As professionals we encounter several different personalities and office etiquette in our careers. From co-workers who are supportive of our accomplishments, to those who try everything in their power to hold us back from career advancement, there are ways to handle and react to these various personalities in a professional setting. Below are ways Forbes writer Jacquelyn Smith suggests handling office sabotage when you sense that someone is trying to ruin your career.
First, be sure you’re not assuming bad intentions: “If that co-worker is ignoring you, he could be sabotaging you—or maybe he’s just really busy or he’s having a bad day,” Alexander Kjerulf, an author and speaker on careers, tells Forbes. So before you go around mistrusting people and thinking they’re out to get you, ask yourself questions that may help you get to the root of the behavior. Is this repeated behavior? Is this behavior shown towards everyone?
Be alert: If strange things are happening at work, such as you not getting the raise you were promised, or someone less qualified getting a promotion over you, or co-workers giving you the cold shoulder, then it’s safe to assume someone may be after your career. Always pay close attention and be aware of the office dynamics and work culture that takes place around you, so that if sabotage does happen you likely saw the warning signs and you’re better prepared to handle the situation.
Confide in a trusting co-worker: Find a co-worker whose intentions you feel are genuine and explain to them the behavior you are noticing. Simply ask for an objective opinion about the situation to make sure you aren’t escalating things and making the situation more than what it is.
Take notes: Career coach Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio tells Forbes it’s best to take notes on the behavior that takes place so things are clear when you approach your boss or HR about the situation. This also includes keeping track of all emails involved to help further prove your point.