Making friends after college can be an uneasy road to navigate. After graduating from college and moving away from roommates and close friends, I found myself at a loss. I was never lonely in college, there was always someone to talk to or laugh with. Although I stayed close with my college friends, we were miles apart. I quickly found I was not the only one in this situation. Making friends post college is not any more difficult than making friends in college, but it is much different.
Tom Rath discusses the importance of friendships in both your personal and professional life in his book Vital Friends. A vital friend is someone who improves your life. Did you know that having a best friend at work increases work place outcomes (Rath, 2006)? He also answers the question many of my friends and I had, “Can you be friends with your boss/supervisor?” He suggests that making friends with your boss can lead to better supervision of your work, because they understand you and how you like to be supervised. Therefore, a good supervisor will not only be an expert in the field but an expert in your life (Rath, 2006).
Some workplaces are designed to stimulate friendships. They have created areas to gather and have conversations with co-workers. Unfortunately, all work places are not designed with friendships in mind. Therefore, it is important to be intentional about making friends at work.
Want to learn more? Check out Vital Friends by Tom Rath.