Three weeks ago, I started a new job. It’s a full-time career with benefits and a salary, and it’s pretty awesome. It’s my dream job!
Starting a new job is always exciting, but a little stressful, too. You’re trying to learn new things, get adjusted to the culture, and meeting all kinds of new people all at once.
On my first day, I was overwhelmed with learning all of the rules and trying to remember 25 new names and job titles.
After completing the first day at my new job, my friends asked me the most important question of them all: “Are there any hot guys at work?”
Yes, yes there are.
But there is also a section in the employee handbook about dating in the office.
While it’s not prohibited, it’s also not encouraged. And of course, there’s good reason for that.
I’m sure there are thousands (if not more) of cases of an office love gone sour, which can’t be good for the couple and their careers.
But, depending on the type of office it is, an employee relationship could affect the entire company — for the worse.
Office relationships are just a giant catch 22. On the surface, it seems like an obvious place to meet a match.
After all, you spend at least 40 hours a week at work, and you’re probably working with people you have things in common with — even if it’s just your job.
Chances are, if you are working with other people in your field, you’re going to have similar interests and personalities.
But there’s that looming risk factor; that whole “don’t shit where you eat” thing.
I’ve worked in places where people dated, and when it went south, it resulted in Human Resource meetings and restraining orders.
So much for teamwork!
Dating at the office presents a trap similar to that of dating a neighbor or dating at the gym.
Finding a match anywhere you spend lots of your regular time seems great when it comes to convenience.
Think about it: you can see each other without really planning to, so no need to rearrange your schedule.
But if it doesn’t work out, all of the sudden you’re hiding out in your own home, skipping on the gym, or possibly calling in sick to work.
Not a good situation.
While I haven’t ever dated anyone I’ve worked with, I’ve dated people at the gym and neighbors. Neither of those turned out well for me, obviously.
Aside from convenience, dating at work could have other benefits — a raise? Perhaps a promotion? A better parking spot?
But it’s the age-old question when it comes to dating: do the perks outweigh the risk?
At my new job, they suggest that if you do start dating someone at the office, it cannot affect your work or that of the office, and you should consult with HR.
While it seems so “official,” I think that’s the best way to look at it. Love is important, but then again, so is your career.
When you put it in terms of love or money, I sound like a real ass. But, if the relationship is meant to be, then I believe it will work out in one way or another.
And hopefully, that will be a way that doesn’t jeopardize your job or the future of your career.