Wednesday, September 30, 2015

5 Ways to Be More Social at Work (and, yes, you should be)

For some people it can be difficult to be social at work. You just want to go in, get your work done, and get home to your life outside of work.

However, being social at your place of employment can provide important benefits to your current job, such as opportunities for advancement or taking on a new project. It can also benefit you in the future when former coworkers have moved on to new jobs and you are unemployed and looking for

With all that in mind, here are 5 ways to be more social at work:

1. Don't eat lunch alone. Be sure to go to the company cafe (if one exists) or join groups of colleagues heading out for lunch or a quick coffee. A great resource is Keith Ferrazzi's book Never Eat Alone.

2. Join your companies social media network. Many companies now offer social media sites enabling colleagues to communicate more effectively. Even if your company does not have a platform like this it's likely they are on Facebook or Twitter. You can join the conversation online and stay engaged with colleagues outside of work hours.

3. Join a committee. If your place of employment uses volunteer committees to get things done, such as organizing recycling or planning the holiday party (see below) consider joining one and getting to know colleagues you might not otherwise interact with on a regular basis.

4. Attend company events, holiday party, retirement party, etc. In December be sure to attend the holiday party and go to the company picnic in the summer. You'll often find higher level managers or executives feeling more relaxed and getting to know team members they haven't engaged yet. Use this as an opportunity to get to know others in your company.

5. Be proactive. Don't wait for others. Invite colleagues to grab a coffee or go to a concert on the weekend. It is through frequent and regular interactions with your coworkers that you will develop healthy and beneficial working relationships and, yes, even friendships.

You do need others to succeed in your career and in life. Take some of the steps noted above to develop effective relationships with those you work with.

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