It’s your first day at a new job and you have the usual first day jitters. You’re not sure where to put your lunch, where to sit and then you look up to see a new co-worker smiling back at you. It's your first work friend. These work smiles make my work environment something to look forward to. Yes, work is called work for a reason. I know we're hired for our abilities not because we can play well with others. And yet it’s the one co-worker who can’t share their toys with others that seem to make work life a more difficult experience.
When we are in grade school, we bond with the other students in our class so this seems natural in our adult work settings. Once you've learned to give and take, work friendships start developing.
Which reminds me of a great work memory... (Click here to check out some of my fav day at the office pics).
A couple of years ago I was working in a very fast paced, politically savvy and difficult advertising agency. And yet what made me happy was the friendship I created with my adjoining cube mate. My days were a lot happier with her sitting there. And when things got tough with the group I was working with, she was there to help cushion the blow. Within months, our work relationship turned friendly with dinners and chats. And about a year and a half later I stood up for her in her wedding.
But how did this work friendship develop from a work reference to a life long friend? It’s amazing to me how some work friends become casual followers on LinkedIn and you can never have a conversation with them again. Isn't this the way that social media works?
We feel connected without seeing the person again.
What is it about a work environment that makes you feel so closed off? Is it because we sit behind computers and email each other more then we talk? I bumped into a woman in the restroom today and asked how she was even though she sits across from me!
Some of my past co-workers I think of and smile. Some have gotten married, had babies and moved on to other jobs. Work friends exist because we are in the trenches together, but do you think that these friendships can last throughout time? Do you think work friends are real friends?