The simple reality for most professionals is they spend more time at work then at home with family. You’ve probably heard that statement a time or two, or you’ve probably thought the same thing. Working diligently isn’t a bad thing, but spending time away from family and friends day in and day out can have a negative impact on morale, motivation and engagement in any profession. But what if I told you there is one small thing you can do that can drastically change your career, your attitude and your happiness at your profession? You’d be interested to know more, right?
Good, because the key to happiness is as simple as finding a best friend at work. That’s right, I said find a best friend! Having a BFF at work is the best of both worlds. You share laughter on the good days; you are comforted on the bad, and you have a sounding board to bounce all those creative ideas off of. Even studies and articles, such as this one published in Forbes, show having a best friend at work makes a job less stressful and a work environment more relaxed. Who doesn’t want to work at a place where they laugh, feel relaxed and are having fun?
Take my mother for example: she worked long hours in a not-so-glamorous industry and had every reason in the world to not enjoy her day-to-day work. No one would have faulted her for complaining about her job or for genuinely being unhappy with what she did for a living. But she wasn’t unhappy at all. Matter of fact, she loved her job because she loved the people she got to share her work with. She loved the friends and best friends she had working alongside her, and that made her job worthwhile and motivating. Every night I would pick up my mother from work, and every night she would exit the facility with all her friends, laughing and smiling. The joy across their faces always surprised me, but more importantly, to this day I remember the importance of having friendship at the office.
Some of my greatest memories are celebrating the weddings of friends I made because of my profession, or seeing others who I work with celebrate each other’s personal milestones and accomplishments. These are people who might not have crossed paths had they not been working for the same company, but not only did they meet and become friends, they shared some of life’s greatest joys together as a result.
With all this being said, you can’t force friendship, but you also can’t just sit around hoping a best friend falls into your lap at work. Invite some co-workers to lunch; sit with a new set of people during your next meeting, and engage with someone you haven’t talked to before during your next happy hour. You may be surprised to see how much in common you have with some of your peers, and may score a new best friend along the way.