Officemythicitis: How to Avoid Falling Into the Trap
‘Beware of officemythicitis,’ warns corporate wellness expert Rajesh Shukla, founder of Korporate Karma. ‘Those affected by it show firmly entrenched misconceptions about work-life factors that are critical to career success. The myths are also the symptoms of the disorder. But fear not for cure is at hand.’ In order to free yourself from the clutches of officemythicitis, you need to dispel some common career-crushing myths.
1. Job-Hopping is Bad for Your Career: ‘This was true about a decade ago,’ Shukla admits. ‘At the time, employers viewed job-hopping as a sign of instability and hence unreliability. The new thinking is different. Job-hoppers are considered market-savvy and having more exposure since they have worked in more than one company. This also makes them appear desirable in the market. They are considered smart players, who plan their growth and actively seek challenges [working in a new place is a challenge]. On the contrary, those who are in the same job for long are seen as lacking ambition—people who are stuck in their comfort zones and undesirable in the market. It may sound radical, but the approach soon will be—if you haven’t moved in two or two-and-a-half years, you had better have a good reason for staying at that job…Today, loyalty is more about delivery than time spent behind the desk. Often people hold out in a career or a job for a little too long until it’s clear that the job isn’t working for them anymore. This may be for two reasons, either they are nervous to take the plunge or they have been fed upon the age old myth of job-hopping is bad. Hanging on more than the required shelf life of the job blunts your ability for accepting new challenges and getting into a delivery position where results are outstanding.’
2. Engaging in Office Politics isn’t Right: Shukla asserts, ‘Office politics is nothing but networking with the right people, nurturing your relationships and knowing what to say when. It’s nothing but being sensible. What’s not “right” about it? My suggestion is observe those who build their careers quickest. Don’t they spend almost one-fifth of their time at work in office politics—building their network and nurturing relationships? This is vital to success. It’s one of the fastest ways to grow because you will have friends in all the right places. Think of it as a strategy that you use to accomplish what you want. But don’t confuse office politics with office gossip. Participating in office gossip is never a good move unless it is for listening and gathering information. If you are seen as a gossip monger, be ready to kiss your dreams goodbye.’
3. Big Companies is Where Success is: ‘Just like we have a general tendency to associate goodwill and positive attributes to good looking people, we really get excited about big brands and large companies,’ notes Shukla. ‘We automatically correlate personal success with that of the company. I don’t have anything against people working for corporate giants. It’s the perception that I’m against. There are many drawbacks of working in a big organisation and I can say this with confidence as I have been employed with at least three of the world’s most renowned brands in the past. You’ll learn newer ways of doing things and better processes but executing any plan takes time given the multi-tiered hierarchy of such organisations. Lastly and most importantly, you don’t get to fail as often as you want so the learning curve exists but develops at its own gradual pace.’