Have you ever noticed that while at work, both in the office and online, that it’s your more toxic colleagues that get recognized? That whenever your supervisors praise anyone, it’s that one unbearable co-worker of yours? Despite the horror stories we’ve heard or even experienced working with them, toxic colleagues continue to be very successful at climbing the work ladder.
So how do they do it? To answer this question, here are the reasons why your toxic colleagues are ahead of you at work. A little disclaimer before continuing, this article isn’t advocating that you should copy these tactics to succeed at work. There are also many ways that you can do to climb the career ladder without devolving into a toxic employee, as I’ll also be discussing here.
How Toxic Colleagues Utilize Social Skills for Their Ends.
Let’s begin by discussing how your toxic colleagues utilize social skills to get ahead at work. According to a study, twisting social skills for their ends is how your toxic colleagues succeed at work. That may be the case; take note that these skills in themselves are not bad. It is the way toxic colleagues use them that makes them harmful.
Skills such as confidence, friendliness, assertiveness, and the ability to compel others to your view are helpful to the workplace. Honing these skills allow you to better establish connections and present your ideas confidently with your co-workers. In fact, these skills are sought-after by employers as they foster growth and cooperation within the workplace.
Unfortunately, your toxic colleagues combine these skills with deceit and manipulation to get ahead of their perceived rivals (i.e., you and your colleagues) at work. They use the connections that they form to spy on their co-workers and manipulate them. They also lie about their contributions in group projects to present themselves as doing more work than they did.
Toxic Colleagues Are Sycophantic.
A manifestation of these skills is perhaps one of the main reasons toxic colleagues get ahead of everyone else. Of course, I’m talking about them being sycophants to their superiors. We’ve all seen this type of employee, the kind that seems to agree with whatever the boss says, even if it is silly. Or they’re the ones who are always enthusiastic to follow your boss’s orders.
But what is sycophancy? Sycophancy is the act of flattering someone with a motive behind said flattering. Your toxic colleagues practice this to get in their superiors’ good graces and attract their attention. They then use this attention to improve their chances of getting promoted. Or at the very least an assignment to prestigious company projects.
So what can you do instead? You can start by being more objective when responding to your bosses and use compliments in moderation with them. Doing this shows your sincerity with your comments instead of just wanting to be in your bosses’ good graces.
Connections Within The Company.
Sometimes, your toxic colleagues’ are ahead, not just on what they know, but on who they know. Maybe one of their friends has connections within the company and wanted to help them advance their careers faster. Or perhaps, they’re friends with one of your supervisors. Explains a lot, really.
Again, don’t get me wrong. Having friends who know someone in the company isn’t bad in itself. It becomes so when people abuse these friendships to advance their careers. Instead of proving themselves worthy, they just called a few friends, and they got the position with no effort whatsoever.
What should you do then to avoid being a toxic employee if your employment in your online job was helped by your connections? Well, nothing really. Toxic colleagues love making it into something big that they got in due to who they know, so don’t be like them. Never let this get in your head, and you should work hard and diligently just like any other employee instead.
They Overstate Their Accomplishments to Superiors.
Another trick that toxic colleagues love to do to get ahead in the career ladder is overstate their accomplishments. Personally, I think this is one of the most annoying aspects of toxic colleagues: their bragging. It’s difficult to stomach the fact that they get praised for their meager contributions, while you and the others who worked hard get nothing.
If you want to avoid sounding like an arrogant and unbearable colleague to your co-workers, then simply be humble. Never let your achievements or position blind you that you need your co-workers to work at your best.
Toxic Colleagues Abuse Their Seniority on New Employees.
In many companies, having seniority means you deserve respect from new employees. After all, you’ve been in the company longer, so you know how to best get results, right? In some instances, this is true. On some, however, that is not the case. Some senior employees abuse their seniority with their juniors instead.
These toxic colleagues would often pile on work that’s supposed to be theirs to their juniors. “It’s more experience.” They would say. But when it comes to receiving praise from their superiors, they tend to hog all the credit. Suffice to say, nobody likes this kind of senior colleague.
To avoid becoming this kind of employee; while still being capable of advancing in the career ladder, always remember your roots. Remember, you were once in your juniors’ shoes, so don’t become arrogant about the skills you’ve gained.
They Gossip and Spread Rumours About Their Co-workers.
And finally, one of the nastiest tricks that your toxic colleagues do to succeed in the career ladder is dragging others down. This is noticeable in toxic colleagues who are competitive in getting a promotion. They make themselves look good by stirring trouble on rival co-workers to turn everyone, particularly their bosses, against them.
Another trick that they do is to appear friendly to their colleagues. They joke around and spend time with them to get on their good side. But once their colleagues are out of sight, they spread rumors about them and twist their words to appear negative.
To avoid becoming like this, simply don’t spread rumors about your colleagues. I know, surprising, right? Not only does it allow you to truly grow closer with your colleagues, but it also saves you from being involved in messy office politics.
And that is it. Here are the reasons why your toxic colleagues are ahead of you when it comes to the career ladder. Again, I would like to remind you that this article is not endorsing you to copy these underhanded tricks. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Sure, doing these underhanded tricks may give you an advantage in the short-term. But in the long run, these tactics will backfire on you as none of your colleagues will want to work with you. That is why it is still better to foster good relations with your colleagues and climb the career ladder through honest work and merit.
With that, I wish you good luck in your online job this 2022. May this year be fruitful for your careers and help you accomplish your goals.