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Rules for Surviving in a Bureaucratic Environment



Don’t expect anything

Most of the time, things are not as bad as they seem

Seek advice in a humble manner from those you admire, when you find them

Try and be positive – avoid having work related conversations with those who complain all the time

This is a bureaucracy… things take time to develop and procedures have to be followed

Why? To protect you and for accountability reasons

Sometimes, you just have to accept what is and be…

Be passionate but don’t always show your passion

Why? This can be misrepresented as “aggression”

If you want to change something, there will be resistance,

Why? Because people don’t like change, they feel protected in the way things are and trying to change things, means to some, that you are threatening their security and people don’t like that.

So, if you want to change things, do your homework, speak to the people who can “affect” change but ask them their opinion first, so that they feel that they are part of the solution – that way you delegate the recognition to them and they like that.

Changes can happen, but not necessarily for the best

Accept the good and recognise the bad in the system, and use whichever one helps you to achieve your goal, only if you are comfortable with it.

Yes, there are procedures and ways of doing things but never “sell” yourself in a way that is inconsistent with your character

Remember who you are and believe it or not, you can still maintain your character traits within a bureaucratic behemoth

It’s all about finding a purpose in what you do

If you cannot and don’t feel you belong, then you will give up and the only way to save yourself is “quit”

After all, if you don’t enjoy being yourself in whatever situation you are in, then you will continue to lose yourself every day and hence loose your raison d’etre and self-worth and that’s not a good place to be.


So, to survive, find a goal, focus on it and use the system to achieve your self-worth and ultimately, purpose in life.

Good luck!


I shared this with my former colleagues in November 2019.

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