One of the best ways to earn more money is by getting a raise at your current job. A pay increase may mean a little more work, but if you like your job and are good at it, it’s not as tough as getting a second job or starting a completely new career.
While it’s important to work hard and successfully complete your assignments, there’s something else you need to do at work to make sure you get that promotion or pay raise, and that’s managing office politics. The saying “it’s all about who you know” in terms of networking is equally as important when you’re going for a raise or promotion: you need to make sure you’re networking and managing office politics positively.
Luckily, managing office politics doesn’t have to be as tricky, or time-consuming, as it sounds. It’s basically like being your regular, hardworking self, but a little more focused about how and what you’re doing. If you’re looking for that next pay step in your career, check out these 4 tips to manage office politics.
Be a Great Version of You
Office politics is just another way of saying “interacting with your coworkers”, but on a more enhanced scale. Whereas you might have walked into the office on Monday morning, head down focused on getting work done and/or getting coffee, start focusing on saying “hello”, making small talk, and basically being nice the first 15 minutes as people arrive into the office.
What you’re doing here is coming across as friendly yet professional with colleagues. Sure, not everyone is into small talk in the morning, but trust me: people notice. Keep it brief but be seen, and soon you’ll get a reputation for being both reliable and friendly.
Take Leadership Roles
When managers are thinking of promoting people or awarding pay raises, they generally first think of people who have taken on leadership roles. Managers want to promote people who display leadership qualities and get along with the majority of their coworkers, and signing up to be a team lead on a project is a great way to get noticed positively.
Make this a win-win for yourself by signing up for or asking to be included on projects with coworkers you like. This way, even if you don’t necessarily like office politics, you’ll be working with people you like for something that should, eventually, lead to a pay raise.
Stay Away From Office Gossip
Depending on your personality and the culture of your office, this may be easier said than done! Gossiping about coworkers or other departments can be one way to bond, but no matter how “okay” it might seem at the time, it’s a real detriment to getting a promotion.
If you hear gossip near you, try to avoid the area or, if you’re brought in to the conversation, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or respond to an important voicemail/email. If you feel people are starting to exclude you because you won’t gossip with them, try to talk to them one-on-one about their vacations, pets, kids, or hobbies. People love talking about themselves, so this is a good way to build a positive relationship while avoiding the negative.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Remember why you’re at work: because you like your job, your coworkers, your mentor, the mission, and/or you like getting paid regularly. You don’t have to like all of those things at once, but in the end, you’re there to make money and you want to keep getting raises.
You might not like the term office politics and you may wish you could keep your head down, do a good job, and be recognized for it. Unfortunately, in many offices, that’s not how it works. You have to speak up for yourself and your own good work, and get noticed positively. By following these four tips, you’re on your way to your next promotion or pay raise!
Do you have any tips for mastering office politics?
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