Monthly Archives: June 2010

Office politics, a brief survival guide

(I started writing this post on 24th June 2010, I’m finding these things are taking me a little while now days)

A great day for woman kind here in Australia. I know many women rejoicing in the fact that we have our first Female Prime Minister. A great achievement, and hopefully something that will inspire many generations to come. As a father of two beautiful daughters, I certainly hope so. I hope my daughters have the freedom and reality to dream to achieve as much as the want to achieve. Surely there are now cracks in that glass ceiling.

However this post is not about that.

I am not a political beast, I’m not a fanatic who will pore over the virtues of each election campaign, I’m not a passionate liberal or labor man, but I’m starting to understand the idea of office politics more and more.

I am astounded that there are not courses at Universities or work readiness programmes to prepare people for this side of the work place. I remember when I first began my working life, I was shocked and kind of disappointed when I learned the reality of office life. It seemed like petty high school stuff, but maybe just maybe it is just pure human nature.

You need to be aware of it in your professional life. Get that antennae honed, forewarned is forearmed as they say. If your spider sense is tingling… listen to it. I’m not saying to be paranoid, but it isn’t paranoia if people are talking about you.

The secret to survival is awareness and just being good at your job. Keep your house in order, be sure people know it is in order. Learn where the barbs are coming from and what is being said, that is the only way you can overcome things. To change views you need to know what they are first. Communication is the key, ask, hear, listen. Keep your chin up, and your head down.. (if that is possible) and keep on persevering, smiling and laughing.

Know it isn’t easy, know you’re not on your own, it happens all over the world, and trust me when I say… this too shall pass.

Jobseekers, are you really available?

Greg Savage wrote a blog post today about one of his pet peeves, people being late. Read it here. It’s called No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish

This is my turn.. Jobseekers, hear this. Yes there is a skills shortage. Yes, your services are required. However, don’t expect everyone (ie all employers) to bend over backwards for you. No one owes you a living!

Here is a pet hate. If you are a job seeker, ie you are actively looking for a role, YOU need to be flexible if you want a job. I find nothing more frustrating than calling up an applicant, and only getting a “sorry I cannot make it in to meet you during business hours, when else can we do it?” What’s up with that? You applied to me? Do you want a job or not? I am a lot more flexible when I am headhunting people, ie I am approaching people to join us.

I understand it is difficult to find time to get out of the office to attend other interviews. However, it is your decision (most of the time) to be a job seeker, you need to invest. You have the responsibility to yourself to find ways to get to those meetings. It is a weird feeling, you can feel like you are cheating on your employer, but you have to do it. Everyone gets a lunch time right? Can you start early and leave early, or vice versa? Can you take an early minute? Or find another reason to be out of the office? My busiest times for interviewing are start of day, lunch time and pre home time. Come up with a way. If you are serious in looking for a job that is. If you are not, and won’t make the time (don’t tell me you can’t I won’t believe you) then don’t waste my time by applying.

Also, what is with the different attitude when dealing with the employer versus dealing with the Agency? Seriously what is the difference? Both will make decisions on your future with that company. I’d treat both with respect. Yet I am continuously surprised at people who deal with me differently, when they know I work for the “employer” instead of working for “an agency”. It doesn’t make any logical sense? Jobseekers.. head that warning… Recruiters make decisions, Recruiters deal with multiple clients, Recruiters have networks. Why not keep them onside? It can’t hurt, can it?

Vent over… ahhhh I feel better now.