According to Vault's 2014 Office Romance Survey, 56% of business professionals surveyed said that they've participated in an office romance or tryst of some kind. If you've ever wondered how to play dice with this sort of pursuit, the TV show Mad Men is where to find the answers.
Here are some tips from the show on what to expect, and what not to do, when it comes to office romance.
1. Don't misread signals
The delicate art of flirting and understanding romantic signs can be tricky. It requires patience, discipline of mind and the ability to blush at will. A word of warning, draping yourself over her desk and saying "take me, take me now" won’t work. Just like love, creepiness is also in the eye of the beholder.
2. Avoid cheesy pick up lines
Mad Men is rife with over the top pick up lines, like "I would have thought you slept all day and bathed in milk" and "what do you do when you're not lighting up rooms with your smile?". Not good.
Some of the lines in Mad Men are just cheesy. Try and avoid this or you’ll hook up with nobody in your office. Cheap lines sound hollow, but a smooth line will be savoured effortlessly like a 30 year old whisky.
3. Get a snappy suit to sell your assets
Take your cue from Mad Men's immaculately turned out cast if you’re trying to impress someone and ignite an office romance. Classic 1950's tailored lines by Hugo Boss for the guys or Chanel for the ladies will always make you stand taller and command a strong presence. Alternately, get a suit made to your exact measurements from a well-respected tailor.
4. A lover and a life-partner arent good bed-fellows
In the short term, and a world away from each other, having both a lover and life-partner may seem like a good idea. However, fast-forward a few months into the shenanigans and it’s a different story altogether.
Ad mogul Don Draper learned this the hard way. He played his wife Betty for a fool with countless affairs. She found out and promptly left him out in the cold with his tail between his legs. With office affairs of this kind, you always have to face the consequences.
5. Get serious about your work
Peggy began working at Sterling Cooper Draper Price as a dowdy secretary. She fought off the advances of her colleagues and eventually won the respect of her male colleagues and climbed up the corporate ladder.
Peggy made some bad decisions too, like bedding the repugnant Pete Campbell. Eventually she learns to love herself and wins the independence she craves with or without a man by her side.
Office romance is all fun and games to begin with. However it will eventually get murky and messy. Remove yourself from that situation and instead work hard to ensure that you get noticed.
6. Don't flaunt it around
Joan Holloway has a very discreet affair with her married boss Roger Sterling. She keeps it on the down-low for a long time before anybody else gets wind of it. Starting an affair with someone who’s already taken is all round bad news.
If you do get caught in such a tangle, be sure to cover your tracks. Stop the office gossips from gathering around the coffee machine by not giving them anything to talk about.
Office dalliances may seem fun, but they tend to get very complicated very quickly. Tread carefully or it could become awkward, painful or overwhelming working with someone you're seeing.
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