By Michelle Valerio • May 14, 2010•Writers in Residence
Office politics can be scary and frustrating, especially when you may not have all of the information you need. This week I was reminded just how important it is to remain calm and gather all information before jumping to conclusions. I was at a managers meeting where I was informed that everyone else would be performing a new administrative function except me. I immediately felt frustrated and I began to worry that by not performing this role there would be a perception around the office that I was not at the same level as the other managers. To make matters worse, after the meeting, some of the other attorneys approached me and said that I needed to do something about the new change because it was not fair that I was not included. I spent the next few hours stressed out and demoralized, wondering what this new change meant for me compared to everyone else.
Later that evening I happened to speak to one of my mentors and I explained what had happened at work. My mentor’s advice was to express my thoughts to my boss but then to let it go because after all it was only an administrative function. My mentor explained that if I had been told I would no longer be conducting performance reviews then I could push harder but the current situation was not something to worry too much about.
The following morning I approached my boss and explained to him that I was concerned my team would not respect me as much as because I had not been given the same administrative duty as the other lawyer leading the team with me. My boss replied that he understood my concerns but that he had other plans. He then explained that I would soon be changing roles and would have my own team to supervise instead of sharing the team like I do now. My boss told me that with my new team I would be doing new types of cases and would have an opportunity to have my own clients and really build up my caseload. I was really shocked. I had no idea that I would be given such a new and exciting opportunity. If I had only remained calm after the managers meeting and waited until I had spoken with my boss directly, I could have saved myself hours of wondering and worrying.