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  • Jun 1, 2010, 02:57 AM
    A company without office politics?
    Hi, need some advise from you all.
    My friend has just being fired from a job because
    Of the office politics. He hates it.
    Now he's looking for a new job and every interview
    He goes, he will ask whether there's office politics
    In the company.

    Do you think there's really a company totally without
    Office politics? If no, how normally you avoid yourself
    To get involve in it?
  • Jun 1, 2010, 11:24 AM

    Your friend needs to stop asking about the new company's office politics and if that company has any. He won't be hired by any company at that rate. The term office politics is basically a misnomer. It is really each individual employee's attitude and pecking order that comes into play. The company really has nothing to do with "office politics". The company does have something to do with company policy and company rules. Please explain this to your friend so he will get hired.

    How do you avoid office politics? You don't avoid it you just go with the flow and keep your nose clean and don't gossip.
  • Jun 9, 2010, 08:25 PM

    He needs to stop asking this question or it will appear that he creates the problem or doesn't get along with people or can't manage interpersonal problems so will contantly be in his manager's office complaining.

    He can certainly ask about the dynamic of the team, and other non-threatening questions like, "what are the management styles of the individuals I would report to". Often people will tell you flat out that a particular manager is demanding, disorganized, etc. - they will sugar coat it but will often tell you exactly what you need to know. He can also ask questions like, "can you share why this position is it new or has the current person been promoted?" They might tell you there's a need for a change, which will tell you you are walking into a situation where there has been prior dissatisfaction.

    Another telling question can be, "what qualities do you think would be important for making an individual successful in this position, and what if any qualities have you seen in individuals that would be detrimental to success in this position?"

    It's positive to have some thoughtful questions but not to sound like you're challenging them to be good enough, or saying, "I just went through this hell, too?"

    I once interviewed for a job and was told both by HR and one of the managers that he was difficult and hard on his staff, and that several had left. Ultimately I left because he was abusive. They told me what to expect and I walked into it thinking that it couldn't be that bad. What I learned is to really listen and not gloss over red flags in the interviews. Remember you are interviewing them, too.

    Your friend would do very well to participate in some job-search networking groups where he can both vent to get rid of his frustrations, and also learn ways to put himself in a better situation moving forward.
  • Jun 9, 2010, 08:30 PM

    I have a feeling that you're getting office politics and office policy confused.

    Office policy means the rules of the office. Those rules are put down by the owners and managers of that company. If you don't follow the rules, then expect to be fired.

    Office politics is normal when a group of people work together. It can be anything from gossip to bullying. Sadly there's not much you can do about it. If it's bullying then you can inform the manager, but most times nothing is done.

    If your friend keeps asking potential employers about the "office politics" then he's going to look silly and most people don't like to hire silly people.

    He has to learn to go with the flow, to do his job and stay out of the office politics.
  • Jun 10, 2010, 08:20 AM

    I don't get the impression that danielsr's friend is asking about office policies. I think he has had a bad experience in a politically charged office and is trying to avoid getting into a similar situation.

    It's just not a good thing to bring up, but if we listen carefully in the interview we can pick up on a lot. I know I am so nervous about how I present myself, I have failed to pay appropriate attention to red flags in what the interviewer says, and later I am thinking, "wow...this was what they were talking about - I wish I had paid attention to that".

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