It's true that we have to be selective with who we choose to be friends with, but this is especially true when it comes to befriending coworkers.
Befriending coworkers can be tricky because, you never know who you can trust or if people have ulterior motives. How many times have you confided in someone in the office to find out that everyone knows what you said? The key to building strong friendships in the workplace is choosing wisely so that your friendships last long after you've left the company.
Here are three rules to follow when befriending coworkers:
Build trust. Making sure that you can trust your new office besties is going to be what the relationship is built on. We all know that office politics and workplace drama are always going to be a thing, but observe how your potential friends a handle these situation. Steer clear of anyone who is always instigating or telling the latest story.
There are some people in the office who also will catalog everything about their coworkers to use it against them someday - those are the people you want absolutely nothing to do with.
Keep it small. You don't need to get super close with the entire office. Keep your inner circle small, but still remain very friendly with everyone else. Keeping a few people to get close to will help you narrow down suspects if, by any chance, your personal business was floating around the office. It also sets a good example and shows that you also won't be telling others things you were told in confidence. Even if your entire department is close, there will also be smaller groups of people that seem to cling to one another more.
The last thing you want to do is come off as cliquey and contribute to a work culture that isn't inclusive. At the end of day, no one should feel left out, if they aren't a part of that inner circle. Be friendly and approachable!
Be the weakest link. Only surround yourself with those who are smarter and more accomplished than you are. Having a job is a learning experience, and there is plenty to learn. Get close to a group of people that are going to teach you more about life, money, relationships and advancing your career. There is nothing better than being able to friends with a mentor or a sponsor at work.
Constantly be in a state of learning and contributing what you know to others. Adding value to your department for your boss is great, but adding value for those around you can go a long way.
Have you formed any genuine friendships at work?