No. of Recommendations: 16
How does one go about learning about the politics in places like this. . . ?

. . . which happen to make up 90+% of the working world!

You're already on your way with lesson #1 - Don't [ask difficult questons/do anything] that makes management look like idiots, which, BTW, severely limits your options.

Oops, another mistake:
. . .I would like to think that this is irrelevant. It's not!

An analysis of my career would probably make a good primer on how not to go about it, but I could write a hell of a good book now. There are a great many sources to choose from. I did read a short one, "How to Work for a Jerk" - don't recall author; it was pretty good.

You also need to keep in mind your short/long range goals:

Do you want to get ahead in the company? At what personal price in time, commitment, values? Or are you willing to be one of the "foot soldiers, do a competent job so you can focus your energies on other aspects of your life? Or does your recognition/acceptance/promotion at work define your self-worth or success in life?

Are you there for the long haul? Or do you see yourself moving to something different? In spite of the negative or oppresive politics where you are, you'll may find it very difficult to find a better environment w/o a lot of searching, job hopping and/or other costly measures. Good and bad people and management of all types exist in all companies.

There is a lot to be said for making your boss's life easier so your life will be easier. I've seem many get wrapped up in "the principle of the thing" and pay for it big time over the long run. Aside from reading and other outside sources, study others in the office and observe how they've adapted. You should be able to find one or more you can respect and learn from and, possibly, a mentor who will take you under their wing and save you from some future mistakes.

You'll spend your entire working life trying to keep a balance of many aspects: doing competent work, job satisfaction, a comfortable status in the company, harmony with peers and management, an outside personal life, time for family and friends, and, I assume if you're here, progress toward FIRE. As you progress thru your life and career, the importance of different ones will change and you'll have to adjust others appropriately. It's just one continuing journey toward what will make you happy now and in the future.
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