What is the Role of Academic Politics in Submission Processing?

Office politics is a very easy boogeyman for people who fail again and again.

Role of Academic Politics

Office politics is a very easy boogeyman for people who fail again and again. If you have, in any way, faced some sort of frustration, it is quite reassuring to say that, “I didn’t make it all the way or I failed because of office politics.” People would readily understand. People would become sympathetic and you have yourself an out.

But deep down inside, you know that you just didn’t have it. That’s the bottom line.

But the problem is, when we believe in some sort of political machination or back stabbing or some sort of underhanded conspiratorial process undermining us, denying us, and ultimately, destroying us, we give ourselves an out. We really do.

None of this, of course, means that I’m dismissing how bitter you feel. I’m not at all downplaying how much it sucks to be rejected again and again. I am, however, casting a spotlight on the fact that if we give ourselves excuses, it really numbs us to the tremendous opportunity we have available to us of constant improvement.

Believe it or not, the moment you get knocked down and you fall on the floor is an opportunity to learn. Seriously. I mean, it hurts, you’re probably bleeding, you’re bruised up, but it is an opportunity if you want to see the opportunity.

At the very least, you know that you’re going to be punched. You know that at certain angles, somebody’s going to throw a punch at you. So when you get back on your feet, it probably would help not to get punched again, so you’d be more mindful.

The same applies to academic rejections. If a certain thesis of yours gets rejected over and over again, that’s probably a wake up call. If a certain organization keeps rejecting you, it’s probably a wake up call to apply to another organization. Do you see how this works?

You have to understand that ultimately, the things that the world throws at us is neutral. It really is. I mean, it may not seem neutral, it might seem even crushing or devastating, but ultimately, it’s neutral. What gives it a negative or positive or neutral connotation is our attitude.

So do yourself a big favor and stop focusing on politics as some sort of easy boogeyman or easy excuse. Instead, look at what you’re doing and try to step up your game. Maybe you are submitting the wrong things to the wrong organizations at the wrong time to get the wrong effect.

Look at the different factors involved and try to slice and dice them. Try to mix them up. Try to mix and match them to come up with a different solution.

As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. Maybe that’s what you’re doing. Maybe it’s time to mix things up and do something different each and every time you try.