Whether you realize it or not, doing an excellent job, and moving up the food chain within your company often have no connection with each other. You would think that exceeding expectations, and always getting the job done would be enough to gain the favor of the higher ups. Unfortunately, most of the time, the final ingredient needed for success is a little bit of office politics.
If you’ve never heard the term before, go ask the guy in your office who is always trying to be near the big wigs and talk to them…about anything. He know’s exactly what office politics are all about. Basically, work itself it not enough to get noticed. Sometimes, you basically just need people to like you, which often involves having somewhat fabricated conversations, just so they know who you are.
This sounds somewhat ridiculous, as far as helping out with your success is concerned. Just think about it for a minute though. If there is an open position that you’re hoping to be considered for…and there’s an equally qualified guy in your office going for the same spot, chances are they’ll hire the guy they are more friendly with. Sad but true. There’s no playoffs when it comes to this sort of thing, just a bit of very casual favoritism.
So how to go about doing this? It’s really not that hard. It’s more of making a point to not just ignore social situations. You’d be surprised how far dropping a “Good morning” at the coffee machine can take you. Or a quick little “Ahhh Friday” while waiting for the elevator. As insanely simple as that sounds, that can really be all it takes for someone to remember you as a nice guy.
Taking it one step further, don’t be so quick to just ignore any social events. Someone you know in the office is having drinks for their birthday, or a going away party? Just head on over and grab a few. You might just talk to a few friends, or you might accidentally rub some elbows with your boss etc. Just having your face somewhat recognizable by the upper brass is a good thing. It certainly can’t hurt you…as long as you’re not the guy that shows up and has WAY too many drinks, and makes a fool of himself.
So the next time you’re crossing paths with a big wig, or some event presents itself, just get in there and toss a few simple words out! A few simple comments may be all it takes for you to stand out above a sea of similar employees stuffed in a cube.