At some point in your career, you will get burned. Be it through salary, layoffs, or downright bad bosses, your work life will inevitably experience conflict.
We spend more time at work than we do at work, so of course, drama is bound to happen. The sooner you encounter bumps in the road, the smoother the ride will be later in your career. You’ll know what to expect. Having a strong group of work friends will keep you sane when you’re enduring the toughest of times on the job.
Work friends are your paid support group. You’re all on the clock and compensated for a job while also uplifting each other in the process. Even if you have the job of your dreams, you’ll need allies. You’ll find colleagues with shared interests, similar backgrounds and sense of humor. They give you mental breaks and moments of respite on those days when your workload seems impossible. But I want to let you in on a little secret.
Not every work friend is a true friend.
The sooner you learn this, the better off you’ll be. Stressful work environments can make you vulnerable leading you to confide in the wrong people which can ultimately be bad for business. An innocent moment of venting and frustration, to the wrong coworkers, can put a damper on your reputation.
“They smile in your face. All the time they want to take your place.”
Be mindful of the personal information that you share and who you share it with. The people who you classify as work friends often fail to have your best interest at heart. They’ll use your plight to inflate their own agenda to get ahead. Here are six workplace frenemies that you should give a pink slip immediately.
1. The Blab Work Friend
The work friend is literally always bursting at the seams ready to spill the tea on workplace gossip. She keeps her ear to private meetings and discussions ready to spread the news like wildfire. And when she does, you best believe that everyone in her path will get burned. If she burned you once, she’ll burn you again. Play nice, but never give her information that you wouldn’t want to be repeated or cannot explain.
“If they talk with you, they’ll talk about you.”
2. The Oversharer Work Friend
Don’t fall for it. She’s fishing for information. The oversharer is the work friend that is always excited to share inappropriate details about her personal life, expecting you to do the same. And when you do, she will use it to her advantage. Behold, a simple conversation about a messy breakup or the mischief you engaged in during spring break in undergrad can turn into ammo for your coworkers. This person appears overly excited about your life and what you do privately, but it’s a ploy for blackmail. Be mindful of how much you consume at the office holiday party and any after-work function. The oversharer is waiting on your slip of the tongue.
3. The Backstabber Work Friend
She’s coming for your neck and you don’t even know it. This work friend is all of the above. They will befriend you and flip on you like a coin. This work friend wants to be the shining star on the job but will step on anyone that gets in their way. Talent aside, they want to get ahead the dirty way. Avoid the backstabber by any means necessary. Don’t back down for a promotion or feel too threatened to ask for a raise, but do know that there is always someone with an eye on the same prize.
4. The Slacker Work Friend
This work friend is a master of minimalism. They’re always on Twitter telling their followers how bored they are. Or, they sending you unsolicited emails. They take frequent bathroom breaks, not to actually use it, but to snap photos of their outfit in the full-body mirror. When you’re drowning in a workload, don’t expect them to rescue you. The slacker is only at work for a check and nothing more. Steer clear of them. This is the last person that you would want to be guilty by association.
5. The Pessimist Work Friend
If you met me three years ago, I would be your pessimistic work friend. I hated my work situation and made it a point to let everyone know. At the time, I wasn’t putting forth any effort to fix my workplace annoyances, instead, I complained about them all day long until someone listened. The pessimist will bring you down. Even if you like them as a person, don’t invite negative energy into your career space. Feed this person with a long handle spoon, but don’t take on their negative ways and dismal outlook on work or the world as a whole. People who are unhappy with their personal lives often allows the problems to seep into their work life. Trust me, I know. Misery loves company.
6. The Copycat Work Friend
The copycat wants to consume your daily processes and efficiency asking a series of questions while taking a series of notes. They see your amazing work ethic and want to mimic your workflow. The copycats want to do any kind of work that resembles yours. They will plagiarize and take credit for your ideas to get ahead. This doesn’t give you grounds to be a paranoid information hoarder. There’s enough room at the table for everyone to shine, however, don’t foolishly allow your colleagues to mine your intellect for free. Tread lightly about what kind of data and big ideas that you share.
Remember I mentioned an agenda earlier in this post? You have one. I have one. Your work frenemies have several. Competition is fierce and often your greatest opponents are your work friends.
No matter the type of work environment you endure, remember your number one job is to be the best you possible.
Hey boss girls! Have you ever fell into a bad group of work friends? Tell us your story below in the comments.