Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Keeping it real professional

People know that college is a time of change. It is a period of transition between the carefree days of adolescence and the daunting task of adulthood. It is also a time in which people can change everything about themselves from style of clothing to philosophy on life.

One thing that people might not often consider is the shift in the kinds of relationships they have. Sure, it is obvious when it comes to romantic relationships that college can be less serious. College is a good time for the kinds of exploration and dating around that, in the future, one just would not be capable of. Less obvious are the kinds of friends one hangs around with and the professional ties one builds.

Any relationship – romantic, platonic or professional – is something that needs to be worked at. Sometimes, we forget that we won’t be where we are 10 years from now, and certain things must adjust to suit our morphing situations. The drinking buddies one has now in college may or may not follow into the working world. Sometimes, they really shouldn’t.

Not to say that people and their “bffls” won’t remain such forever, but in my experience, time and circumstances can often drive people apart.

Whether it’s a one-on-one relationship or the dynamic of a group of people, relationships of any caliber can at times be a tricky specimen. Let’s begin with what I think of as the simplest kind of relationship: the professional relationship.

As college students, almost all of us have had some experience with being in professional settings. Although the jobs we hold as teenagers build a strong stepping stone for getting jobs in later life, they can be extremely different atmospherically than the jobs we hold as adults.

First of all, most of the earlier jobs we hold have nothing to do with our eventual chosen career paths. While someone can feel perfectly comfortable to party with their coworkers from the restaurant he or she serves at in college, it is not always wise to apply the same concepts of coworker relationships if that same individual becomes a corporate ladder climber.

Not to advocate paranoia, but in a competitive business world, the previously friendly colleague in the cubicle next door may care more about advancing in the company if a potential promotion is on the table. That being said, it is not impossible to befriend or even date coworkers. It is advisable, however, to avoid calling out sick only to inform certain coworkers that the real reason work is not on the menu today is because someone was up until the wee hours of the morning getting “crunk.” It is better to gain enough knowledge of the positive social points of coworkers in case situations that call for teamwork should arise.

Okay, I know I just said it is not impossible to date coworkers. Let me stress, though, that it is highly not recommended. Professionalism goes right out the window if people are hooking up with their coworkers left and right. It adds entirely new complexities to an otherwise more simple relationship.

It is best to uphold the element of respect when it comes to one’s superiors in the workplace. Nobody wants to be seen as the stiff, unsociable loser of the office, which can in fact work against the employee who wants to be memorable when that promotion rolls around. But, it is probably not a good call to be overly familiar with your superiors. Be personable, but don’t cross any lines by, say, bear-hugging your boss. For holidays, if it is something commonly celebrated like Christmas, feel free to get your employer a present if other people typically do.

Of course first make sure that he or she actually celebrates Christmas to avoid the risk of offending them. Again, use professionalism as a guideline for gift-buying. Nothing overly personal should be given. It can be viewed as brown nosing by the employer and other employees alike. More often than not, keeping things as simplistic as giving a card should express the appropriate thoughts just fine.

Although employers run things in the workplace, they do not completely own their employees as people. Read the employee handbook pertaining to employee rights. If an employer is abusing his or her power and not being called out for the behavior, they may be tempted to walk all over their employees. Be respectful, but be firm about employee rights. If necessary, take it up with their higher ups.

Next up in my series of interpersonal advice, I discuss how to deal with family relationships just in time for the beginning of the holiday season.

Got a problem?  Let H.C. know at collegianadvice@gmail.com.

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