Most of us have spent the past couple of years working from home, so it’s possible that you may have let your guard down when it comes to office politics. But as our employers start to drag us back into the office, it’s more important than ever to brush up on those skills that have helped you survive in the jungle we call Corporate America.
Thanks to social media, lots of people have been sharing their best workplace survival tips for Black people. And while most of this advice may seem obvious and could feasibly apply to white people as well, it doesn’t hurt to have a gentle reminder every now and then. These are some things Black people have to be mindful of in the workplace. Got any additional tips to share? Drop them in the comments.
Keep Your Receipts
You never know when you’re going to have to show proof of something you did (or didn’t do) at work. So as @_thehrqueen reminds us, it’s important to save relevant emails. Keep an organized record of your workplace communication so that if it goes down, you’re ready to defend yourself.
Them People Are Not your Friends
It’s true, you probably do spend more time with co-workers than even some members of your family. But as @freckles1290 points out, your co-workers are not your friends. Maintain your professional boundaries and avoid oversharing. You’ll be glad you did.
Don’t Get Drunk at Company Events
Even if everyone else is getting wasted at the Holiday Party, it’s important to keep it classy around your co-workers. @reallifecourt reminds us that we can’t move like they can, so it’s best to keep your wits about you at all times. She adds that you may be getting set up and not even know it. If you don’t know your limits, it’s probably best to post up with a club soda and lime and keep it pushing.
Be Cool at the Watercooler
It can be tempting to get all up in the mix with the latest office gossip. But this one time when it’s better to do more listening than talking. The last thing you want is to get caught up in any workplace drama that might be going down. And you definitely don’t want your name attached to any rumors.
Have a Plan B
It may seem a little bleak to have to come up with an exit strategy, but as @yagurlpaulette cautions, you should always keep a ram in the bush. The days of staying at one place forever are over. So it’s in your best interest to make sure you’re always looking forward. Especially if your job becomes a place that forces you to compromise your principles or puts your health at risk, you should be looking for the door.
Remember That You Are Enough
Ok, so I know that sounds like some new age psychobabble, but it’s important. It can be difficult to spend eight hours a day in a space where few people look like you. And as @maeveillard says, the anxiety that often comes with that can leave you dealing with a major case of imposter syndrome. But it’s important to remember that you were hired for a reason. Even if you have to tape it on the wall in your office or cubicle, tell yourself that you are damn good. Because Lord knows your boss may never tell you.