Tuesday, December 10, 2013

On friendships at work

As the end of the working year approaches at a breakneck pace, I've been thinking a bit today about the good and bad parts of working back in a salaried / steady role again after my stint as a freelance consultant.

I realised that I've spent quite a few blog posts recently in cryptic grumbling about the aspects that I'm finding challenging, and that this probably gives a skewed picture of the actual complexities. And one of the things I haven't really focused on is the core psychosocial benefit that I derive from working in one place, onsite, with colleagues rather than clients - and that is work friendships.

I am a fairly extroverted person (although not unambiguously - I usually straddle the E/I divide in Myers Briggs) and I like people. I like meeting new people, I like getting to know them, I like sharing parts of myself and receiving other people's personalities in exchange. I have met a lot of new people over the past 5 months, and I have found this unequivocally interesting, energising and one of the best parts of the job.

Even better than the meeting of new people, though, is when it becomes apparent that you have clicked with one or more of them, and that the possibility of a genuine friendship exists. Of course you can't be besties with everyone and nor would I want to be, but in every workplace, I have had one or two work friendships that were much more than friendly collegiality. I have lost touch with my work friends from early casual jobs, unfortunately, but three of my best friends in the world are all people I met and got to know at various career job workplaces.

So it has been a great satisfaction to me that in this not-so-new job of mine, I have made a friend, and am on the way to making a couple more. Lots of the people I work with are nice, and generally speaking, I like them all; but beyond that, I have a work friend who I trust and who I feel has my back, and that is very important to me.

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