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Being good at your job isn’t good enough — 4 smart ways to become indispensible

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills,Management Training,Office Politics,Workplace Communication

In this tight employment market, just doing your job isn't enough. (Workplace superstars have always known that.)

It’s also a myth that good work makes a good career. So, what does make a good career? Good office politics.

Let Mastering Office Politics teach you how to survive in this tight job market — and help your career too.

Here are four ways that career columnist Penelope Trunk recommends that you use office politics in building your career:

1. Realize that it’s basically about being nice. Your task: Figure out what people have a hard time with, what you are particularly skilled at and where those circles intersect.

“This means you need a lot of self-knowledge about your strengths, and you need a lot of emotional intelligence to understand what other people struggle with,” Trunk says.

Then take the extra time to help someone, even if it’s not part of your job description. Maybe it means staying late with co-workers to work on an Excel spreadsheet. Maybe it’s showing them how to use an office system.

This 117-page book saved Margaret's career despite a sudden and brutal company downsizing. Could it help your career too? Yes, I want to recession-proof my career

2. Don’t rely solely on your job competence. Why? Because research shows that people would rather work with someone who is likable and incompetent than someone who is competent but not likable.

What does this mean for you? Make sure you take opportunities to get to know people and let them get to know you. Examples: Rather than send an e-mail, deliver a message in person. Volunteer to work on a committee where you’ll meet people from other departments.

3. Cast a wide net. Look at the range of people you get along with. Are they a diverse bunch? “People with empathy have a strong tendency to want to understand all people, not just the people who are scintillating and competent and fun,” says Trunk. So figure out how to get along with all people by understanding what motivates them.

4. Be your true self. “If you want to be good at office politics, you must genuinely want to help people. And you must get personal pleasure out of figuring out people’s strengths and weaknesses.” Besides, when all is said and done, office politics is about making real connections with people.


Mastering Office Politics covers every aspect of workplace survival, from climbing the career ladder to dismounting it on your terms. Divided into six sections that cover more than 99 workplace situations, Mastering Office Politics helps you navigate those shark-infested waters – and, if you need to, grow shark’s teeth of your own.

Here's a look at what's inside:
  • Surviving Layoffs, Downsizing and Mergers
  • Get Savvy, or Get Replaced
  • How to Get Out of Limbo
  • Do the Numbers
  • Look to the Future
  • Play Hardball When You Must
  • And much more...

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