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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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06/27/12
Politics at work
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:53 pm

It is inescapable.  No matter where you are, politics
will be part of an organization’s behavior.  We
spoke about it along one of our drives during a
workshop we delivered at a national laboratory
recently.

My co-facilitator and I had many stories
   about being excluded from meetings,
   about being specifically included in meetings,
   about writing and circulating information as a
junior person going around a senior person,
   about writing things in emails that should not be
in print,
   about the order of authors in a publication,
   about not being sensitive to the feelings of others,
and more…

These are lumped together as “politics” and they
represent some of the culture of an organization.
We have mentioned that culture will play a significant
role in your satisfaction in your jobs.  1   2 

What brought this up was listening to a number of
post-docs offer comments and perspectives about
their positions.  In fact, it is not restricted to just
one location, we have heard it from people in academia,
from people in large and small companies and from
government laboratories.

How do you learn about and in circumstances overcome
“political biases”? 
1.  Recognize it is part of the human condition.
2.  Understand it usually comes from a multi-person interaction
3.  We can learn about it by networking and having a mentor.
4.  We can overcome biases by seeking out mentors who
understand the culture and who offer counsel.

Examples:
Los Alamos National Labs
Polaroid Corp
Brookhaven National Labs

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