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Office Politics for beginners

A friend’s daughter asked me this question:


I just started at [software company] in the apps department as a sales business development consultant. I have discovered it is a remarkably political workplace. I am struggling to get a handle on it all. Its like being in a room full of 150 teenage bitchy girls! (Obviously i haven’t said this to anyone at work).
What would you recommend?

And here’s my answer:

First, Congratulations on the job. you’ll do well in sales.
Here are 3 things you should try.
1: Do what you can to please your boss. forget the other people, just the boss. Nothing is too much trouble for you, and you don’t mind being seen as a kiss-ass… it will help you be successful, and when you’re successful everyone wants to hang out with you anyway, so you may as well.
2: Stay out of the bitchy girls scene as far as possible – hang out with the powerful people, whoever they are
3: Start looking now for where within the company you want to move: go to any and all networking events, training programs or staff “mixers” that you can and find out where is the best place to hang out.

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