Career Compass

Love Where You Work: Workplace Romance with Louis Lessig

Episode Summary

Friendships at work help retain employees, but workplace romances can divide teams and are tricky for both the organization and the staff to navigate. In this episode of Career Compass, Hosts Vernon Williams and Kevin Abbed are joined by employment law attorney Louis Lessig to untangle the various aspects of workplace romances. Hear the pros and cons of office romance, appropriate office behaviors and advice for those who are or might become romantically involved with a co-worker.

Episode Notes

Friendships at work help retain employees, but workplace romances can divide teams and are tricky for both the organization and the staff to navigate. In this episode of Career Compass, Hosts Vernon Williams and Kevin Abbed are joined by employment law attorney Louis Lessig to untangle the various aspects of workplace romances. Hear the pros and cons of office romance, appropriate office behaviors and advice for those who are or might become romantically involved with a co-worker.

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Episode transcript

Episode Transcription

Vernon Williams: Welcome back to season six of Career Compass, a podcast from SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management and the SHRM Foundation. Career Compass prepares future leaders today for better workplaces tomorrow.

Kevin Abbed: As the voice of All Things Work, SHRM supports students and emerging professionals with advice, information, and resources for every step of your career.

Vernon Williams: Designed for the student or emerging professional, Career Compass delivers timely, relevant, and critical conversations about work to help you succeed in your career journey. Thank you for joining us for this episode. My name is Vernon Williams. And I will be your co-host.

Kevin Abbed: My name is Kevin Abbed, and I'll also be your co-host. This season, we're doing things a little different to celebrate SHRM's 75th anniversary. That's right, SHRM is celebrating 75 years of supporting HR professionals and the workplace as a whole.

Vernon Williams: To honor this milestone, we're hosting seven episodes focused on HR from the past, present, and future with the common thread of driving change.

Kevin Abbed: Joining us on today's episode on the present day topic of workplace romance is employment law expert attorney and SHRM MAC member, Lou Lessig. Also, just so you know, this episode is valid for professional development credit or PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. We'll provide the code later in the episode. And with that, let's get started.

So Vernon, I know this subject is a little bit taboo, but I'm glad we're getting to talk about workplace romances because we're seeing them everywhere. From coaches to politicians to TV personalities and others, it seems like we're hearing a lot about relationships at work. So Vernon, what were your initial reactions to this subject?

Vernon Williams: So my first thought, honestly, was let me not say anything to get myself canceled on this episode. But then seriously, I was starting to think more along the lines of we spend a lot of time at work, we possibly spend more time at work and hanging out with our colleagues than we do with our own families or significant others, but at the same time, it's sort of complicated in the sense of a lot of things can go wrong. And the logistical person in me is thinking, what's the probability here, and I recognize that's probably not the greatest answer because love is supposed to be this wonderful thing that sort of defies a lot of logic. But me, who I am, I think about the percentage. What are the chances this relationship is going to work? And if it doesn't work, where does that leave me with my job, my colleagues, my supervisors, and so many other folks that are impacted by the decisions that we make, both obviously in the workplace and at home.

So there's a lot that goes into this, it's extremely complicated, and that's probably why we invited a really intelligent lawyer to help us sort of walk through this.

Kevin Abbed: Yeah, exactly. And you know, you turn on the news... Like I said earlier, you turn on the news and you see it kind of everywhere, from co-hosting on shows together, to we see professional coaches of NBA teams and people that are within the organization, so it's a lot more common than you think. So let's go ahead and get started. Lou Lessig's career began with an undergrad degree in HR administration from Muhlenberg College. Since then, he attended law school and has spent more than 20 years representing public and private employers of all sizes and industries before administrative agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Labor, as well as defending employers in state and federal court, in addition to having obtained his SHRM-SCP credential. And with that, Career Compass would like to warmly welcome Lou Lessig.

Vernon Williams: Yay.

Louis Lessig: Thank you for the invitation. It's my pleasure to join all of you today and share some stories and insights.

Vernon Williams: So we're going to get started with a question to help our audience get to know you a little bit better. Not that many of them probably don't already know you since you bleed SHRM blue, but let's open things up. We know that you earned your undergraduate degree in human resource administration before you went on to law school. Tell us a little bit about your career path and what motivated you to ultimately pursue a career in employment law.

Louis Lessig: It's interesting. When I first got started, Vernon, I had the opportunity at Muhlenberg to intern at Lehigh Valley Hospital. And at the time, my mentor was one of the generalists in HR for the hospital, and we had gone back and forth in terms of what the opportunities were out in the workforce when I graduated. And he was actually the one that sat me down and said, "Listen, and no offense to anybody else, but do you want to do benefits your whole life or are you looking at different aspects of HR?" During those conversations we would have in my internship, he had me really start thinking about employment law and potentially going to law school. And at that point, the determination was made, "You know what? Let's go that route." And then while I was in law school, I spent a lot of time as someone that was a TA for the employment law professors and sort of helping them out.

And ironically, while I was in my clerkship, I had the opportunity to get a phone call from one of my employment law professors who said, "Listen, I don't have a job for you, but come join me. Let's go have a beer and talk about things and see where things might go." And so we got together. And from that time, four of us ended up starting a training company separate and apart from the law practice. It took about a year of just sort of practicing law.,And then I actually ended up coming to the firm I'm at now, and I've been doing employment law ever since. It's been the greatest decision I ever made.

Vernon Williams: Yeah, I appreciate the background. And something that you said that a lot of our guests talk about that I think is relevant and particularly for students and emerging professionals that need to hear, you took a meeting without a job at the end of it. I think so often young folks want to walk in and just instantly think that if there's not a job or some sort of tangible nugget at the end of the conversation that there's no value in it, rather than sort of enjoying the journey and recognizing that although this may not bear fruit today, it could potentially bear fruit in the future. And so every meeting, every interaction is an opportunity to succeed, right?

Louis Lessig: Oh, absolutely. In fact, it's fascinating when I sit back and think about it. That meeting ended up going from just someone buying me a beer, to being partners with these guys for a couple of years, and that evolved into some of the public speaking and ending up now speaking at SHRM National I think for the last 15 consecutive years, where I never would've thought that would've happened. And in fact, one of my partners in that business ended up not having time to co-author a book that he ended up giving the contract to me. And again, to your point, would've never had that opportunity if I hadn't just agreed to go out and have a beer.

Vernon Williams: Absolutely. So Kevin and I tend to be sports guys, and one of the things that I always remember is you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Louis Lessig: Well, it's ironic. Yesterday, my youngest son won his hockey tournament, and above his bed is that exact quote from Wayne Gretzky.

Vernon Williams: I love it. I love it.

Kevin Abbed: Kind of jumping into workplace romances and a little bit more of the workplace aspect of it, SHRM recently published an article titled Workplace Romances can be Tricky, but Friendships Boost Retention. In my mind, that seems to be a bit of a gray area. So what are your thoughts when we know that employees are more likely to stay at their company if they have a buddy at work, but navigating a workplace romantic relationship can be challenging?

Louis Lessig: I think there's a lot in there, Kevin, that we need to take a look at. The first piece is, what is the culture of the organization? That's where you have to start because nobody's going to stay if they don't like the culture that they're in. Now, to that point, I wholeheartedly agree that we live in the gray. And so some of the biggest challenges we have is dealing with managers that are very black and white. You either do your job, or you don't do your job, and that romance component and the friendship component is problematic to them because they can't see the gray. And yet, I think to be in HR is to appreciate the fact that we're always going to live in the gray. We're always going to walk in in the morning and have a list of things that we're going to do for the day and hope to God would get to it. But you know what? Maybe that's not going to work.

To that same point though, I think it's absolutely essential to have friends at work, and particularly when you're younger in your career because you don't necessarily know the politics that are internal or unsaid within a particular organization. And at the same time, having somebody that you can lean on, vent to that appreciates what's going on. Vernon earlier said something that I always say from the stage, which is that we spend more time with people at work than we do at home with our families, and that breeds a level of a need to have connection, particularly today in a way that may not necessarily be fully thought out by an organization.

And so when we start looking at that workplace romance component, it's not surprising that that happens. The challenge is if you don't take the time to think about it in advance, that's when the problems occur. I often joke with people and say, "Listen, you have two choices. You can come to me after the litigation is filed and I'll defend you, or you can sit down with me in advance and we can lay out the foundation to minimize that potential hit later."

Vernon Williams: So let's dive a little bit deeper in. When we think about the success of a relationship, perhaps somebody gets married or the couple gets married, starts a family, and I would think that at least initially or early on, there's a positive aspect being maybe increased productivity, synergy at work, and so forth. Again, all of those are positive. Can you talk, Lou, about maybe some of the other positive aspects of workplace romances and conversely talk about some of the downside to workplace romance and particularly how it impacts those who are not directly involved in a relationship such as coworkers, supervisors, or supervisees?

Louis Lessig: Well, let's start with the positive, Vernon. So there is something to be said for we're both at an organization and we're trying to go in the same direction, and so the success of that organization is critically important because at the end of the day, many people work in order to be able to do whatever they want to do outside of work. So if you sabotage that or it creates a problem, then you risk the very way that you're going to do whatever it is you want to do in life. And so from that perspective, that's a really strong driver for that couple to really make sure that things work in the office, arguably a little bit more focused than what some other folks might be at work. That's the positive side.

When we flip over and think about how other people view it, there are going to be certain inherent things we have to be honest about. We've talked lately a lot about unconscious bias, and there will be people that will look at the relationship and say, "Is there any favoritism that they get because of their position? Where are they each in the organization?" And how when it comes to evaluations or accommodations or other benefits, maybe there's overtime available or perhaps there are other benefits. Maybe it's a sporting event for example, where there's a box for some basketball game or ice hockey game and, "Well, who's getting those tickets and why are they getting them? And how does that work?"

And I think what it leads itself to is a discussion about how do we manage that situation so that people don't feel negatively about the relationship? And so we have to really step back and appreciate the fact that there's going to be a certain amount of personality challenges that may exist, whether that's, "Hey, one of the individuals in the couple did something wrong and so now we need to have them disciplined or we need to sit down with them." How's that going to go? How is that going to impact the other person? We've seen a lot of this over the years, and there's always a concern, "Well if I have to bring in Jane because she did something wrong, but she's dating John, they're both in the same organization, now what do we do?" Or, "We, God forbid, need to let go of Jane. How's John going to react?"

There's an additional complexity that folks in HR have to think through before they pull the trigger, and that probably means they need to manage those supervisors and those senior folks that may look at a relationship in a particular way before they act to not create a worse problem for themselves down the line.

Vernon Williams: And I'll be honest and say, when I was thinking of this particular question, it stemmed from a time in which I was a peer, and I was one of six, and just speeding the story up. Four of the other folks ended up in a relationship, two and two. And ultimately, I think they got married. But looking back on it, I was always questioning sort of the rationale or maybe the motive behind certain decisions that were taking place and that you start to realize, "Oh, this person always sides with this other person." And going through it, I didn't necessarily know why, but then obviously in hindsight when you realized that they are romantically involved, that sort of brought a lot of other aspects into question. And ultimately, that team ended up breaking up for various reasons. I think, to those folks' credit the second they were able to find other employment so that some of that awkwardness could be removed, I think they did, but the initial onset of it was very challenging for everybody involved to navigate that.

Louis Lessig: And I wonder, Vernon, in your situation whether that was more about the fact that folks didn't talk about it or was it were there other things going on? Because so often, everyone tries to keep it quiet, "Hey, let's do this, and we won't say anything to anyone." And inevitably, the coverup is always worse than whatever happened.

Vernon Williams: You are spot on, and I don't want to give too many personal details away, but we were able to find out about one of the couples a little early on, so I'll leave it at that, and we can move on, but there was some interesting stuff happening to say the least.

Kevin Abbed: But we referenced the article earlier, Workplace Romances can be Tricky, But Friendships Boost Retention, that same article mentioned data about what US workers would consider misconduct in a virtual setting, including slightly more than half responding to written communications with a kiss emojis or heart, sending flirty gifs like kisses, hearts, hugs, inappropriate virtual backgrounds, or asking them out over email, video, or other chat modes. What are your thoughts about those stats as they are related to employee behaviors?

Louis Lessig: Honestly, Kevin, I was not surprised to see any of those stats. I really think the biggest challenge we have is trying to understand and appreciate the level of education around interpersonal relationships that various employees in different organizations have. And what I mean by that is this, I do a lot of training, as you mentioned in my original bio and speaking across the country, one of the things I ask folks in many of my talks is, it's a true false question. And it asks the question, if we're thinking about social media, is there a difference between social media and online activities, as opposed to being in person and within the four walls of an office?

And it's phrased and structured in such a way that the answer is, in essence, it doesn't make any difference whether you are in person or whether you're virtual or listening to a podcast like this because at the end of the day, the same laws apply. And so what happens is we need to raise the level of education within organizations so people understand and appreciate what all the different emojis are. I mean, I don't know, but I'm not sure about either one of you gentlemen, but for myself, I can't say that I know exactly what every single emoji on my phone means.

Vernon Williams: I'm with you.

Louis Lessig: And that creates a challenge because it's almost as if it's no different than the emails that people would send early on when email was new to the workplace in all caps, and whoever was typing didn't necessarily realize that, "Well, that's interpreted as you're yelling at me." And the same way there are colloquialisms in the English language, we also have to appreciate that in the digital space there are differences that exist, and so we need to be pragmatic in an organization and appreciate as we're doing training for folks that we extend that. Maybe it is as simple as saying, "Listen, when you're on some kind of a Zoom call or Teams or whatever the platform may be, that there are certain expected protocols." Now, many people may say, "Well, we shouldn't have to worry about that." I get that, but I can't tell you the number of judges during the pandemic that would reach out to me and say, "I cannot believe this litigant was giving testimony, we took a break, they got up, and they didn't have any pants on."

And I started laughing thinking, "I can't even imagine a scenario where I wouldn't have pants on," but okay, fine. In the same way, listen, if you're not exactly sure what the emoji means, or maybe more importantly, if you're not sure how the person who's going to receive it, that they know what it means, then maybe you need to think twice before you do it. I mean, I'm a big believer that if you don't understand what I'm trying to get across to you, then I need to change how I deliver to you until you understand it the way I mean it. And in many regards, I think what these statistics bear out is this idea that, look, it may be great to see your kids or your last vacation on a virtual background, but that may not be the appropriate time or place within the workplace. Now, it might be. I mean, there are certain times of the year we worry about. The one time I was on with NPR at one point we were talking about holiday parties and how they can go awry, and it's no different than that.

It's this idea that we really need to be able to provide some level of guidance so people appreciate where things are, especially in a scenario like today where we have so many generations in the workplace. And even yesterday, and I think this is an interesting example, many of us look at whatever cell phone we may have. Do you have the 14 plus or the 14 pro or whatever, the Samsung, what have you? Well, there is still plenty of adults who don't want all that technology. They'll have a cell phone, but it won't be a smartphone. And so they don't have the same access to the same digital platform that you may have on your phone. Now, there's no way you're necessarily going to know that. Sure. But when you're communicating, you have to take that into account. And so there's that level of education, I think that these statistics bear out, that would be incredibly helpful if we just took an extra 20 minutes, maybe it's an FAQ, maybe it's just five minutes in a staff meeting to let folks know.

Vernon Williams: Yeah, I was going to touch on or ask a follow up question related to sort of the interpretation that you talk about, and I think you hit it spot on. I think that you hit the nail on the head of it's not just what you're communicating, it's how the other person is interpreting what you're communicating that really makes the big difference. So in this example or in this hypothetical that we're talking about, what do you do? Because I think there's something positive, and I can't tell you how many time has somebody's sent me a heart emoji or commented on something I had said. How do I interpret it? I interpret as they love my idea. But you're right, that may not be how everybody interprets it.

So practically, how do you manage that in a workplace setting? So is that a conversation that I need to have with everybody that I'm talking to, or is it training? Is it something that the human resources professionals can do? Who and how does that conversation need to take place so that there's less left to interpretation?

Louis Lessig: Well, first of all, let's be honest, it's always going to be open to interpretation, that's why we all have a job, but I think what you probably want to do is have the opportunity to have a conversation, whether that's with peers or whether it's with superiors down, either way I think works so long as there's an appreciation of, "We're talking about the larger culture within our organization, here's how we operate." Whether you're fully remote, whether you're hybrid, whether you're in person, you want to be able to let folks know how do we view the world? One of the things in my role as a MAC is that we love at SHRM to use an acronyms, and I used to think that my vocation was bad, and then I looked at the VLRC, the Volunteer Leader Resource Center, and found that there's literally a glossary of all the terms for SHRM.

And in the same way, I think there is a benefit to saying, "Okay, what do we think is appropriate at the office?" Now admittedly, you're probably going to be a situation where you're always playing catch up, just like the law, and that's okay. But if you let folks know sort of what the parameters are of what's appropriate, I think you have a better idea and better ability to, not control the narrative, but help people understand. And the other piece is HR is in the best place to be able to know the demographics of the group that you're in or that you have within your organization. Not that it's a bad thing, but at least appreciating what you think you have.

Now, of course, that I also think raises a real question because just because you're an emerging professional or just because you're a student does not mean you are or are not tech savvy. I don't know, maybe when you were 19, you were part of the team that created the first hundred emojis, who knows, but you certainly want to have that conversation so people understand and appreciate what is appropriate. The other thing is, in that same conversation, I also think you want to be able to allow the space for people to be able to reach back to say, "I'm sorry, what does this mean?" Without having them feel embarrassed by asking the question.

Vernon Williams: Absolutely. And before we go to our commercial break, Kevin, I want to put you on the spot. Is there an emoji that you feel like is kind of borderline that you're like, "I'm not sure. Let me think about this one." I'll buy you some time and say that mine is the, I guess the yellow smiley face guy who's got a little kissy heart emoji. That one I'm using with personal, but I don't feel comfortable using that one in the office. Do you have one, Kevin?

Kevin Abbed: God, I don't even know what generation I am. If I'm a millennial, Gen Z or whatever. I think I'm right on the cusp. But, one, I barely use emojis in my personal life, even less so in the office. My personal opinion is that it's a office, it's a place to conduct business, and I don't really think utilizing emojis is the most professional thing, so I prefer to just not use them at all.

Vernon Williams: All right. Well, I certainly want to ask the attorney, is there one that you feel like is a little borderline, Lou?

Louis Lessig: Well, it's funny. I'll answer it this way first, Vernon. What you just heard between you and Kevin is exactly why having this conversation in the workplace is so critically important. Kevin's not turning to you and saying, "I don't want to do this." He's just saying, "Listen, in this space, I'm not sure it's appropriate." It's age agnostic. It's just a thought process. At the same time, if you're asking for me, I try not to use the one where it's got like the head that's exploding.

Vernon Williams: Yes, yes, yes.

Louis Lessig: Because it has that connotation of, "Well, how angry are you?"

Vernon Williams: Very good point. Very good point.

All right, I want to pause just for a second to take care of a couple of housekeeping items. First, those of you listening to this podcast who are seeking professional development credit, this program is valid for five PCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. The code to redeem your PDCs is 24-A7CR3. Please note that this code will expire on March 22nd, 2024. Again, the code is the number two, the number four, dash, the letter A as in alpha, the number seven, the letter C as in Charlie, the letter R as in Romeo, and the number three.

Kevin Abbed: And speaking of PDCs, one place to earn several PDCs, 28 in fact, while networking with peers, connecting with mentors, and expanding your HR knowledge is at SHRM 23, taking place June 11th through the 14th in beautiful Las Vegas. The SHRM annual conference in expo, which has drawn more than 20,000 attendees in the past, is a can't miss experience for any current or emerging HR professional. You can register now to take part in a curated student experience featuring career focus programming and discounted member pricing at just $425 for in-person registration in Las Vegas and $275 for virtual passes. For more information, visit

Vernon Williams: All right, jumping back into the podcast. And knowing we had an attorney and we wanted make sure we came with the stats, according to SHRM research, about 23% of the US employers require staff to disclose an office romance. So although rare, some companies have notification policies that require employees to acknowledge their workplace relationship. What should HR employees do with the knowledge that two employees are involved in a relationship with one another?

Louis Lessig: They need to be pragmatic. And what I mean by that is this. Even if you don't have a policy, there's got to be this way to think through how things should be handled. So HR is going to have to think about if you look at an organizational chart, even if you don't have one, where do both of these individuals sit and who might they touch and who needs to know about the relationship not because you're telling on someone, but because you want to make sure some of the things we talked about earlier? Avoiding that unconscious bias, making sure that there aren't evaluations or people questioning the evaluations that are given. If it's really close peers, that's one thing. If it's a superior/subordinate, now we're starting to get a little concerned. Should they not be in the same department? Even if there isn't a directed policy at the time, HR needs to be stepping up to be mindful of these concerns.

Just like you had mentioned, Vernon, before in your life, I've had similar situations where some things on occasion will happen and sort of a head scratcher. If we want to avoid the head scratcher, then it's incumbent upon HR to sit down and figure it out. And I'm not necessarily saying you have to have a delineated 10-page policy, but you certainly want to think through it in advance to appreciate the nuance of everyone's thoughts within the organization before it ever happens. So now, once we know that there's a pair out there, okay, well practically, let's think through this, both the positive, they stay together and get married, or the negative, it goes very south and we have to separate one of the people or keep them separated in order to continue to conduct business.

Vernon Williams: All right, Lou, just a couple more questions. As you know, being somebody who believes that SHRM blue, this is our 75th anniversary and our theme is driving historic change in the world of work, so let me ask you this. What do you consider the biggest accomplishment of your career or a moment when you drove change for the betterment of the workforce?

Louis Lessig: Well, recently, as I thought about this question, Vernon, I got to be honest, there are a lot of different things I could use, but I think what is most impactful for our conversation today is having the opportunity to sit down with HR clients and have them take a look at employment law, not as a compliance nightmare, but as a pathway to help the organization to operate in a better way, as if the employment laws are framework for you to raise the bar within your organization. And I've had a couple of experiences with this where we've really been able to help shape the culture of an organization in a very positive way. And to be candid, that's more gratifying at times than winning a lawsuit. Just don't ever tell my clients that because I'm perfectly happy to litigate it, but it's certainly something that I take a lot of pride in.

Kevin Abbed: You know SHRM's motto, a better workplace is a better world, being able to make those changes in your office or with your clients that affects them, it affects their employees, it affects their bosses, even affects their families, so I think that's a great point. As we close, what guidance or tips do you have for students and emerging professionals related to workplace romance, employment law, or just general advice?

Louis Lessig: Well, I got a couple things for you, Kevin. First thing on the workplace romance component, when you're in an organization, ask. Listen, folks like myself, spend all sorts of time putting together handbooks, policies, SOPs, take your pick, and sometimes there are items in there that deal with workplace romance. At least go in with your eyes wide open before anything happens and ask what may be there so that you know whether or not you need to disclose stuff and how that process works. At the same time, one of the scariest words to me is compliance, which may be counterintuitive given the fact that as an employment lawyer you would think that I would totally embrace that, but I think it's actually an overused word. I do think that there is a wonderful opportunity for employment laws generally to truly be the framework of how we elevate the world of work and how we do that, and I would challenge each and every person listening to this podcast to make that happen.

And finally, I would lean back into something that I spoke to Vernon about earlier and encourage all of you, whether it's a mentor, whether it's a boss that you engage with, whether it's a colleague, sometimes taking that leap of faith, having that beer or dinner, or that opportunity to informationally interview with someone is critically important to the future, to your future. And if you end up coming this year to Las Vegas for SHRM Annual, I would encourage you, if you find me, stop by, say hello. I am more than happy and incredibly excited to meet each and every one of you at SHRM 23.

Vernon Williams: Lou, thank you so much for taking the time to share your HR journey and for helping us navigate workplace relationships.

Louis Lessig: You're welcome, and thank you both so much for having me today.

Kevin Abbed: And with that, we're going to bring this episode of Career Compass to a close. We'd like to thank SHRM and the SHRM Foundation for providing us with this platform. But more importantly, we'd like to thank you all for joining us and hope you stay with us throughout the season as we discuss more topics like this episode.

Vernon Williams: For more exclusive content, resources, and tools to help you succeed in your career, consider joining SHRM as a student member. You can visit us at to learn more about being a part of a community of over 300,000 HR business leaders who impact the lives of over 115 million employees worldwide.

Kevin Abbed: If you liked what you heard, follow or subscribe to Career Compass on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you listen to podcast. And do you have a topic you think we should cover or a guest we should hear from? We'd love to hear it. Email us at

Vernon Williams: Lastly, are you looking for more work and career related podcasts? Check out All Things Work and Honest HR at Thank you for listening, and we'll catch you on the next episode of Career Compass.