A lot of people advise against mixing business and pleasure; however, as I’ve grown professionally, I’ve reaped several benefits from blending the two. But, with everything in life there’s levels to this ish, so here are three to get you started.
Level 1: The Elevator💼
No matter where you are, the club, bar, office or elevator, always make it your mission to meet someone new. You never know if/when that contact will come in clutch. In an effort to build my network, I keep business cards on me at all times and an elevator pitch in my back pocket tailored for any occasion. I also make sure my social media profiles are an accurate reflection of who I am, what I stand for and what I’m interested in. Thanks to my elevator mentality, all three of my post-graduation jobs have been backed by strong recommendations from people within the organizations where I am seeking employment.
Level 2: The Lunch Room🍽
I love to eat, so inviting someone to lunch is naturally my favorite way to mix business and pleasure. It’s amazing how much you can learn about someone over a sandwich. Be strategic with who you ask to lunch. If you have your eye on a new position, ask someone to lunch who will be able to give you more insight into what that position would entail. Or maybe you are about to start a new project with people you’ve never worked with before. Ask them to lunch as a nice icebreaker before the project begins.
Level 3: The Happy Hour🍻
I’ve been fortunate to have coworkers I enjoy hanging out with outside the office. Doing so has helped increase trust and transparency between us, making work more enjoyable. The relationships I’ve built with my coworkers has increased my office moral which has positively affected my productivity and engagement in the workplace.
Even if you can’t envision yourself hanging out with your coworkers, make an effort to get to know them inside the office. Visit them at their desks, strike up random conversations, or simply ask how they are doing. Building these relationships will greatly enhance your work experience.
Like any cocktail, mixing business and pleasure is all about balance. If done correctly, you can reap the benefits of this delicate mix.