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How To Navigate Through Office Power Play and Get Promoted

Quitting your job isn’t the solution for your problems. Sometimes you need to stick it out and navigate your way through the corporate jungle. Here are some helpful tips.

I am invariably asked this question from my mentees, many of whom have come out from some of the leading B-schools in India, “Should I change my job?”

Reasons for Quitting

When I probe deeper, I find that the reasons are broadly:

  1. An expectation mismatch between the manager and the mentee. The mentee typically blames the organization, the management, the boss, the super-boss, the colleagues, the politics, the salary, the travel time, the office hours…this list is endless.
  2. Perception that life has been unfair. The perceived unfairness has another perspective, “I did all the work that was allotted to me, I fulfilled my targets, I did better than others…how come I did not get what I deserved?”

Promotions

I have said this earlier and will re-iterate. If everyone fulfils their targets, everyone cannot be promoted, unless it is a bureaucratic / government job and even there, after a certain level, only some persons can get promoted. We cannot all become CEOs in the same organization at the same time.

So what determines who will be promoted?

The answer is simple – ‘Whoever the promotion committee feels should be promoted.” Why should the committee feel that you should be promoted?

  1. The boss must be promoted, so that a space is created for you
  2. Out of all prospects, your boss will recommend you if:
    1. He trusts you to do his bidding
    2. You make him look good

None of the above has anything to do with your work. Your work is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for your promotion or increment.

Managing the Power Play

You need to be able to manage office politics to your advantage. You need to know the following:

  1. Power equations in the office (who determines promotions)
  2. What they want
  3. How you will benefit them (give them what they want).

If what they want is unacceptable, then you need to determine why it is unacceptable.

It may be that you would not want to compromise your beliefs. But the beliefs of the bosses matterArticle Submission, not yours. So you have the following choices:

  1. Change your beliefs
  2. Change your job
  3. Change the beliefs of your bosses
  4. Determine that you love your job and you do not want the promotion / increment
  5. Wait until a boss comes whose beliefs are the same as you.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Prof. Chandra Kant, is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and currently, a senior professor at Indus Business Academy, a leading B-School in India. He teaches, change management, business leadership and Self Management.



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