Many professionals frown on the idea of making friends at work but building and maintaining workplace friendships can actually have a positive impact on your career and life. Genuine workplace friendships can make your job more enjoyable and keep you motivated and inspired. This can eventually lead to greater professional success, since individuals with these positive traits often achieve more in the workplace. Consider these five tips if you struggle with making friends at work.
1. Maintain a Friendly Attitude
Individuals who are friendly and have a positive attitude often find it easy to make friends at work. Smile at your colleagues and say hello when you see them in the elevator, in the lobby or walking down the hallway. Smile and wave at your co-workers as you exit the parking lot at the end of a workday. Make small talk when it's appropriate, and offer compliments when you notice a new haircut, great shoes or a nice tie.
2. Help Your Colleagues
If you see a colleague struggling, offer to help. If you show your workmates that you're more than happy to lend a hand when they're in a bind, they'll likely do the same for you. Such exchanges often lead to a mutual admiration and respect among co-workers, which may eventually develop into a friendship. Just be sure not to neglect your work responsibilities, and make sure your colleague is receptive to your offer of assistance.
3. Venture Out
Avoid confining yourself to your desk or office all day long. Venture out by taking walks around the office and having casual conversations with co-workers. Deliver memos and other correspondence in person rather than sending it through email. Instead of eating lunch alone at your desk, head to the break room, the cafeteria or another social dining area.
4. Attend After-Work Events
One of the best ways to begin making friends at work is to attend after-work events or celebrations. If you're invited to after-work dinners, birthday celebrations or happy hour events, be sure to attend. It's also important to be social and have fun at these events. Communicate with as many people as you can, and let your workmates know you appreciate the invite. Once you get more comfortable with your colleagues, consider planning a few events of your own.
5. Be Patient
Genuine workplace friendships typically don't develop right away, so don't rush the process. If you seem a bit too eager to make friends at work, you might turn some people off. Let the process happen naturally, and don't take it personally if someone isn't receptive to your friendly gestures right away.
Contrary to what many believe, building genuine friendships at work isn't weird or unprofessional. The desire for social interaction is natural for humans, and the results of developing and maintaining workplace friendships can boost your professional and personal life. If you struggle with making friends at work, these five tips can help. What are your thoughts on workplace friendships?
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