My father always tell me "Don't mix relationships and work" - i.e., avoid romantic relationships with individuals that you work with.
Is this good advice? What are the risks of pursuing a romantic relationship with someone at work?
Deciding to avoid or pursue dating at work is really up to you. If you use good judgement, are respectful of others, and comply with relevant policies, working with a romantic partner can be entirely okay.
There are some ideas centered on professionalism and mutual respect that are relevant and you should keep in mind if you're considering a relationship with a colleague:
In general, if you are able to engage in mature, respectful, and caring relationships, dating individuals who are also work colleagues can work well. However, if there is any chance that a relationship might deviate from mature, respectful, and caring, it is probably best to prevent your personal challenges from becoming work challenges and avoid dating at work.
You would be better off stating:
“Don’t mix work and relationships”
As that applies equally to all.
There are some who happily work together and are married but many find it does not work for them... Been questions on here before about what to do after a relationship failure with your boss - usual answer has been “find another job”...
You need to ask your dad if possible. Vague parental wisdom is like fortune cookies, could mean a lot of things. Good parenting includes explanations and making sure the child understands anything important being imparted..
Different employers have different attitudes to relationships in the workplace. Some companies ban them altogether; others accept them but try to manage the risks they create. In academia, the two-body problem means that universities may even support an academic's partner in finding work at the same institution.
Some risks to consider:
Most of those risks can be managed, though. Some common strategies are:
I work in a large-ish organisation (~2k people) with several married couples and no doubt more that I don't know about, because I don't need to know. One of my relatives also works for the same organisation, and although that's not general knowledge, it's on record and we would disclose it if we were about to be assigned to the same team.
It seems to work pretty well for us, but in an organisation that doesn't have a plan for managing the complications that come with intra-office relationships, it's likely to cause trouble.