Ladies, Beware The Friends You Make At Work

21/01/2016 9:48 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

It's a tough ride for a woman in the workplace.

Meeting new people when you work long hours inevitably means you will get closer to them -- and even make friends in the workplace. But beware.

Friends in the workplace might help the hours pass more easily, but they can hinder your career progression. We're not suggesting you become a workplace loner -- you don't want to be that person -- but while maintaining a pleasant and professional attitude around everybody from the cleaner to the CEO, there are some pitfalls to watch out for...

Befriending below you in the hierarchy

This gives the impression that you're more comfortable with those lower in the hierarchy and can hinder your ability to look like a potential for a promotion. Be friendly, but don't get into the habit of popping out for lunch with the receptionist.

Becoming BFF's with a colleague

Working alongside someone long enough and you're bound to befriend them. This means you are more likely to slip into friend mode and start to share things like who you like and don't like in the workplace. This is very, very dangerous. Loose lips sink ships, ladies.

Socialising during your break times

Morning tea, lunch and after work drinks are not for socialising. Again, you can quickly find yourself off-guard and too comfortable with your fellow workmates and before you know it your professional self has left the building and you start opening up. The reality is, people will use what you say against you if it will help their corporate climb. You should be strategic with the time you spend with others at work.

Promotion time

If you befriend someone at work, what happens when you are promoted and they are now reporting to you? Or worse still, you are reporting to them. Instantly you regret everything you've ever told them about their new executive colleagues.

So next time you get the urge to confide in a colleague - think twice. Which is more important: making friends or making progress?

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