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ยท 2 min read
Ron Amosa

I heard "I don't deal with office politics" in a podcast yesterday and I hear this often.

Even more interesting was they were talking about what some people find attractive about contracting, other than the money. Saying they left permanent roles so they didn't have to deal with office politics.

I believe this either misunderstands what office politics is, or misunderstands to what degree you can just "opt out" of it.

I went back to University as an adult student after some years working in tech, so had lived this office life quite thoroughly.

In one of my management papers on "organizational behaviour and management", I was surprised to learn that office politics will affect you whether you choose to engage with it or not, and that it was best to be aware of it and manoeuver accordingly.

And this made sense in my experience in the office, dealing with not only my team, but the relationships between teams, managers, all the way up to senior leadership and the mission statement of the company.

When I decided to go contracting, my sensitivity and awareness of the office politics dynamic needed to be even more heightened in order to manoeuver effectively. I don't just get to "opt out" of it in some kind of naive sense of control and security.

Of course, this comes with maturity, self-reflection and seeking to understand the things that we don't like, or make us uncomfortable, so that we're working with the world as it is, not how we'd like it to be.