“Many students leave school inspired and invigorated by the teachings of their educators. They see this world as a playground where much innovation can be achieved. They have their dreams and aspirations, ready to take on the responsibility of bettering society and the world. However, what they are not taught in school is that the workplace is a different type of playground from what they envision. The academic world equips students with virtues of teamwork, collaboration, humility and hope, but an in-depth understanding of human nature, self-preservation, groupthink and politicking are left out. Hence, many students find the transitory phrase from school to work an arduous journey, with many having their dreams dashed due to – ironically – human factors. The more rebellious ones left corporate organisations for entrepreneurship or self-employment while many more are compelled to conform to corporate cultures and lose their individuality. It’s indeed a paradox that while the world cries out for innovative students in education, office politics and bureaucracies obliterate innovation in their most brutal ways and blast it into oblivion.
Students should focus on their goals in life and avoid any form of politicking, which are merely acts of self-preservation based on insecurities and fear. Being diplomatic is an individual’s choice but regardless of one’s temperaments, one should hold one’s own while avoiding the dangers of being mired in the negative human emotions of envy, jealousy, aggression, intimidation, anger, greed and any forms of Machiavellian tendencies – for being caught in the endless and hopeless cycle of human conflicts will surely enmesh one in a quagmire, expending substantial amount of energy on needless altercations. Logic and rationality can only convince some, while emotional anecdotes will only persuade the devoted. Only through one’s accomplishments and the fruitfulness of one’s endeavours, coupled with the passage of time, will one eventually illustrates the meaning of true success.There is indeed no short-cut alleys to success. Perseverance, determination, adaptability and social intelligence will enable one to succeed while a callous engagement in office politics will often doom one to utter failure.”