Schools Training

Making Friends While Remaining Professional: Being The New Person At The Office

22 JAN 2014
Career Path : Career

Working in an office can sometimes feel like a strange mix of having a job and being at a daily social gathering.  Because one spends a good deal of their waking life surrounded by one’s fellow office workers, it is not a stretch to say they become one of your major social circles.

When you are the latest hire in an office setting, getting acquainted, making friends, and learning the correct social boundaries is an often neglected part of your training. The new recruit certainly wants to be liked, but not at the expense of seeming to care more about having a good time than to doing a good job. Here are some tips for navigating the social context of the office:

Don’t wait for introductions

You might be given the grand tour on your first day and subsequently shake a lot of hands and learn a lot of names, but you can’t be expected to remember everyone. Go beyond the standard quick greeting and re-introduce yourself to those around you. Pay extra attention to those that make the effort to get to know you. But don’t be overly specific, or it might seem like you are trying to get into a clique.

Find common ground

Knowing the educational and professional background of some co-workers will give you an idea of who is at a similar level to you. This in turn might give your career prospects within the company more clear direction. Check out Canadian college directories to learn more about the choices some of your coworkers have made to end up in a similar position as yourself.

Share useful and interesting resources

Many office employees communicate regularly by group emailing and mass messaging. Get involved and start sharing your own valuable resources. College news sources are a great place to find helpful articles that your coworkers might appreciate reading. But do not overburden everyone’s inbox with too much shared links; try to follow the common example of how much sharing is appropriate.

Be available socially

Does the staff eat lunch together at a special restaurant once a week? Do they go for drinks after work once a month? You don’t have to turn your outside-of-work social life upside down for your new colleagues, but it is a good idea to accept invitations and participate in these activities early on in your job, especially if someone makes the effort to include you.

A career, in many ways, can be experienced as an extension of school, as both the academic and professional paths sometimes combine individual effort and team work. Staying up to date on education news as well as professional news is sure to prove your usefulness and value to your peers, in class or at the office.