You may be in corporate, you may be marketing, you may be in commercial…but wherever you are working, you will spend 1/3 of your entire life there. Yes, we said it…1/3 of your entire life. Because you will spend so much time at work, you will find yourself meeting different types of people in the workplace, and fostering real relationships with the people you work closely with. 50% of your waking hours will be spent with them, so why not build a good relationship right?
Not everyone gets along at work, and quite frankly you’re not required to. You won’t like everyone you meet, you will have your favorites and then your not so favorites. Some people you might not even start a true working relationship with because you both are on just two separate pages. You might be apprehensive to start personal relationships with your work friends because after all, business is business. You don’t want to mix the two in the event that something doesn’t work out within your personal friendship, and then your faced with seeing that person every day at work and it becomes uncomfortable. Much like dating in the workplace, but that’s a way different post.
Work friends get to see you in a different light than your personal friends. Where you may be completely chill, and like to get loose on the weekends with your personal friends…you might be more professional with your work friends, a little more reserved, and you’re definitely not throwing the shots back to back with them either. On the flip side, because you spend so much time with your work friends, they get to see you everyday for 8 hours a day so there might be things that they gather about you, that your personal friends don’t get to experience.
It’s always good to have a balance between business and personal – but its always good to have 1 or 2 work friends that you can turn into personal friends. Who else will laugh with you about office drama? Or run with you to get coffee at 2pm when you’ve hit the afternoon slump? We’ve put together a couple of tips and tricks that can be really helpful in turning your work friend, into your life friend.
Find the Friends You Trust
Work can be a really scary and nasty place if you are involved with the wrong people. At the end of the day sis, some people will always only lookout for themselves – which is fine so let them do them. But that means you can’t be out there spreading your business around, and telling everybody everything. That being said, you can’t be a closed box either. Things happen at work that only work friends will understand so you need 1 or 2 people you know you can trust, and have good spirits and energy about them. Not the ones stepping on top of everybody trying to climb to the top. Not the ones that are rude, or don’t respect you. You know your tribe – and stick to them. Not saying be nasty to everyone else, you should still be respectful, but as we always say, “Go where the love is.”
Know Your Boundaries
It’s like any new relationship, always know what you want to share about yourself, and what you don’t. Expect that your colleague will do the same, and that he or she doesn’t owe you their life story if they don’t want to share it. As time passes and you get to know each other on a more personal level, you will begin to learn that person for who they really are outside of work, so don’t force it. Know what you are comfortable sharing, and don’t share what you are not.
Find Your Mutual Appreciations
The best time to really learn when you have something in common with someone, is when you’re out for drinks! There will always be happy hour popping up, so go! Don’t sit this one out because you’re tired or you had a long week. Commit to going for at least an hour and see how you feel once you get there. People love to talk, and if anything, they love when other people listen to them talk. When the drinks get going, the laughter starts to happen and people start to loosen up. Get to know one another! Ask about what they liked to do in college? What sports did they play? What Netflix shows you’re currently both binging on? I guarantee you, you will find lots to talk about, and you just might stay past that one hour you committed to.
Get Past Happy Hour
Happy hours come and go, but get outside and do something else! Plan a brunch on a Saturday morning, not with the entire team, but the ones you’re close with and just hang over some mimosas and french toast (currently craving). Hanging out outside the office shows your personal side, and what you look like without your professional work clothes. It gives you both a chance to get to know each other in a different space, one that’s more relaxed as opposed to being surrounded by other colleagues and the business atmosphere. Setup a brunch, lunch, or dinner date on a Saturday. This will make for great conversations come Monday.
Be Your True Self, Not Your Work Self
How many of you know “the switch”? You know that switch you turn on when you want to be super professional, your pronunciation is on another level, your super friendly and it’s almost like you did a complete 180 on yourself? But then you flip the switch off and you’re not as uptight as you just were, you slouch a little, you’re using slang, and talking to your girlfriend who just told you she caught her boy messing around? You know exactly what we’re talking about. That switch. After hanging out with your friends at work (that you trust) for a little while, flip the switch on them. Not all the way, you don’t want to scare them off – but loosen up a little. Converse with them as you would a personal friend and see how they respond. It’s almost a little funny because we already know they won’t be ready.
Styled By Alexandria