If you work in politics, you probably know by now that it really is a way of life. The people you work with are usually the same people you end up at happy hour with, volunteer with i.e. door knocking, and even spend your weekends with. Pretty much all of my close friends are ones that I have met while working in politics. While it is great to have real, genuine friendships with the people you work with, you should also make sure you maintain a level of professionalism. You never know who could work for you one day. It’s important to avoid having any skeletons in your closet that might haunt you in your professional future. Here’s five ways to make sure that doesn’t happen.

  1. Remain professional during happy hour

Having the type of relationship with your co-workers that you all go out for drinks after the work day has ended is wonderful. It’s comforting and enjoyable to know that even though you all may have to endure long meetings and endless tasks during the work day, you have each other to unwind and enjoy a nice cocktail with after a long day’s work. However, it is imperative to keep a professional demeanor. In other words, don’t suggest rounds upon rounds of shots. In other words, drink responsibly.

  1. Don’t flake out on plans

If you make plans to grab a drink or to get together on the weekends, don’t cancel at the last minute. It not only makes it seem like you are not invested in the friendship, but it also speaks of your reliability. This can come back to haunt you in your professional life.

  1. Don’t complain about your job

It is human that you might want to vent to a fellow colleague if you had a bad day at work but never complain and speak poorly about your position. This can make you seem like a negative person who doesn’t want to work hard or can’t be bothered to go the extra mile.

  1. When at work, put work first

While on the job it is very important to make sure that you are fulfilling all of your duties and not spending time chatting with co-workers. It is normal to chat, but do your best to stay focused.

  1. Don’t gossip about fellow co-workers

This is by far the most crucial step to maintaining a positive reputation in your office. Nothing can tarnish your reputation like gossiping. Always be sure to be professional and mature when talking about other colleagues. Like you heard when you were younger, if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.

Rachel N.
Rachel is from Columbus, Ohio where she is a public liaison to the Ohio Governor. She's a lover of Pomeranians, America, and all things chambray. One of her proudest moments was surviving a year at a liberal arts college.

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