One place where many people fail at work is in maintaining a professional distance between them and colleagues. This is primarily a problem for young and inexperienced workers because they are not used to being in a business environment. This can be especially problematic for those looking for a new job.
It’s normal to look to those you work with for friendship. By working at the same company you already have many common interests and expectations. You know the same people and likely work on the same projects. The problem is that very often your coworkers are also competing with you for promotions, bonuses, and even a job in the event of layoffs or cutbacks.
There is a natural competition that goes on in a work environment to be the best and to be the one that gets the promotions. If you have been overly liberal in complaints, for example, the person you were speaking with just might use that as a means to get ahead at work. It’s better to save your complaints for non-work friends.
It’s especially advisable to maintain a professional distance when you are looking for a new job. More than one person has made the mistake of letting those at work know he was looking for something better only to find out that the boss was not happy to hear about it. Worst case scenario is that this can cause you to lose the job you already have before you find a new one. While networking is important in your job search, keep those you work with, even your friends, in the dark about this.