Being attracted to someone you work with can be exhilarating, but plunging into a full-fledged workplace romance comes with the potential to impact a major part of your life: your career. For that reason, don’t take that plunge without stopping to think good and hard about the pros and cons, the risks and the rewards. Chaz Pitts-Kyser, author of Careeranista: The Woman’s Guide to Success after College, offers her take on this important issue:
Given that people spend half of their day in the office, it's no wonder that office dating isn't even more common than it already is. While mixing business with pleasure in the office isn't as frowned upon as it was years ago, those who choose to mingle where they work still need to follow some basic rules. These include:
- Be picky about whom you date: Before you enter into a romantic relationship, really consider if the person is worth all the trouble. Crushes come and go, and if you date everyone in the office who strikes your fancy, you will develop a horrible reputation. So, get to know a person before heading into the dating lane, and unless he or she appears to be exactly the person you've been searching for, keep looking outside the office.
- Have a grown up conversation about how the relationship could affect your job: Don't play a relationship by ear when it comes to office dating. You need to set clear ground rules on what you think is appropriate and what isn't. For example, is it okay for the person to check on you during the day? Will the relationship be kept entirely on the hush? Try to eliminate surprises by talking about how you can keep your relationship healthy without hurting your careers.
- Resist the urge to tell coworkers about your new found love: Don't discuss your relationship with your peers. You don't want your love life to become the center of water cooler conversation. If they end up learning about it, that is fine, but your relationship should not be a topic of conversation. When it does, the focus becomes on your love life instead of your work, which is not a good thing for either of you.
Workplace romance: doing it the right way, part 1
About this Examiner: Kathryn Marion is the award-winning author of GRADS: TAKE CHARGE of Your First Year After College!, the most comprehensive resource for navigating the world of work and independent living after graduation, as well as host of the book’s companion resource site, www.GradsTakeCharge.com. The print edition of GRADS: TAKE CHARGE is available through Amazon and other online booksellers. The e-book edition is available through e-junkie.
Kathryn also coaches students, graduates, and career changers as well as consults with small businesses and aspiring authors.