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October 30, 2008

Younger Workers Learning to "Play the Game"

The October issue of The Conference Board Review has a great article about office politics, and the differences between younger and older workers in accepting them.

It’s no secret that baby boomers are beginning to retire, and younger workers with different values and ideas are replacing them. This can create a lot of tension between the older workers used to “playing the game” in an office setting, and 20- and 30-year-olds who look down upon office politics.

It’s a tricky situation to navigate. Younger workers may not like the idea of engaging in political games at work, but they need to understand that getting ahead means playing along, at least for the moment. Many people claim that they’ll be “gone in six months,” but end up staying for several years. Refusing to join the grapevine can burn bridges down the road.

Take a look around your office. What kind of age demographic can you see? Does it correlate to the number of seasoned office politicians? For younger workers, success in the professional world increasingly means swallowing one’s pride and following these older workers’ example.

Posted by Amy D.

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