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Article Number: 177 | Rating: Unrated | Last Updated: Sun, May 6, 2012 7:43 AM
You flirted around the punchbowl at your holiday office party, but you don’t have the nerve to actually date him. Or maybe you got a little drunk with your cubicle mate and now you’re too embarrassed to ask her out. You’re aware of office gossip and the last thing you want to do is have a relationship with a co-worker – but you can’t stop thinking about this person and what it would be like to date.
While I don’t generally advocate dating where you pick up your paycheck, you have to follow your heart. But is your heart aware of the consequences? There are some considerations to make before deciding whether or not to go for office romance – namely how it can affect your job and potentially your career. You spend most of your time at work so it’s only natural to form romantic ties there when you’re single. But make sure you know what you want before you get involved. Following are some questions to ask.
How important is moving up in the company to you? If you’re on the fast track to success, then you should carefully consider before you become intimate with anyone in your office – especially a boss or someone who works for you. The last thing you need is for others to consider any accolades or promotions you receive a favor. And you don’t want to divulge any sensitive information that could be used against you later (scorned lovers, anyone?) You want to earn your success and be respected, so stick to dating outside of the office.
What are your company guidelines for dating? If there’s an employee handbook, read it. Most companies have very specific policies on inter-office dating. Some have a zero tolerance level and others are more liberal. Know the rules before you try.
How would you handle rejection? If you get up the nerve to ask her out and she refuses, could you be comfortable working with her, or would your ego be too bruised? You know yourself well enough to decide. On the other hand, if you run from relationships and tend mostly towards one-night stands, you may not want to go searching for love in the office pool. Ask yourself if you’d want to see him or her every day after a fling is over, and then decide.
How focused are you on your career? Do you spend most nights in the office gearing up for the next project, or do you head out at six? If your love interest has the same work habits as you, great – but if she doesn’t, there may be conflict when it comes to making it work. Make sure you both know each other’s goals before you start.
Would you be willing to give up your job? If things take a wrong turn and you break up while you’re still working together, it could put a strain on your productivity and focus, and ultimately your job. If you want to stay in your current position, don’t do anything to risk losing it. If you’re not all that enthralled and would welcome a job move, then ask her
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