Whether you are a warrior, a dragon slayer or someone who dons many faces, you have at one point in your career played the inevitable “Game of Jobs.” You might not have thought you were auditioning for a part at work, but that is what inevitably happens. Like any complex relationship, you are taught to play a part in the drama that has become your “work life.”
Not everyone plays the villain in this drama, but chances are you will run into some challenges with some of your co-workers or your boss along the way. If you are in a leadership position you might feel the need to surround yourself with allies who can take up the fight and support your efforts when needed. Or, you can be an up and comer who is taking prisoners on your climb to the top. If you feel like you are someone who has to look over your shoulder after every group meeting, maybe your instincts about watching your back are not too far from the truth?
Politics on any stage is a game for the seasoned and not the thin-skinned. You have to know who has your back and who will throw you under the bus even if they don’t work directly with you. Your enemies come in many forms, anywhere from the parking attendant to the CFO. Knowing how to navigate these politics is part of your game of jobs if you are going to survive the battle and ultimately win the war.
Mapping out your strategy is important to your ultimate success. Here are three key factors in any leaders ability to survive the Game of Jobs:
1- Know Your Enemies: They come in many shapes and sizes and positions within the hierarchy of your organization. Even if you think you are well liked, chances are you may have pissed someone off whether you intended to or not. Taking an inventory of your allies is part of your ability to shore up your resources and knows who is there to help you when you are going to need it.
2- Making Nice With Everyone: Even if your heart is not in it, knowing who you can trust and making sure you treat them with dignity and respect is part of building your allies and internal support system. Even though you think you don’t need it, you will one day. Everyone needs a support system even if you are looking to earn more money, get promoted or just make a move to a nicer office or workspace. You need to learn how to play nice even if you think you don’t need anyone to help you get to the next level of your career ascension.
3-Being on the Receiving End: A little humility goes a long way if you can earn the respect of your co-workers and superiors. Nothing screams success unless you can get other people singing your praises. You may not have done anything substantial, but just showing others you care and have their back will help you ensure you are recognized as a true leader amongst your peers.
Being able to navigate the treacherous career landscape that has come to define your career success may have its ups and downs, but knowing who and when to partner with the right people who will help you is one of the most important steps in your game of jobs. Otherwise when winter comes, you could be the one out in the cold staring up at the wall!
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