Perhaps you’ve recently joined a new company or maybe you’ve been sitting on the edges of peer groups, never finding that true bond with officemates and feeling like an outsider. Breaking into the office club can be a difficult task, but there’s no reason to sit on the sidelines. You’ll work much better (and feel happier) when you feel like a part of your team.
Four Strategies For Breaking Into the Office Club.
1. Speak up with confidence
Walk in the room and start introducing yourself right away. Sit in the middle of the room rather than the back, which shouts, “I’m withdrawn,” or the front, which keeps your back to the group. Ask pertinent questions to show your interest. This helps you gain depth of knowledge, lets people get to know you, fills you in on the background, gets you talking, and keeps you from shying away. Don’t start yet with stories of your past accomplishments—ask them about theirs. What are the goals of the group? What is the first project with priority? What has been their biggest challenge? Anyone want to go out for coffee?
2. Befriend one key influencer
Having a connection with a key influencer within the office club ensures that someone’s looking out for you and will gently tell you early on when you’re straying outside of the lines. Reach out to them about a relevant project they are working on and ask to discues it with them. When you’re in with the office club leader, you’re in with the gang.
3. Talk hobbies
This will express your creativity and create an exciting conversation that will continue every time you meet with the group. It lets you bond on a personal level with group members, even senior members.
4. Volunteer to help on part of a project
This shows you’re willing to dive in and do some dirty work. Don’t take on the whole thing, just work with someone on their piece or ask someone to help you with yours. Your capabilities will shine while still allowing you to learn new things.