When starting a new job, trying to get through those first few social interactions can be nerve-racking.  

We asked resident psychologist Carolyn Mounce for her advice on building up those friendships at work, and this is what she had to share.

What is a good way to construct and improve friendships with work colleagues?

For starters, there is a difference between friends and friendly, and we suggest you start by aiming to be friendly. Friendships can develop over time. 

It’s helpful to take a step back to avoid rushing in. This will give you a chance to notice how, where and when others are interacting.

When you’re ready to get involved: smile and say hi. Show you are open and friendly. You don’t need to do more than this if you are shy. It’s okay to wait for someone to chat back until you feel more comfortable.

Always be curious about other people

By being curious, this can mean you ask questions and giving your colleagues time to answer. Listen more and talk less. Show interest in their interests, and try to build some common ground.   

If you find that the nature of your job means it’s difficult to chat, lunchtime and coffee breaks can be a good chance to connect. Maybe even suggest going out to grab a coffee with others!

Patience is key

Making friends at work is a process that will take time, but if you can be patient and show genuine interest in those around you, you will eventually start to feel more comfortable.

How Jobedge Can Help

Our Jobedge Mentors are experts when it comes to reaching your job goals and helping you realise your full potential. 

As an organisation, Jobedge aims to Progress Together. We are committed to collaborative and inclusive discussions with all job seekers, our stakeholders, our local South Australian Community and at every level inside our organisation. 

If you’re looking for advice and support in forming connections at your work, get in touch with us today.