Should You Be Friends With Your Coworkers?

Nadine Dilong

Think back to the time you had your first day at a new job. Did you feel nervous? Probably, yes. You might have been worried about having to learn many new things, not knowing where the kitchen was, or how to access your e-mails.

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But the main thing that made you nervous was most likely the fear that no one would like you. For most people, being liked by coworkers is very important, or should I say, for most women. I recently read an article about a female journalist who says that her success was due to the fact that she has never “wasted” a second trying to be liked by her coworkers.

Most men seem to go to work simply to get the job done whereas women spend more time chatting to their coworkers about things unrelated to work and even building friendships. So there goes the productivity, one might say. Another argument of the above mentioned journalist is that things like asking for a pay rise and openly telling your boss why you’re better than your coworkers is something that men have no problem doing, while many women would dread it or even consider it as back-stabbing.

So would we really be more successful in our careers if we didn’t care so much? It would save us time and might increase our productivity, but it would also be pretty lonely. Caring about other people is a wonderful thing and as long as we don’t base every decision around our coworkers approval, I don’t see how working in a friendly atmosphere can harm anyone’s career.

Of course there is a fine line between being friendly and being friends, with the ladder sometimes making it hard to stay professional, but the bottom line is this: kindness always wins. If you are doing a good job at work, being liked by your coworkers will only help you in the long run. Have you ever heard anyone say: “She got the promotion because she is an absolute bitch to everyone at the office”? No, neither have I.

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