Many of us treat office colleagues like we treat our jobs: we work at it from 9-to-5 until we punch out and leave the interaction at our desk. If it leaves the office, it’s for a few happy hours. But if you are one of the few who works in the same office as a close personal friend, whether through a reference for the job or in the same industry, “punching out” of the relationship after the workday is not an option. Like Joan and Maya on Girlfriends, the line between being a friend and also being a colleague could become blurred, leaving you looking unprofessional to your boss and unreliable to your friend. How can you win?
Your friend could either be your guardian angel or the spawn of Satan professionally if you both work in the same company or office. Don’t let your friendship go sour by killing it with your matching professional life. But don’t let your relationship in the office trip you up while climbing the corporate ladder. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for working with a friend in the workplace.