Sunday, October 2, 2011

Office Relationships And Business: The Do’s And Don’ts

All good things are good—until they go bad. Do you really want your work involved in that?

I AM NOT a professional writer, nor am I a philosopher, but intimate relationships and business typically mix like a vegan and a veal chop or a hamburger and a heart attack. Your choice, but I think you get it. Now, have you ever found yourself or know someone else that ended up in a relationship with a co-worker? Many of us have in one capacity or another. When you look back on the experience, it typically seems clear that inter-office relations are a terrible idea; especially if the relationship in question did not exist prior to the two individuals being employed by the same business or company.
It's one thing to be involved with someone who then becomes a coworker or business contact, but it's a completely different animal all together when the relationship is built after the two began working together in a professional capacity. With that said, I am not saying that a relationship built in the office can't or won't work. I am simply stating that more often than not, they fail and when they do, it can be ugly and uncomfortable for everyone involved. In short, a professional business environment is no place for personal issues and drama.
Just remember one thing: If the potential for a wonderful relationship exists or is believed to exist, then at the very least, be prepared for the "what if." Let me illustrate the "what if" by asking three simple questions:
  1. Are you prepared to have the new potential flame learn the intimate details that everyone in the office knows or may know about you?
  2. Could you imagine working together if things go south?
  3. If the transition were necessary, would you consider a job change in the event of a nasty breakup?
If you answered "Yes" to all of these questions, then you're probably okay. However, if you answered "No," then you may want to hold off building relationships with members of your office environment or community. No matter what, be sure that you have thought about all of the possible consequences and remember that nothing is guaranteed in life or relationships, so be smart and cognizant of who you are and where you want your career to go.

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