When you are in college, everyone has so much advice on how to advance in your career. They advise you to successfully complete your education, sign up for multiple internships and to network, network, network! They often tell you that this is how you can set yourself up for success in the corporate world but no one ever mentions how to overcome Office Politics.

Google states that Office politics are the strategies that people play to gain advantage, personally or for a cause they support. The term often has a negative connotation, in that it refers to strategies people use to seek advantage at the expense of others or the greater good.

Sounds familiar? Use these 7 steps to deal with corporate politics and to advance in your career.

how to advance your career

7 Steps on How to Advance Your Career!

  1. Know who you are.
    • This step is number 1 for a reason. So many people lose themselves chasing after a career. They do and say things they wouldn’t normally do just so they can fit in and ‘play the game’. Then years later, they become a totally different person because they’ve lost sight of who they really are.
  2. Be You with A Professional Twist!
    • Stay true to who you are. Don’t be so conservative that you’re not showing your personality but please don’t act the same way with your boss that you would with your besties. Another example is, if you don’t drink alcohol, then don’t start drinking it just to fit in. I’m not saying avoid going out with coworkers just because you don’t drink but don’t get there and start ordering bottles of Vodka trying to prove that you’re one of them. Stay true to you boo!
  3. What Are Your Goals and your 5 Year Plan?
    • ‘He who fails to plan, plans to fail’. You must have a plan! Is there a certain position that you would like to have in 5 years? What are your goals? Don’t forget the reason you are working so hard in the first place. Do you want to save more money, give more to charity, live a worry free lifestyle, etc? If you lose sight of your goals, then all of your hard work is being done in vain.
  4. Who Is Your External Mentor?
    • In order to make it in this world, you will need someone to give you guidance and advice. For me, it was my pastor but an external mentor could be a family member, a parent, a professor, etc. As long as that person has the ability to provide you with valuable advice and has an idea on where you’re trying to go in life, then they can be a successful mentor for you. If you don’t have one, you should definitely work on getting one. They will be able to give you advice from past experiences they have had in their lives.
  5. Who Is Your Internal Mentor?
    • Having a mentor within the company is very important as well. You will need someone to teach you what to do and what not to do. They can give you advice on what decisions to make when it comes to your career. Your internal mentor should be someone who is on a higher level than you are and who has the ability to help you advance in your career.
  6. Loyalty – Know When to Have It & When Not to Have It!
    • There was a time when individuals would stay at companies their entire careers. They would begin their career at company A and they were expected to retire from company A. This was the mindset until companies started to do mass layoffs. Now individuals are putting their careers before their loyalty. If the particular company that you are working for is helping you advance to the level of success that you desire, then why would you look elsewhere? However, if that company isn’t offering the opportunity for advancement, then I suggest putting your career first and searching elsewhere. Know when to have loyalty and when not to based on whether or not there is room for advancement.
  7. Get A Life!
    • Yes, 3 simple words…Get A Life. My dad used to tell me, you have your whole life to work, and he was right! Therefore, I’m not going to spend every waking hour of my life focused on work. I am going to enjoy my life. If I have a hobby, I’m going to enjoy it. I have a 9 year old so I will be sure to take trips and vacations with him. I’m going to take some of my hard earned money and buy myself something nice every now and again. Why? Because I will have a life so I advise you to get one too!

I hope this has helped you and will continue to help you in your career. Feel free to leave steps you have taken to advance your career in the below comments! Also, please share and  subscribe!