Hi Pearls & happy Monday,
When you work full-time, you spend most of your time around your boss & your colleagues. So it makes sense that you'd want a pleasant relationship with your manager. But a working relationship can be difficult to control because he or she will still be your manager no matter how close you two get. The consequences of befriending your boss where just about everyone crossed that working-relationship line into unprofessional territory may be hyped up for television, but the core elements are still very real. So I guess a few guidelines could help for mixing your professional and personal lives in a good way:
1. DO be inclusive. Cliques were awful in school and they're also in the workplace. This is especially true when your boss is involved. If you're always making joint lunch breaks or grabbing post-work drinks together, extend an invite to the rest of your team. Ask your colleagues to join and avoid bringing up inside jokes in front of other colleagues.
2. DON'T gossip about other colleagues. It's not fair to let your close relationship with your boss affect your colleagues relationships. Your boss shouldn't be using you as a mole to find out dirty info about your colleagues and report back. Make it a rule to discuss current company news only and if that doesn't work, try changing the subject whenever your manager starts fishing. This is also a good way to protect your private life from your boss.
3. DO keep things professional. There is a very good quote, I don't want to mention now but it means no sex or drugs with your boss. Grab dinner, have a cocktail, try a workout class, or attend an industry event — just avoid activities that your mom might call "unprofessional."
4. DON'T give out too much information. Once your boss feels like your buddy, it can be problematic to let her in on exciting professional stuff (like a recruiter who reached out yesterday). Your boss has a job that needs to get done and you — or someone in your role — needs to do this too. As soon as she knows you're looking elsewhere, she'll immediately start working on replacing you. It's just business, and at the end of the day, she's still your manager.
5. DO be mindful of what you post on social media. If you're Facebook friends or follow each other on Snapchat, think twice about posting that karaoke pic on Sunday morning — unless you want her to know exactly why you're nodding off at Monday's team meeting.
6. DON'T complain about your job. You've got a great boss who you're friends with, so how bad can your job really be? Keep the complaining to a minimum. Not only is it unprofessional, but it can also come across as ungrateful. If there is a serious issue you need to discuss, don't do it over drinks — address it professionally during work hours.
7. DO expect to be treated like everyone else. Befriending your boss isn't going to get you a fast track to the top (!). Your actions need to speak for themselves. Your bestie boss will no doubt have your back in sticky situations, but she needs to be able to draw upon solid examples to justify doing so. So a network is not everything, but it can be very helpful (more here)
Happy work week,