Woman laughing and making friends at work.

Starting a new job always conjures a variety of emotions. It’s usually an odd balance of nerves and excitement. A new job means a new workplace, new responsibilities, and also new coworkers. You may have made strong bonds at your last job, and not knowing anyone going into a new job can be tough. However, that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way! Having friends in the workplace can significantly improve the quality of your work day. In today’s blog we’ll explore some ways you can make friends in a new workplace.

Meet & Greet

The first point to make when thinking about friends at a new job is that you should focus on your work. It may seem odd to say, but it won’t matter how many friends you have if you’re let go. Make sure you prioritize your work, and do your best. Second, be optimistic. Even if you are nervous or stressed in your first few weeks, stay positive. It’s understandable that you’d be grumpy if you’re overwhelmed with work. However, this may alienate coworkers from the onset, and they’ll assume you’re always irritable. Do your best to be cheery and positive, and it’ll make you much more engaging to others as a new employee.

Another important thing to do initially is to introduce yourself to everyone. You probably got a tour of the office and met a few people, but likely not all of them. In the days following your first, try to make rounds and at least exchange names with most of your coworkers. Even if you are swamped with work, this shows that you are trying to connect and get to know people, and that will be picked up on. It’s usually a good idea to work a little harder to get to know those in your department, since you’ll be working closely with them. So that is probably a good place to start!

How Favors Make Friends

When you’re making these early introductions is a great time to utilize another tactic- ask for help. You will probably have many questions about the inter-workings of the business and your responsibilities. Asking for help from others will get you some face to face time with coworkers. It’s even been shown that asking asking a favor of someone makes them like you more! So those early curiosities and questions are a great way to also forge some connections.

In most offices, there is usually a lot of chatter going on as well. Look out for any common interests between you and coworkers. Even one thing can be a good foundation to start a friendship at. If you find out someone in your department likes fishing (and you do too) consider asking them where their favorite spots are. Common interests are great because both you and the coworker can easily talk about them. Conversation will flow and you won’t have to try to carry on a conversation about ‘the weather we’ve been having’.

No Need to Rush

All of the above tactics should get you off to a good start forging professional relationship and friendships with your coworkers. However, there are two more things to remember. For one, you should actually be someone you would want to work with. All of your attempts to make friends won’t pay off if you’re not someone you would want to work with, or be friends with. The golden rule applies to work too!

Lastly, remember that your coworkers aren’t going anywhere. If you’ve just started a job and plan on being there for some time, you don’t have to pressure friendships to happen. The more time you spend at work, the more likely you are to forge friendships and connections. Feel free to use some of the tactics above, but overall just be a friendly, hardworking coworker and things will happen organically. There is no perfect formula, but that alone will go a long way. For those of you starting a new job, we wish you the best, and hope you meet some great people there!