I’m all about ladies chasing their career dreams. However, sometimes the road to greatness can be paved with mind-numbing assignments, and in search of mental stimulation, even the most disciplined female eye begins to wander. Behold, the glory of the office crush: A J.Crew-clad lad who exists solely to make your days a little bit better. But did you know having a work crush can actually help your career? Here are just 7 of the many ways. (A highly scientific “impact to career” score accompanies each.)
1. You start making sure your outfit is on point every day.
You used to be the person who would run out the door with your hair in a messy bun, face without so much as a smudge of war paint, and with an outfit that singlehandedly put the “casual” in business casual. Now that’s all a thing of the past as you start dressing to the nines and recreating that makeover scene from The Princess Diaries daily.
Impact to career: +3
Sharp outfits and the swipe of mascara make you seem more professional and put-together.
2. Your posture greatly improves.
Before you used to do an excellent impression of a Neanderthal as you hunched over your computer and slumped in your chair, still nursing the slight hangover from last night’s (far too) Happy Hour. Now you’re sitting perky as a parrot if there’s even the slightest chance that work crush might be walking by.
Impact to career: +6
Better posture leads to better oxygen flow, which leads to better concentration and bigger ideas.
3. You are never tempted to call in sick when you just don’t feel like going in.
Wake up with a slightly stuffy nose and a mild headache? In the days before work crush, you would have just phoned it in. But now, the prospect of seeing your eye candy has you chugging DayQuil and popping pills like you’re the Wolf of Walgreens just so that you can make it into the office.
Impact to career: +7
Attendance counts in the corporate world. Being present is often half the battle. (But subtract 10 points if you’re actually so sick that you should be at home. Don’t be a hero.)
4. You get to work a little earlier and stay a little later.
Before you were operating under a LIFO system (Last In, First Out) since the job itself didn’t provide many thrills. Now, much like Will Smith from his hit song “Switch,” you’re the first one in, last one out. Ever since you realized that extra minutes in the workplace meant you could bring your office-crush sightings up from two to three, you’ve never been more of a workaholic.
Impact to career: +2
Let’s be honest: There’s a good chance that that extra time at work is really just spent texting your friends play-by-play encounters with work crush. (“He said, ‘Hey’!! What does that even mean???”)
5. You get extra productivity boosts throughout the day.
Before you were slowly pecking away at your keyboard with eyes glazed over like Krispy Kremes. Then WHAM, you spot your work crush, and the heart rate takes a leap like a gazelle as adrenaline courses through your veins. Post-interaction with work crush, you find yourself flying through emails like Hermes as you pound on your keys with the ferocity of a woodpecker on Ecstasy.
Impact to career: +5
Those little bursts throughout the day can add up to some true productivity gains. (Two bonus points if this prevents you from unnecessarily drinking extra cups of coffee.)
6. You become skilled at speaking calmly under duress.
Before, when your Vice President would walk by and ask you about this month’s financial statements, you would sweat profusely as you tried to stammer out something resembling the English language. Now, even when under fire, you reply cool as a cucumber. Why? Thanks to your work crush, you’ve fine-tuned the skill of adopting a tone of charming nonchalance even though your heart feels like it has catapulted into your throat.
Impact to career: +12
As you move up that corporate jungle gym, jobs will inevitably get more stressful and the stakes much higher. The better you get at calmly handling tense situations early on, the more composed you’ll be down the road.
7. You cultivate deeper bonds with female colleagues.
Once you have a work crush, you often can’t help but talk about your work crush. Little did I know how many lady friends of mine also harbored work crushes and how much common ground could be found there. Work crush confessions from my fellow female colleagues have ranged from cute (“I have to focus really hard on what he’s saying or else I just stare and start stuttering”) to slightly creepy (“Um, yeah, he popped up in a dream I had. Don’t tell my boyfriend”), and either way, the result is the same. Secrets have been shared, bonds have been formed, and you’ve got a friend in me.
Impact to career: +427
As the great Leslie Knope once said, “Ovaries before brovaries.” Though your work crushes may be ephemeral, your network of strong women can last forever. Crush on, career women, crush on.