The workplace jungle can be a really scary place. While some people seem to have a clear path with personal guides, others stumble through, getting lost in the brush and falling prey to those who would eat them alive. Many misread the sights, sounds, and signs of danger. In the months ahead, I will share lessons learned from my own successes and failures in the jungle. I want to be your personal guide, taking you deep into the jungle and shining a light on paths that are safe, paths that are risky, and paths that are downright deadly.
The first lesson of survival is to know if you work, you are in the Jungle. Webster defines the jungle as:
Land covered with dense growth of trees, tall vegetation, vines, etc., typically in tropical regions and inhabited by predatory animals.
“Predatory animals at work?” That’s right. Predatory. Lions, tigers, bears, and white men!
I know predators can be men or women of any color or distinguishing characteristic. But, as of today, the workplace is predominantly under the control of men, white men. Survival lesson number two – study and understand predatory behaviors.
Most references to the predatory nature of animals are around the notion of food. For our purposes, consider “food” to be the limited opportunities for promotion and advancement, control of resources, or dominance in the marketplace. If you are thinking “survival of the fittest”, you are getting the picture.
It is easy to become disillusioned by the workplace. Some say success is not worth the effort and drop out, usually leaving one jungle for another. For most, especially during these tough economic times, dropping out is not an option. Since we have to work to take care of ourselves and our families, why not get the most out of it?
Please let me know what you think below…