Work Friends Are Not a Reason to Stay at a Job

When people want to complain about their jobs they seek me out.  It’s a curse, a blessing, and part of the reason I started Jobacle.com.

Several recent vent sessions with different colleagues and friends revealed a compelling consistancy: people are willing to stay at jobs that make them unhappy when they “like” the people they work with.  

I think that’s crazy.

If your work relationships are fulfilling your need for personal relationships, you might want to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself why.  I’m not calling you out for not having friends, I understand how difficult it is to meet new friends as an adult – and where better to make a connection than the place where you spend a third of your life.  However, the more personal you get with people at work, the greater the odds that emotion – a major workplace enemy – will seep in.  Oh, and the boss ain’t your friend.

If you’re staying in a hapless job because you share some laughs with your cubemates, consider the following…

As people’s status at work changes, so will your relationships.  Promotions, demotions, transfers, etc. all play a role in how you feel about the coworkers that surround you – whether you care to admit it or not.  Even at the most boring job, things will eventually change.  Imagine for a moment that ALL of your buds were laid off and you were “left behind.”  Is the job still rewarding?  If the answer is no, it’s time to move on.

Other people will leave when better opportunities present themselves – where does that leave you?

It’s great to like the people you work with, and if you are fortunate enough to be part of a fun work clique, than consider yourself lucky.  But I’m guessing you are working for reasons other than socialization.  Things like trust,  money, benefits, creativity, confidence and pride should be motivating factors to stick with an organization – not “buddies.”

The true test of a real friendship is if you guys will have anything to talk about after someone leaves – other than railing against the old boss.

Work isn’t sixth grade.  Friends are nice, but not nice enough to throw your career off-track.

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