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4 Reasons Why Everyone Needs a Work Spouse

With all the time you spend in the office away from your actual significant other, it’s only natural to develop close, intimate bonds with colleagues, peers and co-workers who share nearly every waking hour with you. And when a relationship with one of those colleagues who happens to be a member of the opposite sex becomes particularly meaningful (and of course strictly platonic), then you have yourself a work spouse. Here are four reasons why everyone should have one.

Work Spouse (Photo: iStockphoto)

True empathy
You come home late at night to your wife, husband or live-in partner and despite your best efforts not to talk shop, you just have to get things off of your chest and talk about the deal that got away, the unreasonable client and the annoying deliverable that ate up your entire day. But does he or she really understand what you’re going through at work? Probably not. Work spouses do understand, and can offer perspectives and solutions coming from the same place you are.

A trustworthy confidante
Knowing who to trust and who to confide in in the office is a vital skill developed over time that and can expedite your success. Aside from a wonderful mentor, a work spouse is someone you can trust wholeheartedly with your career ambitions, fears and misgivings. A work spouse will not judge you, will listen, and will allow you to air your insecurities in a safe environment.

A social outlet
With the big banks, major consulting firms and big corporates continuing to cut expenses tied employee-related social events, the days when you could bring a +1 from home are basically gone. A work spouse provides an immediate social companion who can help you navigate a room, introduce you to the director he knows who you’ve been meaning to meet and will encourage you to attend more than your fair share of company outings that you might want to avoid but shouldn’t.

Access to opportunity
A work spouse tends to be someone on another team or in another department. Because of this, a work spouse can be your biggest champion should opportunity knock elsewhere in your company. A work spouse can be your “go-to” resource to network for a better role and can keep her eyes and ears open to new job postings on your behalf.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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