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Love Life + Corporate Ladder Part 1 - The Pros And Cons Of Mixing Love And Work

Valentine's just over, let's face one inescapable fact of life for this moment: Love. Or lust. Or that unavoidable urge to find someone to have and to hold. And how it could make or break a person's career.

People my age (somewhere between 20 and 30, that's a good ballpark estimate) are in what Erik Erikson calls the "Intimacy vs. Isolation" Stage. It's that part of life when a person seeks out a mate and desires to get married and have babies.

Despite the fact that white picket fences and the perfect Brady Bunch kids to decorate long dinner tables have been replaced by a penthouse suite, a timeshare membership in a Boracay resort and a pedigreed dog as the ultimate yuppie dream, one thing remains constant: the Significant Other. Uh-huh, despite the fact that the Internet-connected netbook has replaced the cable-connected TV as the go-to machine for one's Glee fix, the need to share that Glee episode with a special someone is still an overwhelming desire in working-age people everywhere.

That being firmly established, let's get to my point for the day: Mixing lovelife and your career could prove to be the recipe for a career boost or a career bust.

Uh, what?

We were saying that just like fire, a katana or an M-16, romance could prove to be a weapon that saves you or if it were used the wrong way, it could prove to be your undoing.


Let's give you the good side of the coin first:

  • Having someone to have and to hold gives you that extra bounce to your steps. Let's face it, love gets the body releasing happy hormones: just the thought of that special someone brings a smile to the face and makes one feel so light and happy. That could result in a better disposition, which would help you work better with people around you.
  • A person in love is happy and inspiring to be around. A person who lacks love or is desperate tends to be a black hole of negativity.
  • There's something fun to talk about and fill the air. How her smile just arrests you, how he opens the doors for you, things like those are fun fodder for office banter.

Then the flip side:

  • Romances gone sour have the completely opposite but no less potent power to affect the whole office floor. While sunbeams, rainbows and unicorns filled the air when you were in-lalalove, thunderclouds and lightning bolts will fill the air when you're in breakup mode.
  • There may be a need to return or throw away the things the Significant Other gave you. Your officemates may miss Scruffy the Stuffed Toy Bear or Flipper the Goldfish.
  • Drama. It seriously kills everyone else's mood.

Now that we've given you the pros and cons of being in love even as you climb the corporate ladder, the next post will be about the rules of how to deal with the ups and downs of it.

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