How "Helpful" Politicians Hurt Your Career
My writing focuses on practical and proven ideas to boost one's career, with the core premise that hard work and talent are only part of the career success equation.
We all know people who are, uh, talent-challenged... and yet have managed to do quite well in terms of their career progress. And we all know people who are extremely talented and hard working, yet their careers have stalled or stagnated. Why? Often because they have ignored the other half of the career success equation.
In addition to talent and hard work, you have to manage all of the interpersonal human dynamics at work. This includes office politics and relationships with colleagues as well as other people-related issues. It also means managing your own mindset, your perspective, your actions and reactions.
And I've noticed that with many people, especially younger workers, the more they think that government or a politician or some other "savior" is going to do for them, the less likely it is that they themselves will do the hard work necessary to boost their career progress.
I'm not being judgemental (well, maybe a little) because I totally understand this tendency. I have it too. If I could count on a politician to grow the economy enough so the rising tide would lift my own little career boat - that might mean I don't have to do some really uncomfortable things like:
- Find a way to work productively with difficult coworkers and unreasonable or incompetent bosses.
- Learn new skills or develop additional capabilities that I'm not naturally interested in or enthusiastic about.
- Put in more time and effort that is expected, reasonable or "fair" in my mind.
- Take a job just because the money and career prospects are good, even thought it doesn't align with my life's purpose or "passion."
I would really prefer that Hillary or Donald or someone else would make the world of work fairer and make sure that I get more money and while they are at it, I'd like to lose 20 pounds - I wish they would fix the food industry so that I am less tempted to eat sugary, calorie-dense foods.
And politicians are more than willing to promise they will help.
This is how they hurt your career potential, by making it easy for you to let yourself off the hook. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be politically active, or that societal wrongs shouldn't be addressed. But you need to be very, very careful about your expectations and mindset in terms of career progress. YOU are the only one you can depend on to lift your career. Avoid the dependent mindset at all costs.
If you find yourself getting frustrated or annoyed at this article or the underlying thought process, I'm sorry but it is an indication that you have already started down the path toward dependency. When you take away an addict's drugs, their first reaction is anger. You might decide to post a terse comment below and un-follow me, which will make you feel good and self-righteous for a moment. But nothing will change. And the politicians will continue to promise more and more career crack for you.
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My new book "Workplace Poker" includes career advice with a dash of smirky, sassy humor. Is it is available everywhere books are sold. You can view a brief video of reader comments by clicking on the link below.
"Humor is just another defense against the universe." - Mel Brooks