Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Informal Rules

Always learn the informal rules, the unspoken understandings about how matters are handled. The formal rules are the equivalent of how people behave in the parlor when their rich relatives are visiting or a photographer is near.

The informal ones can go in two directions. One involves a conversation with a kindly uncle who patiently teaches you what to ignore and what to protect. Another version, far less pleasant, is more like a chat with The Godfather and a few of his associates.

The savvy employee studies the organization, both the people and the beast itself, and pays closer attention to what is done than to what is said.


Daniel Richwine said...

I speak from personal experience that it is a very dangerous time in one's career when you have started to learn how to do your job but have not yet learned how things are done.

Michael Wade said...


Winding one's way through office politics and other quirks is a real challenge. Finding someone who knows the ropes and personalities and is willing to talk candidly can be a major step.