How Not to Deal with Business Associates

By Paula Santonocito

business and workWhat are the top mistakes single women make when interacting in the workplace or at job-related functions?

Although biz blunders run the gamut, the missteps on SMW’s list have a unifying component: In one way or another, they either involve too little or too much.

Here, in no particular order, are common mistakes single women make when dealing with business associates.

Mixing too much pleasure with business. When you think of pleasure, romance immediately comes to mind—and, yes, that kind of pleasure can wreak havoc on your career.

But too much pleasure also applies to other situations, like an office party where, after too many drinks, a single woman might find herself on stage alongside the deejay, singing a sultry tune and slithering seductively.

Less obvious situations include off-site business luncheons or events where a single woman might be guilty of providing TMI (too much information) about her personal life.

Single women are more likely to cross the line from business to pleasure because, unlike their married coworkers, they don’t have a pal at home in whom they confide on a daily basis. Consciously or unconsciously, they sometimes view personal interaction as an opportunity to fill a void. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that business is primarily about business.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share details of your life or have fun. Recognizing and setting appropriate boundaries, however, are recommended.

Sending mixed or weak signals about career goals. Single women, while often extremely dedicated to their careers, may inadvertently appear ambivalent with regard to career goals.

Because they are accustomed to living their lives as a solo entity, they may not come across as team players or as partners in the business to which they contribute.

It is essential to articulate your career objectives and show dedication to the company. Only by doing both will you get ahead.

Appearing unsettled simply because they’re single. The outdated stereotype of a single woman, particularly a younger single woman, is one of a person in a transitional phase: She is biding her time until she finds a husband, gets married, and has children; she hasn’t yet “settled down.”