How to create and maintain powerful friendships in the workplace
On average the working Australian women spends 32% of their day in an office or communal working space, meaning the relationships that we form in those workplaces contribute largely to our overall wellbeing.
Whether getting older means living on your own and landing your dream job, or looking for that perfect eye cream, there is no denying that things change. More specifically the way that we approach friendship as adults is not the same as it would have been at high school or even university. As newfound responsibilities rack up and life throws unexpected curveballs, it definitely becomes harder to develop meaningful and lasting friendships, especially within the workplace
6 years ago I moved to a completely different state, leaving behind 25 years of friendships, with the goal of landing my dream job in the fashion industry. Within 6 months of my big move my dream became a reality. I was beyond excited for this next step in my career, but what I was not prepared for was how hard and overwhelming if would be to form meaningful connections with people.
How to create a lasting relationship:
To be completely honest I have been burned a few times by people I considered friends. It is a burn that stings but one you never forget. So instead of dwelling on it, learn from it and use that lesson to guide you through other relationships.
You really have to suss people out and make sure the relationships you are creating are natural and organic connections. Everyone doesn’t have to be your best friend right away, and that is totally fine.
Stay true to who you are, and show those around you your values, and your personality – if you do this the connections you make will be meaningful and long lasting.
Think to yourself:
Would I want to hang out with this person if we were the last 2 people on this Earth?
Do they make me happy and laugh?
Do they support me?
Are they real?
Are they honest?
Just remember that it’s a two-way street.
The most important friendship traits:
Now obviously this is subject to opinion, but I truly believe that within the workplace there are two traits you want to see in people – honesty and empathy.
Honesty in knowing that someone will pull you up when you are out of place and give you that honest advice that is sometimes hard to hear.
Let’s face it - workplaces can sometimes be a bit competitive and challenging, and with that empathy is invaluable in knowing that no matter what, your mate has your best interest at heart and will celebrate your success and you theirs.
Staying friends even when there’s literally no time…
Maintaining a healthy, happy relationship with your best friend, despite being busy “adulting” and everything, is just as important as the air we breathe. It’s important to have friendships with people that understand your lifestyle and aren’t hurt when you have a lot going on and need time to yourself. There should be a mutual understanding of one another’s schedules. No matter how much time has passed, you should always be able to pick right up where you left off.
I am so beyond grateful for the friendships that I have created through the workplace, and consider them to be lifelong friends and family. We are aware of what it takes to do what we do and get to where we want to go, and all the stresses, insecurities, wins, and losses that comes with it. We are all different in a lot of ways, but we have kindred spirits. We challenge one another, and we hold each other up to high standards.
Really when you think about it work relationships are just the same as all other relationships.
Stick with the people whose values are aligned with yours, who you can laugh with, share stories with, who is honest to you, who complements who you are and what you are about, and above all stay true to yourself.
Written by Georgia Christo: a fashion planner for a leading Australian label by day, living in denim, usually found with a cup of coffee in her hand & living for elevated minimalism.