Office politics are a fact of life, no matter who you work for. Often framed in a negative light, they’re not always a bad thing, and navigating them is an essential part of your career growth and progression.

Embracing office politics from the start of your career, and approaching this with a positive mindset and a clear understanding of your own goals will remove the potential for drama and disagreements––while setting the stage for clear progression.

However, some companies do operate with toxic cultures and difficult political structures. While you may not be able to avoid this, it’s essential you learn to navigate issues as early as possible in your career. Here’s how.

1.  Set your agenda

Is this job a stepping stone into an industry you’re interested in, or do you see a long-term future within this company?

Whatever your reason for taking the job, identify how it plays into your long-term career plans, and from there set an agenda of what success looks like. The job descriptions and requirements for roles that are a step ahead of your current position can be a great way to identify where you need to focus your attention.


Source: Shutterstock

The Study International Job Board is full of roles across all sectors and experience levels. A quick browse will help you identify what experiences and skills you need to progress. Once you know what you want to do next, you’ll start to become more strategic in your approach day to day and position yourself to achieve those goals.

2.  Identify allies

Once you can envision your next move, start to identify who can help you get there. Identifying allies within the workplace isn’t about forming new cliques, but instead rising above office politics to connect with those who will be able to help you progress in your career.

Politics is all about relationships: creating strategic workplace alliances will not only help drive your career forward, but also make your daily work life easier, as you start to realize what matters to those above you, it becomes easier to prioritize your workload.

3.  Learn how to listen

Hybrid working means the intent and context of conversations can often be missed through online connections. Learning how to actively listen and ask follow up questions will help you avoid miscommunications, and also help you understand your colleagues’ agendas. Actively listening will also help you ask more strategic questions, and help you stand out as an eager, engaged participant.

4.  Recognise toxicity

Remaining neutral in a toxic culture is challenging and asking for clear communication to achieve your work goals is key.

But if you find you still can’t progress or escape negative workplace drama then it simply might not be the place for you. Simply put, some workplaces are toxic, and no amount of strategizing will change that. The good news is there are plenty of positive workplaces where collaboration and understanding are daily practices. So be proactive and take your skills elsewhere.

The Study International Job Board is full of exciting roles with companies that want employees to excel. Below, you’ll find three open positions to explore with thousands more awaiting your discovery.

Software Engineer, Mastercard, O’Fallon

The Role: As Software Engineer with Mastercard you will assist senior team members in modification of the documentation templates per the needs of the project and technology

The Responsibilities: You will be responsible for programming, testing, implementation, documentation, maintenance and support of systems application software in adherence with MasterCard standards, processes and best practices

The Requirements: You will have at least one year of experience in the software engineering field and be high-energy, detail-oriented and proactive with the ability to function under pressure in an independent environment.

Apply for the Software Engineer role or browse all available opportunities at Mastercard.

Data Engineer 5 – Platform, Netflix, Los Gatos

The Role: As the Data Engineer 5 – Platform with Netflix you will build data products which enable architecting secure, reliable, scalable, and efficient platforms.

The Responsibilities: You will have a strong background in distributed data processing, have great and demonstrable data intuition, and share Netflix’s passion for continuously improving the ways it uses data to make infrastructure better.

The Requirements: You’re passionate about building intuitive data models and are an expert in distributed data processing patterns. You’ll be highly proficient in at least one of Java, Python or Scala.

Apply for the Data Engineer  role or browse all available opportunities at Netflix.

Software Engineer Intern, Samsung Research America, Mountain View

The Role: As a Software Engineer Intern with Samsung Research America you will work as a full member of the team with your work directly affecting the successful release of devices across tool development, programming and scripting work.

The Responsibilities: Your responsibilities will include developing and enhancing web-based tools for the team using Django and React in addition to data processing for dashboards creation.

The Requirements: You will have a BS/MS in computer science with a program management approach. Familiarity with Django, React, Python, Rest API, MySQL, Web servers, HTML and Java in addition to some experience in web based technologies.

Apply for the Software Engineer Intern role or browse all available opportunities with Samsung Research America.

Explore even more opportunities on the Study International Job Board.