Working Girl How-To: Forging Relationships in the Workplace
It is common to feel first-day jitters before you begin a new job. Before you allow new-job nerves to overtake your excitement, remember what, or whom, helped you get through firsts in the past: friends!
Never Eat Lunch Alone When I am full of energy, I typically invite one person to lunch. This is a great time to get to know someone and to discuss professional goals and experiences. If I am feeling tired, I invite a group to lunch. This actually works in my favor because I’m able to sit back and listen to others instead of leading the conversation. The key to internal lunches is to reach outside of your own department to get to know the entire company. This will begin to form friendships in the office, and also provide insight into other departments you may need to be successful in your own position.
Encourage Internal Activities Each year, a handful of my colleagues sign up for a company Fantasy Football league. The first year I signed up, I had zero experience drafting players or playing the game. I’m happy to report that I won the company league and got to know members of our software development team. This can be applied to numerous activities: themed city runs, caption contests, even an internal rewards program. You don’t need to create these projects, but you are certainly able to suggest them to someone in leadership.
Help Where Possible Helping others is one of the best ways to forge friendships in the office. Not only will you alleviate stress for a coworker, you will learn something new and potentially be able to update your own resume with new accomplishments. It also provides a reason for you to check in with a colleague and to get to know them over time.
How have you made your best friends in the office? Tell us about your stories below, or tweet us at @HeyWorkingGirl!