By Rosalind Henderson Submitted On April 12, 2017
Are you good at playing office politics? You may indeed come in an hour before and leave hours later everyday. You may skip your lunch to make sure the report is done well. You are the boss’ right hand man, able to predict needs and deliver them to your department in an instant. That overachiever’s approach got you A’s on your report card and on the honor roll in high school, but may not help you promote in your career.
How many times have you witnessed a less qualified, young employee get the raise or promotion you thought you earned, while you, with all the degrees, experience and sweat equity look on perplexed?
Many proven employees have had to grapple with residual bitterness as they’re adjusting to taking directions from their new, less qualified supervisor.
It’s hard to digest the fact that office politics play such a key role in advancement, but it’s a reality.
How can one increase their chances in getting promoted?
Along with excellent performance, building relationships with those who are influential decision makers is key. In fact, it’s a good idea to reach out to those who are in positions, seeking mentorship, advice and friendship. Carving out a monthly, one- to- one coffee break for no more than an hour is making yourself visible and known.
Start with your immediate supervisor and move up the chain of command.
Mention your interests, share where you think you’re making strides. As math teachers insist, “Show your work.” Because those in position are extremely busy, they are not aware of your accomplishments and interests. It’s up to you to communicate your desires, and share your wins. Additionally, share honestly your goals and ask them for your help in reaching them.
Building a relationship also requires we give back.
About ten years ago, I “accidentally” met a school board member. At the time, I did not know who he was. He had come in my class while I was to observe my work, and took an interest in my class and our accomplishments. He introduced himself and also invited me to his church. He was also a pastor!
I visited and enjoyed the church service. Also,at the time I was writing my first book. He took an interested and even wrote and endorsement for my book. Our relationship blossomed. A few years later, he asked for my endorsement as he ran for the board members seat for the second time. Since I knew and trusted him, I was his cheerleader among the teachers.
Excellent work brings great satisfaction, however climbing up the ladder means building relationships with influential people who care to empower you.