November 10, 2013

Can You Be Friends With Your Boss?

If you have a job, you have a boss. What comes to mind when you think of your boss? She’s the top dog. She’s in charge of you. Your job depends on doing what she says. Yikes. Your boss is a pretty big deal. Does that mean that you can’t be friends with your boss?

Most people spend about a third of their time at the office. Generally your co-workers are people you have things in common with. When you spend that much time with people, friendships and relationships are bound to form. So why is it so complicated to be friends with your boss? It’s good to work with people that you like and respect, but here are a few of the issues you have to face:

  • Success or friendship – Are you doing well at work because you’re totally awesome or because your boss wants to help out a friend? Be sure you’re getting ahead on your own merit.
  • No secrets – There are some things you shouldn’t talk about with your boss, but if you’re buddies, there aren’t too many secrets.
  • Feedback is hard to take – Hearing constructive criticism from the woman in charge, who is also your friend, can be extra frustrating.
  • Favoritism – If things go well for you – a raise, promotion, cushy assignment – your co-workers are going to wonder if you’re a bit of a brown nosier. Are you ready for the coffee break gossip?
  • Hard to separate business from friendship – There is a fine line between what is professional and what’s not. Conversations at the bar may not be appropriate at the workplace. How are you going to separate the two?
  • More friendly work environment – When you look forward to hanging out with your co-workers and your boss, stress levels go down and work becomes more fun.
  • What if you get fired? – Uh-oh. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen. How will you take it if your friend fires you?
  • Genuine friendship – Why do you want to be friends with your boss? Be sure your friendship is legitimate because you enjoy doing things together. That’s important. JobMonkey doesn’t support false friendships!

Being friends with your boss can have both negative and positive effects. When you choose to befriend your boss, there is a fine line where friendship and professionalism blur. Work life and personal life seem to blend and it’s up to you stay professional.

You have to choose to be friends with your boss. If it’s a genuine friendship, go for it. If you just want to be friends with the person in charge, it may be wise to steer clear. If your friendship does go sour, remember the job board is always there!

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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