Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Brown Nosing As A Career Strategy

I read this very interesting article and realized it described my corporate career and how my personality traits might have affected my job status. It's called Social Capitalist Skills, and while it sounds subversive I assure you it is not.

I always believed that if you kept your head down and did great work that you would be rewarded. Surely they will see how much work I produce, surely they will see how others are roaming around the offices talking to higher ups (read:  brown nosing) while I have this great work ethic. Surely they will see that I take work home at night, that I fire up the computer on weekends to get ahead of emails. Surely they will see that others leave at 4:45 and I'm here til 6:00? Right?


I now think that brown nosing is a very effective career strategy. I always felt too introverted to go "work the room".  I didn't feel comfortable promoting myself to the higher ups to make sure they knew all the good stuff I was doing. That's what brown nosers do, and I knew I wasn't one of those. That was not a desirable personality trait. Ick.

So maybe I should have brown nosed a little. I think they technically call it "networking". In 2010, a lot of people at my company got laid off, including me. Executives were laid off as well. But to my jaded eye, it seems like the brown nosers are still employed there. I admit to a little bias, but I couldn't believe that the "brown nose receivee" didn't realize they were being played. Perhaps they liked being played.

Strengths specific to introverts include reading, writing, researching, and listening. They’re the quieter strengths. That pretty much describes me. These are the types that blog. Ruh roh.

You may recognize yourself in these descriptions:
She’s a copywriter and does marketing for a big company. She said she knows she has to get out there, meet people and mix it up at industry networking events and the like. But she says, and I quote, “I go to these things and I find myself standing alone watching other professionals mixing and mingling. And yes, of course, I know I should introduce myself and meet new people and all of that, but I just can't muster the courage.”
David is a business consultant. He says, “All these coaches I hired tell me the same thing: position myself as the go-to expert, get out there and do public speaking. Well, number one, I don't know how to position myself or where to start. Number two, I need a better way of managing my fear of public speaking.”
She’s read all the self-help business books, including her favorite Self Promotion for Introverts, but she says “I just find myself in all of these situations and I’m still nervous,agitated, and totally lacking in confidence. I really need some help from exercises, cues, anything to feel more relaxed and confident.”
 Read the article here to learn how to keep these work situations from putting you on the sidelines.

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