Friends And Co-workers
Nothing is more sticky than co-worker friends, especially if you are in the same role competing for the same opportunities. But it is hard not to make a few. You work every day and over time you build bonds. Sometimes those bond hold even after you no longer work at the same place but I would argue that trying to make your co-workers your besties is a terrible decision.
As a general rule, I think of work friendships like being in the mob. It is all good until it is time for someone to get “whacked”. Because of this, I have a few rules for co-worker friends if I decided to make them at all.
You are co-workers first. I do not care how close you think you are when it comes down to the wire your co-worker is a co-worker. You and this person were hired to do a job and nothing more. Expect that in a sticky situation they will not be considering their lunch buddy in their decisions. Personal Story: At my very first “real job” I worked with a very tight team. We ate lunch together and partied on the weekend together. I really thought we were all cool. But our manager needed to trim down the team, keeping only 2 of the 4 people in our little click. And he made his decision by sneakily asking us little questions about each other here and there. Needless to say, we were friends no more and everyone was trying to save themselves. Terrible management tactic but the point is… no matter what, people are at work for their livelihoods, not the friendship.
Draw some real boundaries. As a general rule, I do not do work people and social media. I know that people think “well, I never post anyway”…. does not matter. You can easily see the pages people like, the posts they like and what their friends post on their page. And yes, privacy settings work but why even do it? If your coworkers need to link with you on social – make a work facebook page. Think about it, we have a madman in office that someone voted for… I want to be able to say good morning to Karen without wondering about her “all lives matter posts” or to what degree does she hate black people. We are too charged for that mess, girl. Do yourself a favor and do not cross that line.
Watch Your Mouth. I often fail at this one so we are all working on it. You should assume nothing you say is between you. Even when you are listening and not talking it can be a problem. This is particularly hard at places where you are bonded over shared “what the f***”. It is so hard because you hear someone going off and all you wanna do is say your own peace. You gotta resist the urge to go off or be ready to stand by your statements if needed.
If your coworker friend is your boss, all the allowances I have made for work friends are canceled. Your boss is ALWAYS your boss. If you have gotten yourself into that sticky web… we cannot help you. I can go on and on about why this sucks but Business Insider did it much better job. Click here, to learn more on that topic.
What are your rules about making friends at work? Tell me about them in the comments below.