I started working in Corporate America in 1998 after eight years of working in the food industry. The food industry was very debilitating for me. I found myself working six days a week with twelve hour days. I was working with no vacation and no benefits, not to mention little pay. It came to a point in my life where I took a moment to step back and take a real good look at what I was doing with my life. I had no social life and had nothing to show for all my hard work. After realizing this, I asked myself, “If I died and had the opportunity to look back at my life, would I be satisfied with all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears I gave to the working world?” Sadly, the answer was no. The obvious question that kept coming into mind was, “Why am I working my life away like this? There has got to be a better solution!” I wanted to be able to look back at my life knowing that I made a difference in the world and that all my hard work was appreciated. After stepping back and taking a real hard look at my life, it was easy to see that I needed a change in jobs, if I was going to make a better life for myself.
For years I prayed for the perfect job, hopefully on in Corporate America and had dreams of someday rising up the so-called corporate ladder and doing something different with my life. I had no experience what-so-ever when it came to how to survive in Corporate America, but I was young and was desperate for a change.
In the beginning, I thought that I could take anything that the corporate world could dish out to me and was well aware of the gossipers and the brown-nosers and knew well enough to stay clear of them. Nevertheless, I really didn’t understand the dynamics of how they impact the office environment, when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder—boy was I in for a treat! Years went by and I kept seeing everyone around me climbing the corporate ladder except me! “What was I doing wrong?” I wondered. Then I heard about this thing called, Office Politics. “Could it be that all my years of avoidance had something to do with the reason I was being left behind?” I asked myself. Intrigued with this new thing called Office Politics—new to me because I had never heard of it before, I researched all that I could on the topic and witnessed first hand how powerful it was in Corporate America. By the time I was able to identify it, I realized that climbing to the top had nothing to do with the job I was in, it was all about Office Politics. Meanwhile, all my co-workers were ahead of me and I was sitting there amongst people new to the business, who were also starting to get ahead of me. I felt like I was in grade school all over again and I was being held back, while all my other classmates were advancing to the next grade level. The worse part about it was, there was no teacher to help me with what I was doing wrong and guide my down the right path. Naïve as I was, I knew I had to do something and I had to do something quick! I had to learn to play the game of Office Politics, but where were the rules?
This book will teach you the rules that I use every day, and help you identify Office Politics in a way that you can use them to your advantage. In the end, I hope that you will become politically savvy and achieve your dreams in the working world and in Corporate America.