Because we professionals spend more time at work than we do elsewhere, it’s common for our social and professional lives to cross paths. We grab a few drinks with colleagues, grab a bite to eat, and sometimes catch a movie with them—and for others this is the start of an office romance.
Most people—and companies—discourage this kind of relationship as it normally ends up in flames. But if the fire has already been lit, then these tips can help minimize the effect of your liaison in your career:
Weigh the Risks
Is the partnership worth risking your profession for? Do you two share real love or is it merely lust? If you don’t see the affair going anywhere, it would be best to end it early on.
Know Your Company’s Policy on Office Relationships
Workplace romance is frowned upon most of the time because of several issues that can arise. Understand the HR department’s stand on this before you get terminated for misconduct.
Date Someone from a Different Department
If an affair ensues and it doesn’t work out, at least you won’t have to be around each other 8 hours a day.
Choose a Partner Who is in the Same League as You
Dating someone who has a higher or lower position than you guarantees trouble. For the underling, people will assume that you’re receiving special treatment; for supervisors, you are opening yourself up to possible sexual harassment suits.
Put it on Paper
It may be a stretch, but if a supervisor-supervisee romance does bloom, a contract saying the relationship is consensual can protect both parties for potential lawsuits.
If a boss-employee relationship is serious, the party with the higher position must consider leaving the company and finding employment elsewhere. A supervisor or manager is more secured to acquire a new job compared to the person holding a lower post.
Remain Professional and Discreet
Even if your affair is publicly known, avoid treating each other as anything more than colleagues when you’re inside the office. And don’t let your feelings affect your work performance because it may not end well for you both.
Do Not Use Office Email for Personal Conversation
Company emails can be monitored and recorded by IT people. You don’t want to publicize intimate chats between you and your partner, do you?
Keep the Romance Outside the Office
There should be no public displays of affection when you’re within company premises. Save the touching and kissing for private locations.
Tackle Problems After Hours
Do not ever fight about your personal issues inside the office. This goes back to professionalism. Learn to separate your professional life from your personal one.
Prepare for the Worst
Be realistic and consider what you’re both going to do when the affair fails. Come up with a plan and stick to it.
If all else fails, we have resume samples that can help you land a new job in a new firm.
We can’t control who we fall for, but we can protect our careers and goals; follow our advice for a happy relationship and fruitful profession.
Source: Boston.com, Mail Online, Forbes, About Careers