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I'm Asking: What's Your Take on Friends in Your Workspace?

I'm Asking: What's Your Take on Friends in Your Workspace?

Working with the same people for a while is likely to lead to some office friendships. Sometimes, co-workers become good friends outside the office, and your office time together can translate easily into hanging out on the weekends and away from work — but what if the situation was reversed? What if a good friend wanted to work their way into your life at the office?

I've only had one experience with a friend at work. I helped to get her an interview with a previous employer and recommended her to my teams and to the hiring manager. Based on what happened next, I've been hesitant to go to bat for others in my circle of friends. The girl I recommended left the job after just about three weeks — without warning. I dealt with the issue on a personal level, outside of the office. But, dealing with it on a professional level, with the team members I had only weeks earlier, sang her praises to, was much more complicated and uncomfortable. It took quite a bit of smoothing over, and I worked thereafter to separate myself from the friend and her less-than-ideal reputation with the company.

Since then, I've been reluctant to involve friends with my professional life. I like to keep my workspace separate, and I'm not likely to pass along a friend's resume without knowing exactly what her intentions are at the company and getting a full run down of her career objectives for the future — I'm sure to cover all my bases before I proceed with any kind of referral. It's definitely not easy making friendships work at the office, and a lot of the time you won't know exactly what you're in for or how your friendship may change, when it's subject to office politics, but I do have some good friends who do it well and make it work. What about you, how do you feel about friends in the workplace?

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