The saying “friendship and business do not mix” is such a cliche it should be included in everyone’s employee welcome packet. As you progress in your career, the pressure to choose between work and friends heightens. However, these relationships can actually help you in your journey to success. Below are a few ways friendship is great for professional growth:
Workplace Friends Can Save Your Sanity
The work grind can be grueling. Connecting with people you work with can be a lifesaver. They understand what you are going through and have all the fun anecdotes prove it. Who else knows what you mean when you say “Jim’s at it, again?” These friends make work enjoyable and can even help you progress in your career. However, make sure these friendships do not become a distraction. Use your office friends for support, not as a crutch.
Friends Improve Your Communication Skills
In the professional world, effective communication is key. Being a coding whiz or design genius is not enough. You need to be able to explain your great ideas. For managerial aspirations, conflict resolution skills are crucial. Social interactions are a great way to develop these skills and can be easier than learning on the job. Having an argument with your friend is not nearly as damaging as one with your boss. Take what you learn and apply it to the workplace.
Friends Maintain Your Emotional Well Being
While climbing your way to the top, you may encounter a few roadblocks (or a hundred). Although you may be inclined to go the lone wolf route, strong relationships are key to a good work life balance. It is good to have people who understand you and your goals outside of your career. They also can share your struggles and triumphs, making the hard road to success a bit easier. Additionally, friends provide a necessary break from the 9-5 life. Even if you love what you do, it is important to step back and take a break to connect with others aside from John in accounting.
Friends Can Lead To Fewer Sick Days
In addition to boosting your emotional health, friendship can improve your physiological state. Studies show that those who have a strong friend network are less likely to get sick and less prone to stress. There are also links to quality friendships significantly reducing mortality risks. Additionally, if you face a severe illness, you will be surrounded by people who can help and support you. Maintain that perfect attendance record with a fun night out.
Avoid That Terrible Regret Factor
Each of us has a fear of coming to the end of life full of regrets. One aspect that is often neglected is relationships. In a world so focused on business success and wealth, we tend to put social matters on the back burner. However, psychological research shows that relationships ranked at the top of the regret list. We care most about who we were with and less about what we did. Additionally, strong friendships are linked to increased health during your twilight years compared to strong familial ties. So keep your family close and your friends closer.
It is important to remember that the quality of friendship also matters. A large group of associates or toxic friendships can negatively affect both your personal and professional growth. Create a social network that is loving and supportive. Friendship is great for professional growth, as long as it is balanced and healthy.