Fake it 'til you make it

Whilst on placement, my advisor said something that really stuck with me:

She was referring to office politics but it’s true in everything really isn’t it?

Yesterday, Liz Willingham, Owner and Managing Director of Liz Lean PR came to guest lecture to us. Liz Lean PR is predominantly a media relations firm but has had some interesting clients, my favourite being the Beach Polo. Liz focused mainly on the professionalism and etiquette standards graduates need to live up to. Perhaps everyday basics for most of us, but there are still some of us that forget. I recently wrote of the attitude manygraduates seem to have, and Liz seemed to be talking along the same lines.

She listed a few of these key points to remember:
  • Understanding the pecking order – you will start at the bottom after graduation
  • Body language is key – remember to appear open at all times
  • You must be a team player
  • Spell check everything
  • List all that needs to be done – planning is crucial
  • Your media database is your bible
  • Remember to eat lunch!
I have to say, this sort of lecture is probably better suited to first or second years but it never hurts to be reminded.

So what’s the thinking behind Fake it ‘til you make it? Well… in my case, I was told if I played along with the politics game, I would eventually succeed in that office environment. A kind of imitating confidence until it appears in real life lesson. I never really comment on the office politics in some of my previous roles but the fact is, it does exist. You will always meet people who do not want to work as a team with you, and they can get nasty. Some may be threatened by you, others just walk all over everybody to try and get to the top and some, may just be the stereotypical PR bitch we see on TV shows. Whatever the reason, something I did learn and Liz touched on in her lecture - it’s never personal. Whether they’re commenting on your makeup, dress sense, press release or even your personal life, it’s not because of something you did wrong, more than likely it’s their issue. But some people do well just because they know how to play the game. 

Jessica North

Author & Editor

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