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HR Zone » Conflict & Labour Management » Office politics - Stepping into office political stage

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Office politics - Stepping into office political stage
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Posted 07-12-2010Reply

Stepping into office political stage

Q: When it comes to getting an entry-level job with a corporation, does it matter where a person went to college?

-Ben Santacroce, Naples, Florida.

A: Every situation is unique, of course, but in general, college mainly matters if the person in Ok grades, OK recommendations, OK everything -- in which case a brand name degree comes in quite handy.

But stars are stars no matter where they go to school. We are talking now about students who have earned 3.5 averages or better, held leadership positions on campus and , because of their hard work and great attitudes, have garnered enthusiastic letters of recommendation from professors and summer employers. This crowd of winners is welcome anywhere, with perhaps the exception of consulting firms, which. For reasons of of prestige, hire almost exclusively from about a dozen top-tier schools. It’s their loss. That said, how a person did at school or to your question, where he or she went to school becomes irrelevant after about one month on the job.

At that point, a person’s performance takes over as the driver of career success, as it should, rendering college to its rightful place – a happy memory.

Q: Do you believe that large corporations are ridded with office politcs - the ‘who you know not what you know’ syndrome?

-Peter Sharp, Billericay, Essex, England

A: There will always be office politics, but it’s ridiculous to think that big business is ‘riddled’ with it.

Plenty of companies all over the world – winning cokmpanies – do everything in their power to get rid of it every day. In fact, they’re desperate to. Why?

Because managers with brains in their heads know that you win when the best performers-not the people who posture in the right way- get heard and get ahead. You don’t think Microsoft grew into the most successful computer company in the world with a bunch of sycophantic dopes on the senior management team, do you? No way. This company, and thousands like it, delivers results because it is a meritocracy, where brains and sweat matter more than who had cocktails with the boss last week.

Office politics, in our experience, are mainly just the purview of three are the perpetually disaffected individuals in most every or ganisation who have a congenital disdain for authority. It’s just part of their constitution. They go to work every day looking for palace intrigue, and part of that campaign is muttering away that some unworthy dunderhead got ahead because of ‘connections’.

The second type is underperformers, who use office politics to explain away their own shortcomings. They deserved the promotion – but mary got it because she went to school with the boss’s brother, and that kind thing. The third type consists of people who are the underutilized: the bored. As the old saying goes, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”.

Given the people behind office politics, it is easy to see why mainly lousy companies are affected. Good companies work ardently to root out these types of people or to get them back on course. That doesn’t mean they succeed completely, but they never stop trying.

--- New York Times News Service

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