It’s inevitable. There’s always someone at the office whom everyone will agree is better off somewhere else. As unfortunate as that is, it cannot be helped. After all, offices are run by individuals with different values and priorities. And if you’re the odd one out, you’ll have a difficult time assimilating with the group.
It’s important to guard your place in the office dynamics as best you can. After all, once your colleagues zero in on you as the group’s outcast, you might as well look for other employment opportunities. Such a thing will affect even your work performance. Avoid that worst-case scenario from happening by following these recommendations.
Do not hog office supplies
Maybe you love post-it notes. You use them for labeling everything, including the food you store in the communal office fridge. If you’re getting those post-it notes from office supplies, make sure there’s enough left for everyone else. Remember that sharing is caring. And if you’re trying to score cookie points from your colleagues, you got to show them you care.
You do not want to be that office mate who’s prone to hoard office supplies. That won’t be a good look on you. And it can easily be cheap fodder for workplace gossip.
Do not be a chronic no-show at office parties
You need to build rapport and camaraderie with your coworkers. And those things don’t always happen at your usual workplace setting where everyone’s often stressed out and on-the-go. That’s something you achieve by attending office parties and other company-sponsored unofficial gatherings.
Habitually skipping those sends the wrong message. It’s as if you’re not to be bothered by socializing with your workmates. And such an attitude will eventually backfire.
Do not brag about all the new stuff you have every chance you get
Picture this: you recently bought comfort shoes for women. They make you feel beautiful. And you’re ready to conquer the world. Let others notice how great they are. Do not volunteer to announce your latest retail therapy win to the rest of the office.
Here’s a word of advice. As far as human emotions go, envy and jealousy are quite real. And you cannot refrain another person from secretly wanting what you have and hating you if they can’t have it. Choose to be low-key. It’s safer that way.
Do not be all chummy with the bosses
If you are at best civil, and at worst, unfriendly with your office mates, there’s no reason for you to act all chummy with the bosses. Your office mates will see through what you are doing. And you can’t blame them if they begin to harbor ill feelings toward you.
If you claim to be a reserved and introverted person which explains why you usually don’t join office huddles, that personality trait must apply to all scenarios. You being all of a sudden chatty around the CEO betrays your cutthroat ambition and that’s never tolerable even if you use feminism as an excuse.
Do not overpromise and under-deliver
You probably want to prove your worth at the office. After all, you’re eyeing a promotion. So you say yes to tasks left and right. There’s nothing wrong with that per se. That is so long as you deliver exactly what is promised.
The worst thing that can happen is you bite off more than you can chew. You’re not just sabotaging yourself here. You’re also sabotaging your colleague’s workflow.
Do not spread gossip
There’s nothing more toxic than office gossip. You’re lucky if you’re in a workplace setting where people are levelheaded and mature enough to not engage in gossip. But such an office would be the exemption, not the rule. Thankfully, the universe has a way of putting an order in chaos. Often, the office gossip gets unmasked eventually. You do not want to be that person. It will be difficult to regain your colleagues’ trust.
You do not have to be the office sweetheart whom everyone wants to take home for thanksgiving. But you must understand that much of what happens at your workplace, including promotion and development, hinge on office politics, among others. So you must know how to navigate through this reality.
Maybe you’re the no-nonsense kind of person. And that’s all well and good until you factor into the equation the human dynamics involved in workplace settings. If you love your career and you see yourself in your current job for the long haul, as early as now, know how to play the game in such a way that you’re never at a disadvantage. Or better yet, try to genuinely connect with your office mates.