With November 2012 just around the corner, election season is officially in full swing. And nowadays, it’s hard to go anywhere without being inundated with opinions on the candidates and their viewpoints.
But what about when people start talking politics at work? Should you get in the game – or keep yourself on the sidelines?
At the end of the day, you’re better off avoiding it. Most people are strongly rooted in their opinions, candidates, and parties and things can get heated pretty quickly. And unless you work in a setting that revolves around a certain set of beliefs (such as a church or environmental group), you’re putting yourself – and your career – at risk by starting or participating in conversations about sensitive issues.
Still not convinced?
Chances are, not everyone is going to agree with your opinion. Therefore, when you plunge headfirst into the political waters at work, you risk offending those colleagues you need to work alongside everyday to get your job done. Worse, by creating unnecessary conflict, you may change your boss’s opinion of you and create long-term hard feelings in the office. So why even go there?
But what if it’s your boss or colleagues who always want to discuss politics, and you feel caught in the middle?
Nod and smile. Make a few neutral comments. But above all, try not to engage too much in the conversation. They’ll eventually get the picture that you’re not interested. And you’ll keep your reputation as the calm, diplomatic employee that you are. Not bad for a day’s work!
That said, not all talk of politics at work should be avoided. For instance, if your boss is bringing up politics to discuss how a particular piece of legislation negatively or positively impacts your company or industry, how a party’s or candidate’s stance will help or hurt your business or industry, or just the economy in general, then you’ll certainly want to listen up and get involved in the discussion at that point.
Looking for a New Job With a Less Heated Political Climate?
If you are, let us know. As one of the top recruiting firms in Tempe, PrideStaff has partnered with leading employers in the area to connect you with rewarding job opportunities. Contact PrideStaff today to get started.