Starting a new job is exciting and nerve-wracking. Although you might finally get to do what you love for a living, it isn't easy being the new person. You'll likely be younger than most of your coworkers and feel like you are at a disadvantage from the start.
Don't worry about bonding with your coworkers. Even the most introverted people can use these eight ways to easily make friends at a new job. Give yourself time to get comfortable, and you'll develop lasting relationships with great people.
1. Decorate Your Desk
After you work with the IT team to set up your work computer and activate your desk phone, decorate your desk! It might not seem like an important step, but it's super helpful.
When coworkers walk by your desk, they'll see mini-posters, figurines and other trinkets that speak to your personality. You'll open the door to refreshing conversations that don't start with typical boring icebreakers.
2. Use Your Lunch Hour
Whether you get a half-hour or hour-long lunch break, use it to your advantage. Invite a coworker to eat with you in the kitchen or hang out on a video call during your break. It's much easier to bond with people when there aren't distracting emails or incoming phone calls.
3. Maintain a Positive Attitude
You wouldn't want to be friends with a negative person who drains your energy. Neither does anyone else. Even when you're stressed out, maintain a positive attitude so you're pleasant to be around. People will find your positivity inspiring and naturally gravitate towards you.
4. Invest in a Nameplate
People feel too awkward to start conversations if they can't remember your name. Invest in a nameplate to make friends at a new job and establish yourself. Find one made with lasting materials. Stainless steel is a notable example because it's impervious to long-term corrosion from scratches, falls and physical pressure. It'll last for years as you climb your way up the company ladder.
5. Watch Your Body Language
Body language is always important, especially if your coworkers only interact with you over video chat. Crossed arms or broken eye contact speak louder than any conversation. Note how you hold yourself after starting your new job, and use helpful body language tips so you're approachable and welcoming in-person or over the Internet.
6. Create Coffee Dates
Most people start their day with a cup of coffee, so make a date out of it. Ask a new friend to get a cup with you before work or during your next break. It's an easy way to do something fun and open up away from the office atmosphere.
7. Participate in Office Events
Most workplaces host office events like chili cookoffs or costume contests. Participating in them is another easy way to make friends. Sign up for in-person competitions or virtual happy hours to make memories with your new coworkers.
8. Remember the Little Things
Friendships form when people feel seen and valued. Do your best to remember the little things. Ask about how their child's dance recital went or if they're excited about an upcoming vacation. They'll love that you remembered what matters to them and become your friend because you care.