Why office romance can completely destroy your career?
I was excited to join this big company in Bangalore with plush office and immense future opportunities. It seemed to be a perfect start for a fresher like me. I was on cloud nine, ready to join the herd of thousands who come to this concrete jungle to make big in corporate space.
I was 23, young, talented, punjabi girl, just out of college. By most standards I was very fair, beautiful, and endowed with attractive body. I was used to the prying eyes of Indian men, and this office was no different.
I found nothing unusual except my unbridled excitement in office. There I met Sameer, my boss; the first boss in my first job. I must admit, he was corporate hunk; ideal office mate and a boss you can dream of.
It would’ve been fine if the things rested there itself; but I couldn’t resist getting enticed by his innocent (it seemed to me at that time) acts. Gentle touch while shaking hands, sudden eye contacts in group meetings, piercing stares during office get-togethers, and more than usual attention in assignments.
I couldn’t stop myself but dragged into the never ending and horrible game of office romance with Sameer. I knew he got married a year back and enjoying blissful married life. Still, I got blinded by hormonal rush of love and romance; but I forgot this was office with altogether different rules of the game.
Sameer proposed me one day while we were in his car, and I gave my mute consent. This was the start of my tryst with office romance which would end in disaster. Soon we became the central topic of discussion of cooler side talks. As truly said “you can’t hide fragrance and romance”, our romance was the talk of the town. I was villain of the story who entered into romance with married man.
During one late-night assignment in office, we crossed all our boundaries while we were in office café. It became a routine for the next 6 months; outside as well as inside the office.
One fine morning while I was still in my weekend hangover, my HR head; the lady with stern looks, came to my desk and handed over a letter to me. I got the shock of my life. I was terminated on disciplinary grounds. No talks, no discussions, no show cause notice, and absolutely no explanations. My dreams of fancy corporate life came down crashing on my head.
Sameer was nowhere to find in office. I knew that his head would also roll. I destroyed two budding careers; and probably one happily married couple’s lives. I couldn’t complain to anybody as I knew I was wrong. It was the question of my reputation and finding work anywhere has already became a challenge. I packed my belongings and left office; dejected, broken and angry with myself. I came to know later that someone from staff was witness to our one of the bold encounters in office.
My horrible experience proved to be a blessing for me. Today, after 6 years, I am successful entrepreneur in Gurgaon running my banking solutions business. I have a team of 20 working with me. I don’t know about Sameer. I never attended his calls once I left Bangalore. I buried my past in that very city.
I am still not against office romance but I learnt some valuable lessons from my experience.
Leave him if he’s married
The biggest mistake I made. The pain of ruining a family is far more intense than spoiling a job. Don’t move ahead in any circumstances if he is married.
Keep your professional conduct in office
I became casual in my dealings. I took office place as a romantic outing. People around you can make out the things easily. It’s obvious. You’ll need to put extra efforts to keep your professional and personal life separate.
Do not involve with your boss or subordinate
Say stern no to advances from your boss or your reportee. It tends to breach the barrier easily as the contact points in office are many and you can’t avoid it. I made this big mistake by agreeing to advances of my boss.
Decide if you want to confide in colleagues
I didn’t share it with anyone in office; still I couldn’t keep it secret. It’s your choice if you want to confide in your colleague. Remember, the risk of losing the job and reputation doesn’t reduce by this.
Check your company’s policy
I didn’t. My company policy was not forgiving to the slightest moral breach; and I crossed all the boundaries. Check if your company policy is liberal on office romance.
Make it public as soon as possible
If you are in serious relationship and thinking about marrying, go public with announcement. People lose interest very easily if things become obvious. I reiterate, check if your company allows marriage between employees.
No sex at workplace
I made terrible mistake to let it happen at workplace. It must be strongly resisted. Once allowed, this opens the floodgates of lust which destroys everything. I did it and paid the heavy price.
As I wrote above, office romance can be one of the best things to happen to someone; but know your boundaries and act to make your life happy. Don’t get swept by lust and repent for rest of your life.
Your career is far more important than those mindless encounters. Learn from my mistakes, or else you might not be lucky like me to get another chance.
Do you have any such encounter in your workplace??