It’s the end of a rotten day and I’m fuming. There are many ways to see harm to or the obliteration of your career in the fabulous world of industry. It can be self-immolation or you can catch a bullet just by standing there. Sometimes you can be removed for reasons that are never clear- your division or your job description can be rendered obsolete by the geniuses driving the boat. Industry demands loyalty and the ability to absorb abuse through many forms of institutionalized intimidation.

Sometimes working in industry just sucks. There is no way around it nor is there a better description. The trick to weathering bad times is to find a way to reign in your temper when things get stupid. Speaking for myself- a large irritable mammal- this can be really hard to do. I am a smartass with a good vocabulary and a decent imagination- a detonable configuration and am unable to keep my mouth shut sometimes.

I had to learn this temper thing the hard way. I once beared my teeth and snapped back at a senior staff member who was behaving just horribly. He had a need for dominance and used his lengthy time in service to leverage it. Skipping to the conclusion, I ended up leaving and he stayed.  Moral of the story- for long term survival, find a way to let bad characters implode through their own weaknesses.  If you want to stay, then resolve to stay.

In industry it is quite important that your “deliverables” are not just visible, but also mission critical. Industry is cyclical and companies inevitably expand the head count. When times get tough, the head count is one of the first things they want to trim. While times are good, try to remain on important projects that are highly visible and valuable to management. Try to avoid being put on invisible projects.

Be judicious in how you use email. Don’t give others a stick that they can beat you over the head with. Never compose an email while you are angry. Always be fair and generous, especially to despicable characters. Even handedness in the face of conflict will always win friends and allies. Try to avoid blind copying and excessive cc’s to upper level people. Try to settle your disputes without making a comedy show of it in front of management.

You will eventually find that one of the major problems in life is the matter of control. Many kinds of conflict and ordeals derive from the need for control. Some people harbor pernicious control issues that disrupt everything around them. They are like typhoid carriers. I have yet to find a rule of thumb for such a situation. But the thing to remember is that such people could cause you to behave badly as well.  , so a person has to be on guard when certain people are around. This sounds simple, but it can be quite hard to do. I am writing this very post as a way to process my own frustrations.

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