Is there such a thing as professional flirting?
By Karin Eldor
Monster Contributing Writer
Once the summer months are in full swing, our minds seem to naturally ease up a bit and become a touch less serious. Maybe it’s the sultry temperature or perhaps it’s because everyone is coming in and out of vacation mode; regardless of the reason, people tend to be more chillaxed from June to September. (Could it be that we’re forever programmed from our school days, when our minds are trained to be on summer holiday?)
Now this easing up the reins has no bearing on performance or productivity. Sometimes summer simply calls for more fun, a chance to live it up and get your flirt on in the office, without being known as the office joke.
Let's start by defining flirting, shall we?
First of all, note that I’m referring to “professional flirting.” The goal? Make the recipient feel good about him or herself, by paying attention to them and keeping things positive.
· Innocent flattery and compliments: everyone loves to receive compliments, everything from “Did you just get a haircut this weekend? It looks great!” to “You always know the best places to go in the city – where do you recommend?”
· Telling harmless work-appropriate jokes: knowing how to use humor to make people smile. This makes you memorable and makes others feel good. It's a win-win.
· Pay attention: Body language and showing coworkers and clients that you’re listening to them and noticing them works wonders. Use eye contact and positive body language to show that the other person has your full attention.
· Use your charm: Being generally charming and charismatic means staying friendly, positive and magnetic. Use this to your advantage.
At the end of the day, flirting is fun and feels good! Disclaimer: keep the flirting to a verbal level. Once it starts to get physical, you’re taking it to a whole other level that can damage your job and your career. Do not cross the line, as it has been proven that most affairs start in the workplace between colleagues.
Check out which jobs can especially allow you to get professionally flirty:
Working as a bartender or a waiter/waitress is a great way to get some intensive training in public relations and customer service, especially if you’re still a student looking to transition to a career by summer’s end or gain some professional experience. Working at a bar or restaurant is an easy way to meet a wide array of different people and strengthen your network of friends and acquaintances. A smile, joke and some fun conversation always help - just keep it professional.
2) Publicist / public relations
Working in public relations and/or as a publicist is the perfect career for someone who loves to chat people up, knows how to work a crowd (and work on relationships), is memorable and uses charisma, and knows how to schmooze with the best of them (especially when it comes to the media). Want to flex your flirting muscle? Get a job in PR or as a publicist and work your magic! (Note: I have to admit, I always picture Samantha Jones’ character in Sex and the City whenever I think about someone working in PR! It’s no secret that innocent flirtation and using your charm can help you work wonders while working a room – of course, you don't need to go as far as Samantha!)
3) Event planning
A career in public relations is the perfect segue way to “event planning”, and sometimes these roles are one in the same. Event planning takes a certain skillset – being able to take control of a room or situation flawlessly, and making magic happen. It helps when you enjoy what you’re doing and know how to be flirtatious on the job in order to get things done and get your way – for your client.
Let's be honest – at the end of the day, whether you’re selling a brand via marketing or actually working as a sales or account manager, it takes a certain personality to know how to deal with people and negotiate. Being able to flirt – especially when it means being a natural at using humor, being engaging and knowing how to charm – is an asset that can’t be learned, but is also what separates the born sellers from the rest. And of course, let’s keep in mind that this is especially true for all kinds of salespeople!
Are you flirtatious by nature, love dealing with people and can sell ice to penguins? Then consider a career in retail sales, account management within a company (i.e. being part of a company’s sales team), or maybe even real estate.
5) Flight attendant
Again, being extroverted and a “people” person are helpful assets when working as a flight attendant. Now this is a tough job: although it sounds glamorous to travel the world, visit exotic places and meet different types of people, you also need to be aware of the long hours of confinement inside a plane, poor sleep, common jet lag, days away from your own bed, and dealing with very demanding people on board while having to maintain the utmost in customer service.
Keep in mind that knowing how to flirt in a friendly manner is a great skill to have, for both men and women, and really in any job. It's actually one of the oldest tricks in the book! Just make sure to always keep it professional and platonic, and you’ll not only succeed in your job, you’ll also have fun in the process. And isn’t that what it’s all about?