Think about all the different departments and people at your company. How many of them do you know on a personal level? If you can only think of a couple of names, consider expanding your network to become friends with coworkers. We’re not suggesting that you have to be best friends, but it is worth your time (and theirs) to get to know the people you spend 40 hours a week with. Doing so will provide greater support and reduce stress.
When you find coworkers who support you, know that they are special. They trust and respect you, a few of the most important values for one to have in life. Loren Margolis, a professional coach for leadership and management skills, can relate. In her writings about career lessons, she notes the following:
“When you have strong relationships with your colleagues, you’re far more likely to be respected. And when you’re respected, you can speak and expect people to listen to what you’re saying. Even if your co-workers don’t 100% agree with your ideas, they’re likely to take a chance and offer approval if they value you as a person and professional.”
Think about it. If you were to pitch a business plan to the executives of your company, do you have enough colleagues in your corner to vouch for you? Making such a step can be huge. Having that support around you can heighten the possibility of that idea getting the thumbs up from big boss.
Some people may value money over company culture, but when you grow to like the people you work with, it can reduce stress. The closer we are with people, the more comfortable we will feel to share and express things on our minds with them. Though at times I do believe it is possible to over-share, it is a nice feeling to be able to get some things off your chest. Being able to vent at work when appropriate can help you get through the tough days.
As my friend mentioned to me the other day, “your best network is looking right at you.” There may be an entrepreneurial opportunity locked away and the key to knowing what it could be is a sparked conversation. So my advice to you, be open, take the risk, and watch what unfolds from it all. Besides, who better to do so with than the people who walk through the same doors as you.