Make Friends and Influence your Future
The office is a productive area for making all kinds of connections because — as you’re probably most painfully aware — we invest even more time in the workplace that we’re able to at home. However you’ll also find it’s the best location to establish expert allies since many of the office mates that surround you share your passions, routines, and also the critical accessibility to the individual in charge.
As an added bonus, if you make a couple of real friends at work, your day will go by quicker and you’ll enjoy it more! Well worth the effort, so how to get started? Here are some ideas to help you begin developing some new friendships and, at the very least, quality networking contacts.
- Capitalize on office events. Plenty of opportunities should arise, from happy hours to softball, even town hall-style meetings many companies hold on a regular basis, just keep your eye on the message board for your opening. Definitely say “yes” more than “no” and you’ll find your social circle expanding before you know it. Because these situations often mix departments and management levels, you’ll have the chance to connect with a wide variety of individuals that may help you learn more about the company, its management teams, and perhaps you’ll find a true friend in the mix.
- Avoid Office gossip, no matter how harmless it may seem, isn’t the icebreaker you’re looking for. Participating or initiating any kind of gossip will reflect badly on you and may very well circumvent your efforts to make friends and influence people.
Take your lunch in the company break area.You may feel that lunch is the perfect time to read your book or browse the internet while you take your break, but it’s actually counterproductive if developing relationships is your goal. At the very least, spend a portion of your lunch break making small talk in the community kitchen. Learn more about your coworkers, you’ll be glad you did!
- Offer a helping hand. Should acolleague solicit your opinion or advice, it’s another opportunity to make a friend. Instead of just replying to that email, sit down with the individual and discuss the issue together, sprinkling in some unrelated chit chat where applicable. Solving a challenge together will build bridges that may lead to the new friendship you’re seeking, or a professional relationship that is mutually beneficial down the road.
- Make plans with a coworker.Your friendships will have the opportunity to grow if you extend invitations for after hour entertainment. Going to dinner or out for a drink, even out for coffee during the day, will offer the chance to leave the workplace and relate on a new level. Most will be more relaxed and will let their guard down somewhat, just don’t talk about work the whole time.
Should any of your new friendships become more, developing in a romantic direction, tread carefully. Although that may not have been your initial goal, it happens, often by accident! If things don’t work out though, you’ll still be seeing that person daily and you don’t want to permanently damage the workplace environment. Worst case, you could undo all the positive efforts you’ve put forth so far!
- Discover what you have in common outside the workplace. You’ll find making friends much easier if you initiate conversation about activities outside of work. You’ll learn more about your coworkers and find others who share your interests, the first step in making a friend.
- Keep in mind: Not all relationships are forever.New friends at the office may not necessarily stay in your corner. Workplace friendships can on occasion sour. Should that occur, maintain your professionalism and deal with that person courteously. The last thing you want to happen is for the lost friendship to result in the loss of your credibility or even your position.
Have fun, make friends, and be sure to add them to your contacts. Someday, whether you’re at the same job or on to another opportunity, you’ll have developed a great network and hopefully have some new friends to chill with!
For more information on finding your perfect job, try contacting a professional staffing agency. And if you’re in IT and looking for work in Dallas-Fort Worth, Maxsys Solutions is one of the area’s exceptional IT Staffing Agencies.