Thursday, February 11, 2010

Socializing With Colleagues

Going out with workmates after work is a grey area. It is not entirely work, but it is rarely pure pleasure either. Boundaries are blurred and etiquette can be uncertain. How do you make this ambiguous mix of the professional and personal work for you?

What do I get out of it?

Of course, you don’t have to do anything, but if you don’t socialize you won’t be fully part of the culture.

People who socialize with colleagues will have good chemistry with them and things are more likely to happen quickly. If you know a bit about someone you’ll understand their motivations, you’re less likely to get frustrated with them and even if they don’t give you what you want, you’ll probably understand why.

Know your place in the hierarchy
As a boss, it’s good for your career if your team feel that you’re human and approachable. But you have to recognize that sometimes the best boss buys a couple of rounds and then heads home. Give the team some room to let off a bit of steam.

What to avoid?

  • Don’t try to impress too much
  • Don’t get drunk
  • Be inclusive rather than clique
  • Be careful with gossip, they might be held against you
  • Complaining about anything and everything to your/a manager is unlikely to do much for your career prospect
  • Do not use these parties to complain to your manager about everything and anything
  • Everyone needs a private life. Anything that smacks of organized fun will put people off


Can my colleagues be my friends?
Colleagues are not the same as friends. The rules are different and the stakes are different.


Source: The Financial Times.