Subject: Understanding office politics
Ever remember thinking as a kid that grownups don’t argue with each other? What a peaceful life, so far removed from the school playground. I couldn’t wait to grow up…
Then we grew up.
If you haven’t come across it yet, there is a phrase for this: office politics. It’s a thing, it’s not just in the playground anymore. Sometimes, personalities don’t change, and those memorable school kids grow to be your future colleagues (fellow interns, project partners etc). Whatever your current situation, you could be coming to realise that not everyone has the same work ethic, routine, motivation or attitude and it’s highly likely that you (the cheese) will end up working with someone you don’t click with (the chalk).
It can be extremely frustrating, but here are some tips to get you through.
1. Be wary of whining to your colleagues.
I would air on the side of caution, even if you think you are close friends. It is most likely to come across as unprofessional, and you never know where any of you may end up.
2. Know when to speak up.
Having made my previous point, I would raise genuine concerns i.e. colleagues consistently not pulling their weight, not learning from mistakes, but again, avoid a ‘telling the teacher’ vibe, raise these concerns with the person in question. In the world of work, if you had concerns about a colleague you are equal with, it just doesn’t come across as professional to run to someone senior, vent off and expect them to do something about it. See how a conversation goes first.
3. Bite your tongue and smile sweetly.
In other cases, conflict may simply be down to a personality clash. They don’t do anything wrong per say, but you just don’t gel. In this instance, bite your tongue, smile sweetly and try to avoid lunch with them.
4. Intern 247 Facebook Group
If you haven’t heard of it yet, what are you waiting for? The Intern 247 Facebook group is open to all and there for help, advice and chatting to other interns in a way other platforms don’t allow. Circumstances are different, so if the help above hasn’t quite hit the nail on the head, pop over and have a chat!