Friendship is as important: How to make friends at a new job
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Making new friends is one of the greatest benefits of a new job. Office friends make going to work more pleasant and rewarding, they foster teamwork, and they can help you get acclimated to your new position and environment. If youâre really lucky, your work friends will add to your after-work social life, too.Though itâs easy to see why friendships with co-workers are desirable, itâs also important not to rush into anything. The first few days and weeks on a job will be strange, yes, but if you try to force a work friendship to make it better, you risk giving off a creepy vibe no one will forget.Here are some tips on how to make friends at a new job the right way.
Put on a happy face
Before you walk in to the office, put yourself in a great mood. At the very least, if youâre feeling bad for any reason, let that go.
You should come to work âhappy, attentive and excitedâ . âPeople will click with that. If you come in sad, mad or anti-social this will make people uncomfortable.â
This may seem like common sense, but even gregarious people can clam up in a new environment. Take the time to say hello to those in your immediate work area, obviously, and then continue that with others you see in the hall or at the vending machines.
Donât interrupt anyone who looks busy and donât give everyone your life story. âHi. Iâm Bola. I started last week in risk management. What do you do?â plus a handshake is a great kickoff.
Find common interests over time
Pay attention when your colleagues bring up their interests and passions, in conversation or in other ways. âClues can be gathered by the photos they keep on their desk, the mugs they use and even wallpaper they use on their computer desktop,â.Once you find a common thread, she recommends suggesting an outing based on that interest. Maybe your bookworm co-worker would like to join you for a book signing, or the homebrew fanatic would like to tour a brewery. Bonus: ask your co-worker if anyone else in the office would be interested. They may invite some new people for you to meet or clue you in to others with your same hobby.
Pay attention to the responses you get
After extending your invitation to a hobby-centric event or even just to a routine lunch or coffee break, your co-worker may decline. How they decline should dictate your next move.
If they volunteer information that theyâre busy but otherwise would love to go, keep them in mind for next time. If you get a clipped decline, you should respond back openly and warmly, with no attempt at persuasion to change their mind. This will come off as desperate.
A simple âmaybe next timeâ is fine. She recommends continuing to invite to future events, but if the person is âresponding in a way that you feel they are not interested in joiningâ then maybe back off a bit and let them come to you.
Remember thereâs no rush
Youâre going to be in this new job for at least a year or so, right? Your co-workers arenât going anywhere, so there is no need to rush in adding people to social media, inviting people for beers after work, or learning all their kidsâ names.
A good rule of thumb, says digital marketing and social media strategist Bradford Hines, is that if youâre on the fence about whether something is too soon â it can always wait a little longer.
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