ASK HR: Do I have to befriend my boss to move ahead at work? - Daily Nation

Do I have to befriend my boss to move ahead at work?

Thursday May 3 2018

A colleague who was assigned to show me around commented that he hoped I was outgoing.

A colleague who was assigned to show me around commented that he hoped I was outgoing.. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

By JANE MUIRURI
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Q. At the beginning of this year, I got a new job. A colleague who was assigned to show me around commented that he hoped I was outgoing because if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t last long in the job because the growth of my career depended on the friendships I made in and out of the office.

I am scared because I am introvert and don’t talk much, though I must be a good worker because I was previously employed and got this job from merit. What can you say about this?

 

When a new employee joins an organisation, there is a formal induction, which is organised by the HR department. It mainly seeks to on-board the new employee to the team. However, we all know that there is the informal induction, which is usually as important.

There are certain roles that require one to be outgoing due to the human interaction required to succeed. Others require individuals who are introverts due to the concentration that the job demands. However, even introverts are able to develop their social skills when they find themselves in roles that require them to be outgoing.

Most people think that being an extrovert is an advantage, however, depending on the role, sometimes extroverts are not able to focus and therefore may fail especially when the task requires concentration.

It is important to form professional relations in the office as colleagues can help you to perform your job better. Your peers will also stand in for you when you are away from the office, a factor made easier if you have created a good rapport with them.

Employees spend a big proportion of their time in the workplace, therefore it is important that they are happy and enjoy a conducive environment.

It is true that your career growth is influenced by the relationships you form in the workplace, especially with managers who supervise you. It therefore makes sense to inculcate professional friendships at the workplace among your peers and managers.

That said, what will enable you retain your job is mainly performing to the agreed expectations, though worth noting is that there are employees who are very good at their work but are very abrasive and are not able to work in a team. This clearly jeorpadises their positions even though they are good performers. My advice would be that you strike a balance by building a good working rapport with your colleagues and managers whilst ensuring that you remain professional at all times.