Given that you spend more time at the office than you do anywhere else, it seems probable that you might find more than just a paycheck at work. But what happens if you fall in love at your workplace? Can you handle it professionally, without jeopardizing your career, or possibly, the love of your life? Here, a career expert shares how to handle the situation with as much class as possible.
How common are office romances?
While you might have a hard and steadfast rule against dating a coworker, Vicki Salemi, Monster.com career expert says office romances are more common than we might think. In fact, a recent study, 38 percent of co-workers say they’ve dated a coworker at some point within their professional career. Why? Salemi says it’s the simple truth that too many singles know to be true: meeting someone is a lot of work. “It can be challenging to meet someone outside the office and considering we spend so much time working, it’s likely for relationships to organically form,” she notes. Looking to see if there’s something more? Ask your partner these 36 questions.
You might be nervous to consider dating a coworker, and you’re right to feel that way. Because a romance could have an impact on your reputation and could even prevent you from furthering your climb up the corporate ladder, thinking twice isn’t a bad idea, but as Salemi puts it, it’s more about the approach. “If you’re overtly flirty and over the top in the office about and with your new sweetheart, you may be viewed in a less professional light,” she says. “It’s never worth risking getting fired or feeling like you’re the favorite of the group because you’re dating a boss, but overall when you proceed with caution, such as dating someone when they’re in another department or another building, there’s less risk involved,” she says.
Stay away from the boss
The other risk, Salemia explains, is about who you decide to date: dating a coworker at your same level is different from getting busy with your manager. “If you date someone who has power over you, such as your boss or a colleague who’s a higher level, if things don’t work out, you may mysteriously be passed over for a promotion, a raise, more challenging work, and more,” she says. Not sure if your boss has your back? These tips will help.