Hello there bloggies!

Until a couple of months ago, I had never worked in an office before. Sure, I had worked in a lab during graduate school and my postdoctoral fellowship. I even had a cubicle in my postdoc in a nook shared by a group of other fellows.

But those weren’t offices.

There were a limited number of people, protocols, and more importantly personalities to navigate during your work day. Now that I am working in a real office in industry, I have a far greater appreciation for the word office politics.

This may be best described in a recent example from my workplace.

Someone on our floor was unexpectedly (at least to me) let go. Security escorted this person out, and we all received an email succinctly saying that this person no longer worked here.

Cue to me sitting in front of my computer completely clueless!

I had no clue what had happened and why. So being the nosey gossip that I can be sometimes, I started feeling out my colleagues to see what they thought. Through these chats, I learned a lot about the history of the specific group, this person’s performance, and certain feelings that had been building among the workforce over the months.

Now, I’m not saying that this person got let go because some people didn’t get along with people on the floor. But it certainly didn’t help. And it for sure did not help the dynamic among my colleagues.

My policy when it comes to office politics is simple:

  1. Be pleasant and kind
  2. Avoid being the subject or participating too much in the gossip mill
  3. Show that I have skills that can be useful

This may be a naive approach, but I hope a little positivity can help in my early navigation of the industry research world.

Thanks for stopping by the blog! How do you deal with office politics? Give me some advice in the comments below or on twitter @DrFsThoughts.

See you later!

-Dr. F

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