Let’s say you are the “newbie” at this new job; Perhaps your first job, maybe your third, or fifth. Perhaps you are coming in at entry level better still the new CEO or the at top of the proverbial corporate ladder. Regardless of how you come in, you are now in a new place with new people and in a company full of diverse cultures and different ways of doing things.
Many people seem to ignore the fact that the workplace is one of the most important aspects of your entire life. Many of us envision it as a place we go to earn money, but hardly consider how much time spent there. For one with the traditional 9-5 job, you are spending over 8 hours at work which is almost 45% of your day in this place, 5-7 days a week. Research done by Real Sociology indicates that the average person will spend around 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime.
There is no doubt that a big part of achieving happiness is ensuring that one is on good terms with the people they are spending most of their time with; which in this case happens to be their, “work colleagues”. So how can you network and create great relationships with your colleagues to ensure you enjoy the time you spend with them?
- Make an effort to be the best employee you can be. Show up to work on time, do your fair share of work diligently and deliver to the best of your abilities.This could sound a bit obvious and not related to networking, but being a good employee will make building your work network much easier. This makes other people easily relate with you since they have a positive attitude towards you. Being that person on the team that frustrates everyone because of how they are always late to deliver on tasks assigned creates a negative attitude for anyone. Getting this first step right means you have done 50% of the work.
- Greet Other People. Each time you walk into the office, ensure you greet everyone you meet on your way to your corner of your office. It doesn’t have to be the lengthy African greetings. A simple good morning will do and goodbye each you are leaving. When a colleague comes over to talk to you, always be polite enough listen, unless you are in a hurry or doing something very important. If the latter happens, simply politely let them know that you are quite engaged at that moment, but be sure to follow up later and try and find out what they were trying to tell you. Try and find out things about the people you are with. Find out how many kids or siblings they have and any other interests they have away from work. And no, you don’t have to absolutely know every single detail about them. Just make sure you get to know other aspects of their lives apart from their job.
- Set your boundaries and make them known. Letting people cross your boundaries will make you very miserable at your work place. Anyone would hate it. Ensuring you first of all have certain boundaries in place is one step to commanding respect from others. Making them know is a step forward to helping you feel comfortable at your work place. Everyone has their little oddities that most people may not understand. Letting people know that you are not comfortable with certain things makes it easier for everyone else to also relate with you. However, if your little quirks often make others uncomfortable or ruin the workplace dynamic for other people, you might want to consider compromising. For example, if you like having only your food in the fridge, you should consider buying your own cooler, learning to share the fridge with other people or finding a job that allows you to work from home.
- Respect everyone. Being the genius that has figured out how the company can triple its profits doesn’t give you any right to despise your colleagues who may not be as intelligent as you. Referring to the latest Steve Jobs movie, a scene when Jobs (played by Michael Fassbender) and his apple co-founder Wozniak (played by Seth Rogen) are having a very heated argument and Wozniak closes the argument with this line, ‘It’s not binary. You can be decent and gifted at the same time.’ Take Wozniak’s words to heart. They put across two great traits of being respect and humility every one needs to have.
Actually, that last point about respect sums up everything you need to help you network with your colleagues at work. Our advice to you therefore would be that you further research as much as possible about what it means to be respectful to fellow humans and you are good to go.