Make Office Politics Work for You

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You may try to avoid it, but the reality is that office politics is how power is managed in many organizations. Here are three ways you can navigate the system, even if you object to it:

  • Make a map. Informal social networks are as important as the obvious corporate hierarchy — if not more so. It’s worthwhile to chart which groups have influence and how they’re connected.
  • Cash in your chips. Those that get ahead seek out powerful people, cultivate favors, and take advantage of them.
  • Campaign for your career. It’s naïve to think that you will be selected for high-level jobs based on merit alone. Advocate for your career by articulating a perspective, creating a platform, and lining up sponsors.

Adapted from “Three Ways Women Can Make Office Politics Work for Them” by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt.