Everywhere you turn, the media is bombarding us with news about job losses. The days of qualified with the right skills are gone!
Today, professionals need to be more politically savvy to keep their jobs. Additionally, learning how to market yourself also makes for heightened job security. If you learn to be politically smart and marketable, you will be more successful and able to influence others.
Even in a politically-charged workplace you can connect with the right people to keep your job. Here are some strategies for navigating politics in the workplace and marketing yourself.
What Does It Mean To Be Politically Savvy At Work?
It actually has nothing to do with being a Republican or Democrat. Not to say a political issue cannot affect your relationships at work, but political savvy has much more to do with strategic communication skills. To me, political savvy is the ability to build influence through your interaction with others. Simply put, you need to know who the people are who influence others and make decisions and you do not get on their bad side. You learn to work with and influence them.
Identifying People’s Agendas In The Workplace
Effective communication is important, but at work it’s essential. You must truly understand the agendas of your bosses and coworkers. Doing so is critical to your success. Try and figure out what is the message within the message? Many times this is referred to as “reading between the lines.”
Everyone has an agenda. For example, your boss wants to be on the board of directors of an important foundation. So out of all the groups you invite to an upcoming company event, you better be sure and include the one he or she wants to schmooze.
It’s knowing what a manager’s underlying desire or goal is and then using that knowledge to your best advantage. Maybe it’s to get closer to this executive or impress him in some way.
How To Influence Others At Work
Become the living version of Google at work. Be the search engine that taps into the formal, and informal, circuits and connections within your organization. Knowledge is power. When you’re well-connected and understand personal agendas, and how to influence people, you’re becoming “politically savvy.” More importantly, you’ll increase your job security!
Understand who the influencers are at your workplace are and engage them. Sometimes it might be a chance meeting, but it’s your opportunity to communicate with that influential person. Sometimes it’s simply sharing an elevator ride with a leader of your company.
Be able to deliver your message concisely in such lucky meetings with power players. I call it the 30-second elevator pitch! It’s an opening to lay the groundwork for your big idea, promotion, screenplay — or whatever your goal might be.
Learn How To Market Yourself At Work
I’m also observing that people who know how to market themselves are quite successful. The other secret to protecting your career is being able to market yourself without arrogance. Simply put, be your own publicist. Build your career through positioning information to the right individuals. But do it in a way that is not pushy or annoying.
At a company event, don’t sit in the corner with the other entry-level works discussing the food. Rather, meet the executives who can help your career grow and flourish. Ask them questions and learn how they became successful.
At the end of the day, it’s about engaging others. Becoming well-connected with the right professionals at work could keep you from having to visit the unemployment website!
Feel free to share your thoughts about strategies for protecting your career in a downturn market!