It’s nice – and even career important – to be friendly with your boss, but you may want to limit making friends with those outside your professional reporting structure. In other words, there’s a line between divulging your most private feelings and partying on into the night with those who have ultimate power and influence over your career, salary and general workplace happiness.
The Potential Consequences
If you and your boss naturally become friends, be sure you can truly separate business from your personal life. If you think you can do this and are aware of the potential risks involved in such a relationship, okay. But tread carefully.
Your friendship could make asking for a raise awkward.
It’s never easy, regardless of who your boss is. But if you’re close friends, it becomes even more difficult. A good boss wants you to earn as much as you possibly can, but sometimes their hands are tied. They may have no choice but to deny your compensation request. Having to say no will put them in a difficult spot – and you may never personally recover from it.
It’s business, not personal.
Managers are charged with constantly giving feedback to their employees in order to keep their teams performing at optimal levels. It may be harder for your boss to provide constructive criticism you when you’re also friends. Knowing that you could take their suggestions personally, they may water them down, rendering the feedback far less effective.
Perception equals reality.
Everyone from senior management to support staff and the janitor will notice your relationship with the boss and have an opinion about it. Make just one mistake, or even get the promotion you’ve truly worked so hard for, and the water-cooler conspiracy talk will start. You want your good work to stand on its own – not be tarnished by your being seen as a “teacher’s pet.”
No secret is safe.
There’s that grey line again! But in a healthy boss/employee relationship, there are some things you simply cannot discuss. In a friendship, you will eventually divulge information you normally wouldn’t dream of mentioning at work. As a result, you’ve armed the person who has the authority to promote or fire you with your dirty little secrets. And in turn, you may know theirs. Chances are, it will come back to bite you.
Never break the “always” rule. Most rules have an exception, but not this one: It is never OK to party excessively or otherwise behave inappropriately with your boss. Ever.
The recruitment and career coaching staff at PrideStaff Fresno can help you navigate the land mines of launching and advancing your successful job strategy, as well as finding your dream position. To learn more, read our related posts or contact us today.