This post was written by a member of the Debut Student Publisher Network. An anonymous serial intern susses the do’s and don’ts of hooking up on an internship… be warned!
Whether it’s with a fellow intern or someone further up the hierarchy, we’ve all had the oh-so cliché ‘office romance’ fantasy at some point. You know the one I’m talking about. Where you’re both working late and your eyes happen to meet across the desk, then one thing leads to another and suddenly you’re sneaking kisses between meetings and touching base (amongst other things) at the end of play.
Just like out of a movie, right? Well, think again. Sure, it may sound amazing but in real life things aren’t so simple. From ‘happily-ever-afters’ to being jobless – as a serial intern, I’ve witnessed it all.
One couple I know were both completing year-long internships at the same company. They hit it off instantly, sharing the same desk for practically the entire year. Fast forward four years later and they’re now engaged. Whilst another couple I know didn’t have the same kind luck. He was a part-time intern and she was his boss. As they were working in a small team, disagreements and hierarchical pressures boiled over. It made the office atmosphere super awkward and because of the tension, he just quit.
So, whether you fancy another intern or your boss, here are the do’s and don’ts you need to know from the couples who made it work and those who didn’t…
Do keep it professional in the office…especially if things go sour
Trying to impress as an intern is hard enough without the awkwardness of your ex lingering around the office. Keep it professional. Not only will you avoid pissing off your co-workers with your PDA, but you won’t get a reputation around the office for being unprofessional (which isn’t a reputation you want when you start job hunting).
Don’t spend all your time together
Spending all day together at work means by the time you actually go out on a date you literally have nothing to talk about. #boring
Do the work
Office romances can be really exciting, but also super distracting, especially when the person you like is sitting a few desks away. The whole point of your internship is to gain experience and a reference. Which you’re not going to get if you’re too busy fantasizing about the amazing date you had last night.
Don’t use cute nicknames in the office
None of your co-workers want to hear you refer to your ‘office bae’ as honey, sugar, baby, sweetie, darling etc. Trust me!
Do play out those sexy office fantasies…but not actually in the office
We have two words for you. CCTV surveillance.
Don’t hook up with someone directly in your department
This isn’t a strict don’t, but there are a lot more downsides to having to work with an ex in your department. You’ve been warned.
Do utilize lunch breaks
If you’re commuting back and forth it can be a nightmare trying to find ‘date’ time, so make the most of your lunch breaks. And remember…stationary cupboards have thin walls and lifts have cameras. So avoid them at all costs!
Don’t sext using your work email
Sexting can be a real turn on, but avoid doing it on any work device or email account. Some companies monitor your messages, so if you don’t want HR or IT (or the rest of the company) seeing your birthday suit please keep your private messages on private channels.
Do check company policy
Some companies have policies on relationships between employees and if you are caught violating them, you (and potentially your lover) can get dismissed. So, double check before you start flirting.
Don’t do anything you know you’ll regret
Because sometimes things can come back and haunt you…like a reference or a job in the future.