Learning the workplace politics and surviving with common sense

I personally feel that I achieved respect among the IKEA Com&In group during my internship, which is the highest compliment I see that can be achieved at work: receiving acknowledgement from work that your peers consider as well done. What I have learned is that one has to simply execute ones work without expecting any gratitude: when everybody is busy, deadlines are squeezing people into corners, and there are usually problems where there should not be any. In a case like this, staying calm but figuring out either alternative solutions or finding a solution to a problem is the main thing in order to stay in schedule. For example, during my last day at IKEA, I was helping a visual merchandiser to build a large communication podium to a department that was about to start a widely advertised campaign the following morning, Despite careful plans, arrived goods, finalized layouts, and correct timing, the actual display furniture had not landed to the store, which caused a fundamental problem for building a display. By knowing the products and quickly negotiating with the team what was the main focus on the campaign, we were able to use actual goods from the storage and built an alternative podium to provide a sales site for the advertised goods. This was a perfect example of how important it is within a company to know how the politics of a company – in this case, the chain of logistics, storage, visuals, and communication works together in order to achieve quick results.  

It is not enough to be fast, inventive, and capable of solving problems: the most important way to survive in a work climate is to figure out, how to communicate with individuals and stay neutral between people, which is surviving with common sense - surprisingly difficult in a real life.

Posted on August 6, 2017 .