I’ve had quite a few jobs at small companies, be they twenty employees or five. So I’ve had a wide variety of environments in which I’ve had to make work friends. But it was only after my last job that I realized how insanely important it is to go out of your way to make friends at work. This is obvious to most people, especially at smaller offices. But when you’re thrown into a company with multiple office locations, three hundred employees on one floor, and everyone spends most of the day tucked into their own little cubicle space, I think it’s easy to forget how much work it can be to make friends.
The one thing I’ve learned more than anything else is just that you have to say hello. Saying hello and asking a question goes a long way. Then actually listen to the response. Voila! you’ve started a conversation, which starts a friendly acquaintanceship, which may become a work friendship if it’s meant to be.
A lot of people who have been at a job for a long time forget how hard it is to be the new kid on the block, so you actually have to go out of your way to do this stuff. This was hard for me when I was younger, but no longer bothers me. It’s just reality, and you just have to have the confidence to do it. I mean, you got the job, so you must be doing something to feel confident about. Still, I can see how it bothers younger people in the workplace to have to figure out the cliques and conversations and lunch breaks, so maybe this advice will help someone out.
Let down your guard, share part of yourself, ask questions, and feel your day get better. After all, you’re probably working eight hours out of each day. It feels pretty good to know you’re spending that time among friends.