While it's good to have regular friends, everyone needs a best friend. You know, that person you can go to whenever you need help, a confidence boost, or just a laugh. The same concept applies to the workplace.
While it's great to have trusted colleagues, it's especially nice to have one person in particular to confide in—a work buddy.
How To Make Friends At Work
Sometimes if you're a new employee just starting with a company, you'll be assigned a work buddy to familiarize yourself with the job and work environment. There's nothing wrong with this. It could be that your supervisor has a particular person they want you paired with based on job responsibilities who could help you ease into and adapt to your new role.
If you're assigned a work buddy, that's one less thing you have to worry about. But if you're not assigned a buddy, look at it as an opportunity.
Some of the best friendships are the ones that are formed organically. Be open to getting to know all of your co-workers. Be friendly. Ask questions about their jobs and lives. Try to make a connection.
The Benefits Of Having A Work Buddy
Having a work buddy is a great way to help you assimilate into the company culture and quickly fit in with other co-workers. An office buddy not only has knowledge about job requirements and expectations, but he or she can also provide information about the work styles and personalities of co-workers, and give a rundown of any office politics.
Beyond the office landscape, having a workplace buddy helps to improve confidence. It's nice to have someone who can share advice and make you laugh.
All jobs can be stressful at times, so being able to face work challenges with the help of a buddy reduces stress, too.
How To Build A Bond With Your Work Buddy
When it comes to building a relationship with your colleagues, it shouldn't always be about work.
Check in with your work buddy from time to time about how things are going in their lives. Grab lunch, attend happy hour, or plan some other fun activity once a month.
Trust goes beyond the workplace, so it's important to work on the relationship like any other friendship.
Strengthening the friendship is also beneficial if you ever reach a point where you are no longer co-workers. You may want to keep this person as a personal friend or use them as a professional reference in the future. At the very least, you'll both be valuable connections for each other in your professional networks.
This is were those bonds formed at the workplace really come in handy.
Be Proactive About Fitting In At Work
Many companies have incorporated the buddy system into their onboarding process as a way to be more efficient in getting new employees familiar with the company.
If your company doesn't have such a system, be proactive about finding a buddy and make an effort to fit in with co-workers.
Fitting into the company's culture can be just as important as learning job responsibilities. One of the reasons why you were hired is because your employer thought you'd be a good cultural. Now, it's your job to prove them right. A work buddy can help.
At every company you end up working for, make sure you have a work buddy. Not only will they help you learn the ropes at your new job, but they'll also be a valuable friend and connection—someone you'll be able to count on as you grow in your career.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.