Let’s face it, we all build friendships through the networking that we do. Through conferences and networking I have personally formed some amazing friendships. However, something we need to remember as students is keeping personal things personal and professional things professional.
Please stick with me through the story I am about to tell. I promise I have a point.
An example that I have of this comes from when I was a junior in high school (which seems like forever ago!). Let me start by saying that I was a huge band nerd and marching band was my main priority, after wind ensemble of course. My freshman year in high school was the first year I was in marching band, and because of the student leaders I had my passion grew tremendously for this activity. While I have been playing music since I was three, marching band in high school made my passion for music even stronger. Of course I wanted to be the drum major, mainly because the drum major my freshman year was amazing and shared the same passion that I did for music. I wanted to be just like her.
Well, my junior year I received the honor of being the head drum major of my high school marching band. All of the hard work had finally paid off and I was ecstatic for the next season to start. Over the summer between my sophomore and junior year I, along with the assistant drum major, attended a camp focused on leadership within the marching band. We also met with our band director several times to get everything in place for the 2006 season. During one of the meetings my band director told us we needed to remember that if anything personal happened between us and a friend we had to keep it off of the field. When we set foot on the marching field it was time to work. You are not supposed to favor a friend and definitely not supposed to bring your personal problems onto the field. You are on the field to make music and represent it through marching.
I do not know how much you guys know about marching band, and I do not want this post to last forever, but being in this leadership position in high school taught me many things for my future. While yes, we are all human and there may be times where we forget to keep personal things at home, we must remember that when we are at work it is time to work. While it is great to build friendships with the people you work with, you also need to find a balance between your working relationship and friendship. If you have a conflict, do not let it show in your work. Sit down outside of work and discuss it. Yes, things will happen, but be prepared to work through them.
Running the student-run firm on campus has reminded me of my marching band days. I have built some great friendships through CatCom, but I have to remember that as a student-run firm, and as the leader of the firm, we have work to do, so it is important to have a boundary set of a working relationship and a friendship outside of work.
What are your thoughts on working relationships and co-worker friendships? Do you think it is okay to have that friendship? Why or why not?