Since you spend a minimum of 40 hours a week at work, it’s natural you’d develop relationships with some of your colleagues that go beyond coffee breaks. But what about when you become real, actual friends with your boss? How do you still maintain a necessary level of professionalism while making plans for post-work drinks?
DON’T bring up work
Hitting happy hour after a long day at the office? Resist the temptation to moan about whatever annoyed you that day. Your boss is your superior first and your friend second, so complaining about work drama can come back to bite you if you’re not careful. Keep work and play completely separate, and you won’t get yourself into any sticky situations.
DO invite other people out with you
You don’t want to start being seen as a teacher’s pet, so the next time you and the boss make casual plans, invite some other colleagues along to join you. You’ll make the atmosphere more inclusive and you’ll avoid being seen as too cliquey at the same time. Cheers to that!
DON’T expect special treatment
Being chummy with the boss doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get the next free parking space or instantly jump the queue for a promotion. It might mean a smoother working day thanks to your friendly relationship, but that’s it. Keep your expectations the same as everyone else’s, and work for what you want. You’ll keep your integrity and gain respect, too.
DO avoid gossip
Office gossip isn’t a good idea at the best of times, and if it’s with your boss, it’s an absolutely terrible one. Play it safe and avoid talking about anything work-related with your boss outside the office, particularly if it’s anything to do with who said what or who did what. Your colleagues will be able to trust your discretion, and you won’t gain a reputation as a tattletale.
DON’T let yourself be taken advantage of
While you need to respect the professional dynamic between you and your boss, that means they do, too. So if you feel that they’re asking you to do too much outside your job description or not giving you the same respect as other colleagues, it might be time to take a step back from being friends. Remember that your career comes before your work relationships, so put your job first and Friday drinks with the boss second.
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