Working with a new company is often an overwhelming experience. For introverts and those inclined towards shyness, the “outsider” can become an obstacle when it comes to making friends in the office. With these tips, you can overcome the “new kid” phase and connect with your co-workers as you become more comfortable at your company.
Find Common Interests
Chances are you have more in common with your co-workers than you think. Whether it’s books, movies, or outdoor activities and sports, finding common interests is a big step in bonding with others. You can learn about them through casual conversation, or do some light research on social media ahead of time. This will prepare you to form potentially long-lasting friendships with the people you work with.
Make Plans Outside of Work
If you keep your interactions strictly within the workplace, it can be difficult to think of your co-workers as true friends. Instead, make a plan to see a movie or grab a meal with your peers outside of office hours. If that Isn’t your style, you should make a point to always say yes when they invite you out. Even if you experience social anxiety or hesitance, by committing to spending time with your co-workers outside of work, you’ll quickly overcome your feelings of being an outsider.
Of course, not all of your co-workers will become long-time friends. Some may simply be amiable workplace acquaintances, but no matter how close you are, you should always strive towards friendly, pleasant interactions with those you work with. To achieve this, find opportunities to collaborate, whether that’s through work-related projects or party and event planning around the office. By working closely together, you’ll get to know more personal aspects of their personalities and establish a warm working relationship.
If you often complain about your superiors, your workload, or the company itself, you may quickly become a negative presence in the office. Your co-workers may come to avoid you if this is true. Make a point of remaining positive, whether that’s through only mentioning the good in your workplace or remaining silent on the issue. Instead of avoiding your company, your co-workers will enjoy being around you and consider you a friend in the office.
Begin these four business practices early, and you can get over the initial feeling of discomfort to quickly become friends with your co-workers. The feeling of being an “outsider” can get in the way of your personal and professional life, so it’s great for your career and your well-being to make it through the awkward phase at a new company.