An Office Affair: Just Say No!

Carl Mueller

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The office affair. File it under “it seemed like a good idea at the time” or perhaps “I should have known better. ”

While I have worked with a handful of couples who met at work and ended up living happily ever after – at least so far anyways – having an office affair in my opinion is not a great long-term career decision.

Especially if it's a clandestine affair.

And it could be a career limiting decision with your employer if it goes REALLY bad.

I’m not referring to when two co-workers start seeing each other and where one or both of them are married to other people. If you need to be told that this is not a good idea, then an article probably isn’t going to help you see the light.

I’m specifically referring to when two co-workers who are both single start seeing one another.

Certainly it can be difficult to meet that special someone and it’s reasonable that when two single co-workers spend a great deal of time with each other that they might become attracted to one another.

Rather than trying to prove a point, I will instead list several possible outcomes of two co-workers having an office affair that you should think about before doing anything you may regret later on:

Think about the worst case scenario that could occur if things end poorly.

  • Does the company have a policy against office relationships and if so, can you be fired if it becomes public knowledge (which it most likely will)?
  • Could becoming involved with a co-worker create a possible conflict if you end the relationship badly? Will you still have to work closely with them in the future?
  • If you are planning on having an office affair without letting anyone know, how will co-workers and management react if and when they find out especially if there is a company policy against it? How will it then look if it appears the two of you were also deliberately hiding it?
  • And if you are thinking about having an affair with a subordinate, consider the possible legal ramifications if this person gets fired and blames you.
Having an office affair can be considered by some employers to be a case of very bad judgment on the part of the people who take part in them. It could be grounds for firing especially if the position you hold is high profile enough to possibly become a public embarrassment to the company.

What would you tell a future potential employer about why you left your last job if it was because you were fired for having an office affair?

I’ve read some statistics that indicate that many couples admit to having met at work so certainly it does happen. Understanding your employer’s policy and what the possible consequences are for having an office affair before starting one are paramount.

Even if you aren’t fired, it could end up being a career-limiting move that lowers the opinion that co-workers and superiors have of you especially if things go bad and the gossip starts.

Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter. Carl has helped many job searchers find their dream career and would like to help clear up some of the job search myths that exist while helping people avoid common mistakes that cost them jobs.

Visit Carl's website to separate yourself from other job searchers:

Ezine editors/Webmasters: Please feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine or on your website. Please don’t change any of the content and please ensure that you include the above bio that shows my website URL. If you would like me to address any specific career topics in future articles, please let me know.


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