Beware the Friends You Make at Work

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Meeting new people when you work long hours inevitably means you will no doubt 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. I’m not suggesting you become a workplace loner… you don’t want to be that person either.

Rather you should maintain a pleasant and professional attitude around everybody from the cleaner to the CEO.

When it comes to making friends in the workplace there are some common 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. By all means be friendly but don’t get into the habit of lunching 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.

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. Always 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 feel 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?


Amanda Rose is the only 'Strategic Connector' in Australia, connecting CEOs, directors and businesses together to enhance brand, profile and lead generation opportunities.

Host of Amanda Rose TV, Founder and Host of The Business Woman Media, Keynote Speaker and media commentator including a weekly Smart Connections video blog for

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