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Sticky Valentine
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Discussion Starter #1
let me start out with this: I actually do enjoy my job. I am good at it and it is fulfilling most of the time. And as much as I pretend to be be a complete miser at times I actually do enjoy interacting with people and somewhere along the line I seem to have developed very good interpersonal communication skills.

However, while I'm good in small group settings and at gaining an individuals' trust, I just can't seem to get in to the whole office politics deal.

I've been at my current job for over three and a half years now and while I've avoided to manage most all of the drama it has come at the cost of not really branching out from my own little bubble. This has resulted in me not really having as many connections as others in my office.

Generally I wouldn't care too much but it seems to be holding me back from being involved in things at my work that would be good resume builders, networking opportunities, and other "professional development" crap.

I seem to do better keeping to myself and getting my job done rather than schmoozing. I like being able to go home at the end of the day not having to think about work, or, more importantly, what so and so might think of me at work.

I haven't been able to find a happy medium here. I hate going to work friends' parties. I hate gossiping about other people at work, and during my lunch break all I want to do is sit in the shade and read a book rather than go to the staff lunches and other gossip sessions.

I'm sure there are some other folks on here who have been in the same boat. I don't want to get totally left behind here and keep having opportunities passed long to others that I would be more than qualified to handle. But I don't want to get caught up in the drama of everything. Any way to find a happy medium? Any advice?

Thanks folks!


joe
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Generally I wouldn't care too much but it seems to be holding me back from being involved in things at my work that would be good resume builders, networking opportunities, and other "professional development" crap.
Can't you find a happy medium?

When I had a real job I eventually learned I was happier keeping my head down and trying to pass my work-ethic off as diligent. But there's no doubt that squeaky wheels get the most loob.


/// Ha. Obviously I didn't read your whole post.

Happy medium, I think, is to get involved in work-related stuff but don't participate in any of the social crap, and certainly don't participate in the gossip/politics.
 
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Sticky Valentine
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28,404 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Can't you find a happy medium?

When I had a real job I eventually learned I was happier keeping my head down and trying to pass my work-ethic off as diligent. But there's no doubt that squeaky wheels get the most loob.

I dunno. I kind of feel like that guy who forgot to tell someone close "happy birthday" and let it go on for too long and now it's been like a month and a half and it would just be way too awkward at this point to say anything.

I'm going to try and start getting out there. I just hate participating in the muck.


jope
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Dang. Someone screwed up the awesome Office Space tag but I putting something in the middle. Jerks.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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It's not all or nothing.

Think of the wide range of activities that are work related...are there none that might interest you?

How about interesting people? Are there none at work you would like to get to know? If so...do a lunch a week, or even every 2 weeks.....just invite someone and go out somewhere and talk. This is particularly effective if you are better in small groups.

It's not about brown-nosing, it's about getting to know people not just as co-workers but as people. It actually helps with interacting at work and makes the day more connected.

People that go out of their way to avoid all work related non-work activities and isolate themselves send off a message that they really don't like anyone they work with.......how do you think that gets interpreted? Is that how you feel?

Len
 

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Big is relative
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After spending 12 or so hours a day with co-workers, the last thing I want is spend more time with those people after work. This is a detriment since those after work bar hops and other activities carry over into non-inclusive work politics. I am a career Naval Officer who doesn't play golf and I'm happier riding in a group at 20+ mph than I am in a bar. Not many of my peers have my interests or understand why I don't have theirs. I'm ok with it. My son thinks I'm cool, that's all that matters.
 

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Sticky Valentine
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28,404 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
It's not all or nothing.

Think of the wide range of activities that are work related...are there none that might interest you?

How about interesting people? Are there none at work you would like to get to know? If so...do a lunch a week, or even every 2 weeks.....just invite someone and go out somewhere and talk. This is particularly effective if you are better in small groups.

It's not about brown-nosing, it's about getting to know people not just as co-workers but as people. It actually helps with interacting at work and makes the day more connected.

People that go out of their way to avoid all work related non-work activities and isolate themselves send off a message that they really don't like anyone they work with.......how do you think that gets interpreted? Is that how you feel?

Len
I like the "lunch a week" idea.

And as far as how I come off, I totally get that. It's not my intention, but I've had more than one people who I've gotten to know over the years tell me that they originally thought I was a total grump.


joe
 

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I say get a little more involved and keep your non-work conversations short. Make you presence known, but don't get to the point where it becomes awkward. Sometimes that will generate the whole absence breeds fondness.

 

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let me start out with this: I actually do enjoy my job. I am good at it and it is fulfilling most of the time. And as much as I pretend to be be a complete miser at times I actually do enjoy interacting with people and somewhere along the line I seem to have developed very good interpersonal communication skills.

However, while I'm good in small group settings and at gaining an individuals' trust, I just can't seem to get in to the whole office politics deal.

I've been at my current job for over three and a half years now and while I've avoided to manage most all of the drama it has come at the cost of not really branching out from my own little bubble. This has resulted in me not really having as many connections as others in my office.

Generally I wouldn't care too much but it seems to be holding me back from being involved in things at my work that would be good resume builders, networking opportunities, and other "professional development" crap.

I seem to do better keeping to myself and getting my job done rather than schmoozing. I like being able to go home at the end of the day not having to think about work, or, more importantly, what so and so might think of me at work.

I haven't been able to find a happy medium here. I hate going to work friends' parties. I hate gossiping about other people at work, and during my lunch break all I want to do is sit in the shade and read a book rather than go to the staff lunches and other gossip sessions.

I'm sure there are some other folks on here who have been in the same boat. I don't want to get totally left behind here and keep having opportunities passed long to others that I would be more than qualified to handle. But I don't want to get caught up in the drama of everything. Any way to find a happy medium? Any advice?

Thanks folks!


joe
SOOOOOOO in the same boat as you. But as much as I like to generally keep to myself and go to the local park ,and brown bag a lunch and take a walk, I make it a point to do the occasional office lunch or team-building bullshyt. You have to if youre in an office environment or as you can see, you only wind up hurting youself and putting yourself in a bubble.
 

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waterproof*
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Anyway, about the career thing: you don't have to be passionate and in love with your career and everybody in it. That helps, sure but it's not a prerequisite or a guarantee of success. Besides, you might not even want the kind of career that those people have. So don't beat yourself up.

Instead, go for an open mind. People are interesting to talk to sometimes and in that crowd there are lots of smart folks doing interesting things. Chat 'em up a bit, have fun.
 

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And yet you do that sort of thing here. Maybe you should start an on-line forum to socialize with people at work. ... I'm about 5 years or so away from retirement, and over the years I've learned that socializing is an important aspect of working. It may seem like your goofing off, but you establish a lot of connections, trust and friendships by socializing with people at work.
 

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And yet you do that sort of thing here. Maybe you should start an on-line forum to socialize with people at work. ... I'm about 5 years or so away from retirement, and over the years I've learned that socializing is an important aspect of working. It may seem like your goofing off, but you establish a lot of connections, trust and friendships by socializing with people at work.
^^^ this.

The SO went to an Ivy league business school for her MBA. Most of the stories she shares include parties, weekly happy hours, traveling abroad with 'study groups', and socializing to the point where it doesn't actually sound like she did much studying. Of course she did but the other things are what she took from that experience and was actually part of the curriculum. Why? Business relationships are social relationships that are built, fostered, and established during more social activities....not discussions/actions that happen in the office. Would you better remember an employer/colleague who you met in some banal office meeting or the guy/gal who you went out and got drunk wtih?
 

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Sticky Valentine
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Discussion Starter #16
^^^ this.

The SO went to an Ivy league business school for her MBA. Most of the stories she shares include parties, weekly happy hours, traveling abroad with 'study groups', and socializing to the point where it doesn't actually sound like she did much studying. Of course she did but the other things are what she took from that experience and was actually part of the curriculum. Why? Business relationships are social relationships that are built, fostered, and established during more social activities....not discussions/actions that happen in the office. Would you better remember an employer/colleague who you met in some banal office meeting or the guy/gal who you went out and got drunk wtih?

My grad school experience was pretty much the same. I did quite a bit of studying but "studying" also included going out to bars with people from my cohort and possibly one of our professors, putting a few back, and then talking and drinking till the wee hours of the morning. It was fantastic and I'd give anything to be in that environment again, which is why the idea of applying to Ph.D. programs looks better every day.

Unfortunately working on the administration side of a university doesn't afford quite the same experiences.


joe
 

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Master debator.
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It's not all or nothing.

Think of the wide range of activities that are work related...are there none that might interest you?

How about interesting people? Are there none at work you would like to get to know? If so...do a lunch a week, or even every 2 weeks.....just invite someone and go out somewhere and talk. This is particularly effective if you are better in small groups.

It's not about brown-nosing, it's about getting to know people not just as co-workers but as people. It actually helps with interacting at work and makes the day more connected.

People that go out of their way to avoid all work related non-work activities and isolate themselves send off a message that they really don't like anyone they work with.......how do you think that gets interpreted? Is that how you feel?

Len

Good points. I am the "outcast" at work also. I'm not part of the good old boys network, you know, going to the bar after work, eating fast food for lunch every day, laughing at guys who wear spandex, yet they are a heart attack waiting to happen etc.
I simply work hard, let my boss know that I'm always on it, and hope the results speak for themselves. You can only bs your way so much, and pretty soon that won't be enough. Employers see that and if they don't the good employee move on where they are appreciated. Not every work place is like that.
 

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Just Plain Bitter
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Have you not heard the famous government analogy of how to get promoted?

"You are only promoted to the level of your incompetency"

This worked in Aerospace also. People who sucked on the line or on the floor got promoted to manager because it was to expensive to keep them where they were but couldn't fire them! I saw it when I worked for the court also! So go screw up and let everyone know. eventually they will make you management!
 

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2 busy workin' 2 hang out
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I was going to post a thread but I'll put it here.

Over the weekend we had one of Mrs. Porter's friends over who lives in a major city working for finance. It's an industry that I left when I was at a crossing like you find yourself Joe. Not exactly the same but choosing what I wanted to do when I didn't fit. Her friend made me think about it greatly over the weekend as I'm sure I could have moved my way up the ladder considering my skills. And been a corporate worker who major bank. It wouldn't have been too difficult.

However, I looked at those who jobs I would have moved into and didn't see anything I was interested in. And that the people in those roles were full of bs. I didn't want to have to play the game merely for money as I don't really value it too much. People rationalize it lots of ways but for me, it was socializing with people I didn't respect or particularly like. It's weird to see someone who chose the path that I rejected and it made me think this weekend.

Regardless, at "work" I'm social and it does pay dividends. Most people don't really recognize hard work but recognize who they like. That's just the way most people operate, unfortunately. So I work hard and talk to them about their spouses and interests but at least I respect most of the people I work with.

As for you, it's really a choice of what will make you happy and what price you will pay for it. For me, I was onto something else.
 

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Captain Obvious
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you must work with a bunch of jerks if you can't even talk to them once in a while.
 
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