BreakingModern — The ladder to career success is littered with obstacles. You’ll deal with competition from co-workers, difficult bosses and project failures that are outside of your control. But few things can jeopardize your chances at that corner office more than a relationship with a co-worker.
“Research shows that the workplace is where the majority of couples meet,” says Dr. Tina B. Tessina, psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage. “There’s a reason for this: Unlike online dating, newspaper ads, singles events and speed dating, the office gives you a chance to actually get to know and even bond with a person before declaring your interest.”
If your business’s HR manual includes a strict no-dating policy, you’ll have to consider the risks of losing your job before indulging in an affair. Otherwise, you may find yourself dating a co-worker despite advice to the contrary for the following reasons.
We spend one third of our lives at work, usually devoting more time each day to our jobs than any other activity, including sleep. For hardworking single people, the office can easily become a large source of social activity. Just as college students tend to date others on campus, career-minded professionals can easily fall into a relationship with someone they work with every day.
However, the proximity that seems so attractive in the early days can be a problem if the relationship doesn’t work out. There will be no escape, especially if the person works in the same area of the office. What was once a blessing can quickly become a curse.
You may notice that not many people understand the inner workings of your office, but your co-workers do. There can be something cathartic about an intensive gossip session about your fellow workers, and it’s even more valuable when the other person knows the subject of your gossip.
That personal connection can become burdensome over time, however. One of the best things about a relationship with someone who doesn’t work in your office is that you can separate your work and personal lives.
It Makes Work Fun
Getting out of bed each morning for work can be grueling. But when you’re romantically interested in a co-worker, that morning alarm isn’t quite as dreadful. An office relationship gives the workplace a bit of excitement, boosting your morale and pushing you to do a better job each day. Your colleagues and superiors may even notice the new spring in your step.
That benefit will reverse if the relationship turns sour, though. You’ll meet the morning alarm with an even-greater sense of dread than you had before. The workplace will go from being a fun, positive place to a much-less inviting one as you spend each day looking for ways to avoid your ex. The damage to your morale may even begin to affect your work, causing you to lose promotional opportunities and potentially derailing your career.
The temptation to date co-workers can be difficult to resist. But it’s important to know the risks before you take the plunge, especially if you can’t afford to lose the job if your relationship takes a nasty turn. Ex lovers can seek retribution if a relationship doesn’t work out, and that vindictiveness could lead you to miss out on promotions or even suffer a reduction in work responsibilities.
Feature/First image credit: © Aurelio / Dollar Photo Club
Second image credit: © WavebreakmediaMicro / Dollar Photo Club