Sunday, May 27, 2012

Enemies in the office (Executive PA Magazine, July 2011)

This piece on office friendships, workplace bullying and how to cope when good  working relationships go bad was an interesting piece to cover. I was only able to include a few of the stories I was told but - from the amount of responses I received to one simple tweet asking for people with experience of office bullying - it certainly appears this is an issue that many people deal with on a day to day basis.  You can find the full issue of the magazine on their website where you can see the full piece, or email me if you would like to see more. 

A study by the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 35% of people have either been or are being intimidated in their workplace. Sophie* found this out the hard way when she was promoted over her former friend, Jenny. “Jenny became not just my enemy but an outright bully. She complained that it wasn't fair because I'd gotten all these lucky breaks and opportunities. She couldn’t see that the harder I had worked the luckier I had got.” 

Office friendships can make - or break - your career, so how do you make them work for you? Sadhbh Warren investigates.

No one wants to be the office wallflower, but there’s no denying that friendships at work can be a minefield. Just ask Anna*, an EA who quit her dream role. Her hard-earned promotion became a daily hell when a former friend turned on her. Harassed for confidential information over coffee, ostracized from social events and bad-mouthed over the water-cooler, she ended up leaving her “perfect job” for a fresh start elsewhere.

Anna’s story ended badly, but you can be professional and still enjoy your co-workers’ company. Genuine friendships are a career asset and being promoted doesn’t mean leaving your network of friends behind – provided you have built the right relationship in the first place.

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