No matter who you are or how likeable you claim to be, everyone at some point in their life has had trouble fitting in. And, it has nothing to do with if you’re shy or outgoing, or whether or not you were prom king or your high school’s chess champion. Fitting in is a struggle we have all encountered and it doesn’t end in high school. It can be just as difficult to fit in at work. No matter where you are in your career, if you’re feeling like an outsider at the water cooler or in the cube, try these tips to click with your co-workers.
Be a Team Player. Nobody likes to work for or with someone who is not a team player. So, make sure you volunteer to help on projects at work or take some tasks off someone’s plate. If one of your co-workers has to stay late to complete an assignment, check to see if there is something you can do to help them get out of the office faster. Your co-workers will appreciate your willingness to help out and may even return the favor one day. Letting your co-workers know you’re on their team will help build camaraderie and trust between you and your teammates.
Go to Lunch. Instead of going home for lunch everyday or eating out alone, ask your co-workers to go to lunch at least once or twice a month. If you eat in the break room, invite others to share a table. Getting together to learn about your fellow colleagues gives you time to find common likes, interests, and hobbies. And it shows you care about them as a person, not just as a co-worker. It can be intimidating, but be the first to take the initiative and ask a co-worker to lunch. You won’t just be building team relationships, you could be building great friendships too!
Don’t Gossip. People don’t want to hang out with someone who is always talking about other people. So, make sure you keep your opinions about others to a minimum and don’t talk about co-workers who may rub you the wrong way. Even when co-workers entice you to join in on salacious gossip about the boss or another employee, don’t take the bait. Employees who don’t gossip about co-workers will be trusted and respected by the whole team!
Be Happy. It takes more muscles to form a frown then it does to smile, so try to come to work every day with a great attitude. People enjoy being around those who have a good outlook on life and who can make them smile, so be the one who makes someone else’s day brighter and be happy while you are at work.
While it may seem that some people just naturally fit in with others in the workplace, the truth is, everyone has had difficulties feeling comfortable with their co-workers at one time or another. So, don’t take it personally if you find yourself struggling to fit in, and follow these tips to make your day a little easier.