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Dating colleague advice

Suddenly, Cupid shoots his arrow, and it hits the person in the next office. If things do work out, one of you may have to go, because it's against company policy to date fellow employees. Let's say you become involved with someone in your department, and you receive a promotion. Better start popping extra vitamins and heighten your sense of discretion. You'd like to meet that special someone, but you just don't know where to look. One of you may need to leave the job if things don't work out.

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The relationship could make it more difficult for your department -- and depending on your position, your company -- to operate effectively."Be careful what you text or email to each other, not just because Steve in accounting might fall off his chair when he mistakenly receives it — but also because it could ultimately be used as evidence in a legal case in termination or sexual harassment," she warns. Consider what you'd want to do if things do work out.As a relationship becomes more serious, oftentimes one person will decide to leave the employer completely, because the more involved you are, the greater likelihood of the relationship interfering with your job."Save it for your family or friends outside work." Talking about the relationship can be distracting or make colleagues feel uncomfortable, so don't do it. "It's hard enough today to concentrate with open office spaces, a plethora of technology devices, frantic deadlines, multiple bosses, and so on," says Taylor. What happens at home or in your personal life (no matter who you're dating) almost always affects your attitudes, which impacts your work — it's just a fact of life."Add to that two lovers fighting over doing dishes in the next cube and you have one unhappy coworker, who you may catch sauntering to HR." Also, it's entirely unprofessional to complain about your personal relationships at work, whether you're dating a colleague or not. But try your hardest not to let your disagreements with your partner affect the decisions you make or how your treat others at work. "Spend your time as if you are not dating this person," advises Taylor. Check the company handbook to find out if there are any policies related to interoffice relationships. "Employees are generally encouraged to report incidents of sexual harassment or events that create a hostile work environment," says Taylor.Will they exclude you from certain conversations, because they don't know what you'll relay to your new love?

Consciously or subconsciously, your relationship may influence decisions that go well beyond a lunchroom.

Just know the risks." Your decision not only affects you, but other person, both your careers, and those around you.

"A word to the wise: If you take the leap, go into it with your eyes wide open," Taylor concludes.

And when coworkers eventually find out, you may be the subject of ridicule and suspicion: If you want people to focus on your professional abilities, don't give them reasons to fuel the rumor mill.

It's Not Just About You You may think this is a private affair, but is it really?

You can rail against the unfairness of it all, but think of it this way: If life were fair, you wouldn't be in this dilemma, and the arrow would have pierced the heart of someone nice who works for the company across the street.