If it were socially acceptable for a 23 year old to bounce around in bouncy castles, I’d do it much more often. Who doesn’t love bouncy castles?
If you’re shaking your head no, then you need to quit lying to yourself.
For children, bouncy castles are literally one of the only places where you can completely go nuts without the fear of injury (that is, unless there are a bunch of other kids bouncing around in there too). This is exactly why kids love them so much. It’s a safe place to push the limits.
Throughout college and my short professional life, I feel like I’ve gained a grip on basic office politics. That being said, I could be completely off in a lot of ways, but I have observed some very interesting things in my time working on teams. My hope is that what I have observed may help you come to grips with some of the office related realities, or help you in a new work environment.
The first key to success is communication. Sounds cliché, but it’s true. When you get a task from your supervisor, keep them updated on your progress, not just when you complete the task, but as you go along. Your supervisor shouldn’t have to ask for a progress update from you, because they should know where you are at all the time. This may seem a little extreme, but from the supervisors that I have had and observed, they all appreciate it in their own way. Although this is my general rule, I have had supervisors ask me to tone down the communication, meaning, they just wish to receive less emails from me or visits by their office. This isn’t a problem at all, because after I’m asked I adjust my communication method with that specific person. Easy.
Throw Out the Titles
The second thought I would suggest is to throw out all titles in your mind and focus more on the individuals you work with. You shouldn’t really be concerned with who is above and who is below you. Yes, give respect where respect is due, but don’t demand respect because of a silly title. A quick note here: getting this step down requires a great deal of constant observation. Try your best to know the tendencies and habits of your coworkers and choose the proper responses to those habits. One of my bosses preferred to be text messaged over any other form of communication, even though my desk was near his. This gave him time to check all his messages at once without having to break his train of thought on what he was working on. I never interrupted him again, and in return got better responses to my requests. It’s a win-win.
Taking the time to communicate properly with people with bigger or smaller titles than you can help you tremendously. You never know when an intern is going to be able to save you in a time of need, just because they are a little more experienced in a certain area.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
The next thing I would suggest is to realize the overall goal. I was once in a heated debate with a coworker on a decision that we had to make for our company. In the middle of the argument, I had to stop and think: this person wants what’s best for the company just like I want what’s best for the company. Without the company, neither of us would have jobs.That will help you really put it into perspective. Only then do you realize how heavily angry emotions can cloud good logical judgement.
Learn From Everybody
This is such an easy thing to do. The best way, is to walk up to a coworker, and say “Hey, what are you doing?” Now we are off to the races. That should be followed up with, “How is it that you do that?” You’ll find yourself gaining a plethora of knowledge on topics you’ve never touched with almost no effort. You also get the added bonus of showing your fellow coworkers that you actually care about their contributions to the company.
Playing the game is all about one thing, and one thing only: be genuine. Don’t just be at work because you have to be there, be at work because you want to be. Be positive to everyone around you and you will get some of that back in return; be negative, and you will get it all back. Don’t be afraid to show your coworkers who you really are and be willing to laugh at yourself. You aren’t good at everything and you’re not as big of a deal as you think you are. Try your best to find reasons to love where you are at, even if you plan on leaving. It will make the rest of your time there better than it could have been.
Doing these things granted me one of the best benefits you can have in an office environment: forgiveness. Yes, that is correct, if you try to bring positivity to work, communicate well with your bosses and coworkers, and be genuine in everything you do there, people will forgive you more often for messing up; and you will mess up. It’s always good to have a safe place to bounce around in, because it lets you test the limits on what you can really bring to the table. If you live inside of a bouncy castle of forgiveness, you will be more willing to try things without the fear of failure because, you’re not going to get injured. See what I did there?
Having employees that try to make the company better everyday without the constant fear of failure is something that is sought after, but not necessarily vocalized in today’s world.
So get out there, be all you can be, and go nuts inside of your very own bouncy castle at work everyday.