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Corporate Game

Throughout your career, you will come across many different types of people with a varied approach to getting ahead and getting the job done. InterNations member Malgosia introduces four types of employees (or “players”). Are you playing the corporate game yet?

Corporations are made by people and hence, to a large extent, the corporate reality is shaped and depended on employee’s personal involvement and individual values systems. There are many professionally and privately fulfilled managers and there are also those who are complaining to be unhappy and burned out. To be perfectly fair, each corporation is different and represents different cultures and work styles that might or might not be suitable for everyone. However it is worth remembering that in each group there are rules which allow you to fit into the existing reality.  It is important to be aware of who you are and what your role in the corporation is.
“Gamification” is the term describing the use of game mechanics and dynamics to increase the personal involvement in areas that are not directly related to the world of games.

There are four types of players distinguished in this theory:
1. The Killers

They are focused on fight and risk. They derive satisfaction from overcoming others. They are usually pragmatic, efficient, goal oriented and not afraid of confrontations. They are perfect for positions where aggressive and decisive actions are desirable.

2. Achievers

They are focused on challenges and development. Achievers are motivated by results. They like working in a group. They do not need a large degree of control and they work best with limited supervision.

There is a danger when a company is not able to motivate them with the next big challenge as they tend to get bored. Another threat is the direct confrontation with the killers. Achievers do not want to waste time on confrontations. Killers are ruled by the need to compete where Achievers are ruled by ambition so the definition of “win” is very different.

3. Socialites

They want everybody to be fine! They derive the energy from their work relationship. They build a network of contacts to support their ideas. Usually they work in HR, PR and wherever the road is what counts and not the end result.

4. Explorers

They derive energy from solving problems. They are not always interested in the effect or purpose. They delve into the analysis and might sometimes lose focus of the actual goal.

Typically we combine characteristics from each player but usually there is one that dominates. It is worth to emphasize that it is important to play the game that is based on your own system of values!

So what are the rules in a corporate game? 

1. Stay in the profit zone.

It is not the statement of the year that corporations work for profit. Staying in the profit zone seems to be the simplest to describe in sales and marketing, but in difficult times it is also associated with the risk of defeat and lack of results. However, not everyone has to be the leader going up the corporate ladder. One can be fulfilled working in a specialist position not everybody wants or is expected to have a dynamic career and spectacular effects at work. Sometimes simply performing your task well does the trick.

2. Set your goals well.

Don’t think that others will take care of you.  Set the objectives and tasks by yourself. Do what you are being paid for and what you are expected to be doing, focusing on the tasks and results your performance evaluation is based on.  Remember your responsibilities and learn how to say “no” to others. Of course it does not mean that you do not have to engage in other projects, especially the interesting ones, but make sure that your duties do not suffer because of this.

3. Build relationships with the right people.

This is the basis of survival and development in large organizations. Take care of your relationships with people, thanks to which you can achieve your business goals easier. Teamwork and communication are one of the most valued skills in corporations.

4. Do not overshadow your boss.

A big chunk of your career in a corporation depends on your boss and the relationship between you two. Do not allow any situation in which you will appear smarter or more important. Competition between you and your boss will probably end badly for you — regardless of whether you are actually better than them.

5. Take care of yourself.

Learn to promote yourself well. The results of your hard work should be known to your boss and if possible to the boss of your boss as well.

The key to happiness in a corporation is to create a distance between work and yourself. A distanced and flexible work style together with conscious commitment will allow you to feel and function better. Rather than getting frustrated by negative thoughts and emotions, better learn how to play!

Malgosia Chabrowska is a business and career coach. After working in different corporations for many years and observing people struggling with confidence, motivation, and changes, she decided to help people strengthen their skills and bring them to the point they would like to be. In her work she brings an empathy and positive attitude for everybody going through changes while challenging the habits and helping to find and apply solutions together.