There’s always a fine line that you have to strike when socializing at work, especially if you’re new. On one end of the spectrum, there are those who cut themselves off from others and pour themselves into their work, and at the other, those who seem to do little else but chit chat.<br /><br />In Carissa’s latest post, we take a look at some tips on how to balance being social at work, both to cultivate friendships, and to help advance your career.<br /><br />Enjoy! ——
You might think it’s best not to socialize at all while at work. You might think what your supervisor wants is for you to do your work quietly and then go home. This is not necessarily true. Employees who know how to socialize on the job are more apt to be noticed and liked by their peers and supervisors, and they’re more likely to advance in their careers for this very reason. Here are some tips on how to socialize in ways that will benefit you at work.<br />
- Be friendly. Simply smiling and saying hello to coworkers when you pass each other in the hallway can go a long way toward winning a reputation for being friendly and likable. If you are shy, smiling is a great way to show colleagues that you are friendly but quiet, rather than standoffish. You do not have to be happy or like someone for a smile to be appropriate — simply acting happy can both brighten your mood and make others like you, and the more you do it, the more natural it feels.
- Know when to socialize. It’s true your boss wants you to do your work rather than hang out at the water cooler all day, so make a point of socializing at appropriate times, such as lunch breaks, before the workday officially begins, and at office happy hours after work.
- Keep topics work appropriate. Talk about common interests, such as sports or movies. Try reliable conversation starters, such as asking about children, pets, and weekend plans. Avoid conversations about race, religion, sex, politics, and anything else that seems like it might cause an argument or a complaint to Human Resources.
- Choose work friends wisely. Be polite with gossips and anyone who tends to be embroiled in office drama, but otherwise avoid them. Spend your lunch breaks and other social time with coworkers who are friendly and tend to be on good terms with the rest of the office.
<br /><br />Knowing how to socialize at work will make you more likable, more likely to advance, and happier about the hours you spend on the job. So smile and say hello!<br /><br/>——<br/>Carissa Doshi is a business writer and the president of Gen Y Media Group. She gives career advice and blogs about her experiences on <a href="http://www.carissadoshi.com" target="new">www.carissadoshi.com.