If you are new at your job you probably don’t know many people, and may be longing for the relationships that you had with your co-workers at your old job. Or maybe you have worked at your job for a long time, but never really connected with any of your colleagues in the way that you had hoped. Building friendships at works is beneficial: not only is it healthy to maintain friendships, networking and making connections at work can help you to gain more success in your field of work. If you don’t know how to socialize at work, or if you want to get better at it, read these 5 tips below:
1. Take your time
If you have just started to bond with a colleague outside work hours, you may want to take it slow at first. You are just getting to know each other, and friendships often don’t turn out the way that we expected them to turn out. It is therefore better to not share all of your personal secrets with your new friend. In every friendship there is a risk involved when you tell someone your most embarrassing secrets, but when a colleague turns out not to be trustworthy it is even worse, because they can blab your secrets at the office. Not a good thing, if you still want people to take you seriously.
2. Be funny
One of the best ways to make friends and to become popular among co-workers is to be funny. Just like in High School and College, when the funny kid had the most friends, the funniest guy at work is the one that gets the most attention from his co-workers. Make sure that you know what you are saying, and avoid joking about things that could be offensive to other people. Also, it is not a good idea to make fun of your boss behind his back at work. You never know how close some of your colleagues may be to your boss. Don’t make fun of your co-workers (unless if you know that they don’t mind), because even in the workplace a lot of people report that they feel like they’re being bullied, every year.
3. Be productive and offer help
When you are productive and show people that you take your job seriously, they will appreciate you more. Always make sure that you do your share when you are working on a project with a team. You definitely don’t want to be that guy that nobody wants to work with because he never finishes anything. If people see that you are good at what you’re doing, they might also come to you for tips and advice, and you could bond over that. It is always good to try to help people out at work, but make sure that you are not being taken advantage of. Alarm bells should go off when someone constantly asks you to do some of their work for them.
4. Stay away from drama
At any job at an office there is drama: people gossip about each other, and at some workplaces there is even bullying going on. The best thing to do is to stay away from it. Just like in High School, certain cliques can form and some people will try to set their colleagues up against each other. It is not good to get involved with any of it, because these dynamics change, and you could be the next victim. It also won’t look very professional if you engage in this sort of behavior.
5. Don’t be shy
When you are new at your job, it is normal that you may be shy at first and that you wait for others to approach you. However, it is better to get over the shyness quickly and approach people. Like everywhere else in life, you can strike up conversations by asking people about themselves. Give them compliments about their clothes, or about a presentation or a speech that they gave. Don’t be afraid to invite people to have lunch with you or to check out a restaurant together. And when it’s lunch time, don’t sit somewhere alone, but find a table with seemingly nice people and ask them if you can sit down. No one will think that it’s weird.
Making friends and socializing at work is just as hard and as easy as it is in any other place. Some people seem to be naturally good at it and other people need to learn it. The most important thing is to stay confident, and be someone that people want to be friends with. That means being open, honest and a reliable worker.