“We’re going out to get some drinks after work, do you want to come?”
You think: No, I’ve been here all day and would rather go home and stare at my TV.

But instead you say: “Of course!”

Sound familiar? The reality is this: What can appear to be just a casual invitation isn’t always so straightforward in the workplace.

The truth is that with almost every interaction, you’re being judged, and if you choose to not participate, you risk being labeled as anti-social or not a team player.

Oh yes, the joy of office politics!

Of course, you know that there are times when you have to play the game if you want to get ahead. It’s why you say yes to happy hour when you just want to go home, and it’s why you agree to help your boss prep for her presentation even though you have a growing to-do list of your own.

With that said, you don’t always have to give in. (You also don’t have to work in an office like this, though once you get to a certain size, it’s hard to find one that doesn’t involve some politicking.)


Related: How To Tell If You’ll Fit Into A Company Culture Before You Take The Job 


These are the times when it’s in your best interest to roll up your sleeves and give in:

1. When You Want to Get Promoted

Let’s face it: If you’re looking to get promoted, chances are you’re going to have to play some form of office politics. In this case, it’s not only about your work, but your ability to interact with a variety of people.

Earlier in my career, I had a colleague who knew a lot, but had a difficult personality. He had his own qualms with the job, and let’s just say he didn’t lay…

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