The office used to be a place where you would come, put in your eight hours, and go home to those who loved you. Work wasn't a place where you expected friendships or significant connections. However, things have changed. "There has been a shift within the workforce towards wanting meaningful work," insists career coach Jenn DeWall. "Meaningful work can encompass a variety of things from having a job you're passionate about to working on a strong team and knowing your a valued member."
And at the core of that meaningful work is the people you work with.
"We spend more times at our jobs than we do with our family and friends. Given the amount of time we invest in a company, people want to see a greater return on their time investment." Cultivating better work relationships has also become an essential factor in career growth and promotion. DeWall explains that because career advancement comes from networking, the quality of relationships at work can vastly impact your chances for climbing the ladder.
"If we don't have positive work relationships it's harder to build a professional network of resources and advocates that know your value and want you to succeed," says DeWall. "Think of your positive work relationships as cheerleaders. The more cheerleaders you have the more people will recognize you for promotions or career opportunities."
Now that we know why professional relationships are worth the investment, DeWall offers her insights into how to cultivate and nurture bonds with colleagues. And we're not just talking about happy hours. Whether you're new to the team or a seasoned manager, here's how to get beyond the cocktails and casual conversation to really form lasting professional bonds that'll benefit your career.