10 Steps Towards Career Development Without the Politics
The desire for career development and advancement is perfectly normal. We all want to live a better lifestyle and career development could be the key. People naturally want to learn, grow, and progress. Unfortunately, in today’s market career advancement opportunities often arise as an outcome of office politics rather than true merit. While you can’t completely ignore the politics of your organization, there are steps you can take to advance your career without getting too involved. Here are a few top recommendations:
1. Request Feedback
Feedback is a great tool for learning the needs of an organization. It is also an opportunity to connect with your manager who might ultimately make decisions about your next career move. You’ll have the opportunity to gain insight on both yourself and the future of the organization without feeling manipulative or political.
2. Ignore the Negatives
Office politics often involve bad mouthing or belittling. Many people who feel threatened by a co-worker will intentionally try to sabotage any relationship or advancement. Instead of getting involved in this bullying battle, let your work do the talking and avoid making criticisms of others.
3. Give Credit
People thrive on recognition and feedback. One of the best things you can do to gain an upper hand without manipulating others is to offer credit where credit is due. If someone on your team does a great job, make sure you publicly (and privately) acknowledge this work. If your team feels supported, they’re much more likely to be a cheerleader for you as you pursue your next move.
4. Act as a Team Player
Another way to earn recognition at work without engaging in politics is to lend a helping hand in times of need. If you always step up to help in difficult situations you’ll be viewed as a team player and a creative thinker. You’ll receive positive attention and will be remembered when it comes time to promote.
5. Identify a Mentor
Mentorship is another great route for career advancement. Finding a mentor outside of work allows you to network with people that can help you make new connections. This strategy helps you avoid the politics of the office while still working towards your long-term goals. You’ll also be able to gain insight from another industry that might help in your current situation.
6. Research the Industry
No matter what your role, you play a key part in the company’s success. Gaining a working knowledge of the industry’s trends and challenges is always a great idea as you navigate your career. This research will allow you to make connections and speak eloquently with executive leadership. If you are able to demonstrate you’re understanding of the industry and are able to solve a problem for the company, you’re more than likely going to have a seat at the table when it comes time for a promotion.
7. Seek Training Opportunities
Continuing education is another great way to advance your career. Whether this comes in the form of an informal training, graduate school, or obtaining a certification, adding credentials to your resume is always a great way to prove your commitment and your willingness to learn and grow. This shows initiative and demonstrates that you’re not expecting a free ride up the ladder.
8. Socialize with Other Departments
This move will avoid the office drama and will also allow you to gain new perspectives. Most employees get so bogged down with their own work that they fail to understand the contributions of other departments. Taking the time to socialize with other departments will not only allow you to get a 360 view of the company, but it might also uncover new interests that could open the door for your next career move. Take the time to talk to people without manipulating them and you will see some great results.
9. Take Time to Volunteer
Volunteering is another great way to network and make new connections. Some employers even make new hires based on their volunteer work. You’ll experience how non-profits operate and will demonstrate your good and giving nature. You’ll be able to add this experience to your resume and you’ll make lots of new connections along the way.
10. Share Your Successes
While it may seem political to brag about your successes, it can be a major mistake not to share your work with your manager. If they have no idea what you’re doing, then you definitely won’t be in the mix when it comes to promotions. Consider forwarding any complimentary emails you receive, or sharing a portfolio of your work each quarter. This ensures you’ll be at the forefront of their mind and will demonstrate initiative and organization.
These are just a few of the many ways you can work on career development without engaging in too much obvious politicking. While it’s impossible not to engage in some office politics, you’ll want to focus your energy internally. Do your best to learn and grow in ways that will help you make moves. The leaders of your organization will take notice of your intrinsic motivation and may just add you to the mix for the next advancement opportunity.
Rebecca is an author, entrepreneur and most of all a wife and mother of 2. What she enjoys the most is helping normal people reach their full potential. Rebecca uses her ever growing skills in writing to inspire people and not settle for a normal life. As an entrepreneur, she has no shortage of failures and that is why Rebecca is the ideal person to talk about this.
Power-Influence-Office Politics: it comes down to your Strategic Relationships and understanding of how you build each one of these elements. I want to help you accelerate your career by connecting you with your Free Instant Access to my video that outlines all of this and meaningful actions you can take today! Start watching now by clicking here!
Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleashing your professional potential. Introvert Whisperer