how much you prepare, study, pump yourself up in the mirror before you start your day… the truth is, you’re human. It is inevitable that you are going to make mistakes, but that does not mean you fail. It is what you choose to do after the mistake has been made that counts.

I choose to learn. I choose to take every situation in life as a lesson and I create a post on my blog to share my lesson with the world in hopes that someone else can learn without making the same mistake.

  1. Check your feelings at the door. (Don’t take everything personal.) 

Women are emotional in nature. It’s a fact and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you are aspiring to be a BOSS, you have to learn to separate your personal feelings from your work environment. It’s business, not personal.

I definitely struggled with this in the beginning. I am a Cancer and so true to my zodiac sign. I have a big heart, a huge giver, and I truly believe there’s enough room at the top for everyone so I pride myself on paying it forward. I realized the hard way that everyone isn’t like me, so I had to make some changes to get ahead.

The biggest lesson: life is about perspective. You can choose to see the glass half empty and worry/stress about every little thing OR you can see the glass half full and let your motivation and drive navigate you to the resources to overflow that glass in abundance.
  1. Own your voice. Don’t just find it.

In 2014, the Harvard Business Review published an article titled, Women, Find Your Voice. This article discusses the hardships many women have asserting themselves in high-level meetings. It is not because we lack intelligence, motivation, ambition, or skill set, it is the lack of confidence.

I will dive deeper into finding your voice in a later post but know that it is not enough to find it. You have to own it. You will never get 100% of what you don’t ask for. Speak up. Have a presence.

  1. There is no such thing as comfort. 

If you are comfortable, you are not playing the game. You should always strive to learn more, do more, and be more. This means doing things you have never done before and taking more risks.

Playing the game can be difficult, especially for introverts like myself. I want to be the best and I can’t let my want of security, independence, and fear of failure distract me. Before I can truly get to a place of pure bliss with my career, I need to question things that don’t make sense and challenge myself to show my value to others. Sitting back and being content is not an option.

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t take a step forward, you will always be in the same place.” – Nora Roberts.

  1. Rome was not built in a day. Be patient.

Many people refer to today as living in the Microwave Age because everyone wants things to happen quickly. Recent technological advances have completely changed the way we communicate, shop, experience events, and even receive an education. While these lifestyle changes solve the need for instant gratification, this mentality has carried over into areas of our lives it shouldn’t, like your career.

While it’s true that you could post a picture on Instagram and instantly receive thousands of likes in a couple hours, it is false that you start a career and become a millionaire overnight. As a strong and independent young woman, I know first-hand how it can be when your ambitions develop a mind of their own. Gaining expertise in a particular field requires time and experience. Most career paths are not linear. However, just because your path is different, it doesn’t mean you’re lost. Keep going.

 

Now, Let’s Beign.

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