You may be like me where you wear many hats in your professional life, Project Management Consultant, Radio Show Host, Lawyer, Divorce Recovery Coach, Youth Mentor, Single Mum, Anti Domestic Violence Campaigner, Minister of the Gospel, Entrepreneur, bla di bla di bla…..yes! sometimes I can’t even catch up with myself or maybe you wear just one of these hats are just as busy..phew! Yes, Zina that’s me I hear you scream.
All in all, one minute your diary is filled with networking lunches, speaking engagements, ministry invites, consulting sessions, coffee dates and group mastermind happy hours. The next thing you know, you’re eating alone and spending Saturday nights with your pet…yes even your kids have gone out.
If your only friends are your colleagues, church group and/or fellow entrepreneurs , you could become isolated as soon as you change churches, jobs, niches, or go through a period of unemployment. While business colleagues, church group and workplace friendships are important, you also need additional connections to sustain a social life that will support your health and wellbeing.
Research has shown that many adults find it difficult to make friends as they grow older, however, you can beat the odds. Consider these tips for developing relationships outside your typical professional environment.
Reasons for Making Friends Outside of Work or typical professional environment
- Enjoy lasting connections. Work relationships are often limited to sharing professional activities. Once you’re no longer occupying the same head space, you may not have much in common anymore. Build stable relationships that can adapt when your lifestyle changes.
- Promote balance. There’s more to you than writing memos, coaching sessions, networking events or selling cars. Spending time with your friends gives you a chance to play badminton, tennis, go to the spa, shopping or even climb mountains.
- Find a sounding board. Are there issues you’re uncomfortable discussing with your colleagues? Someone outside the office or industry or faith group may be safer and more objective when it comes to talking about medical conditions or ethical conflicts.
- Supplement your work relationships. While having friends around from 9 to 5 increases your job satisfaction, these bonds may be dwindling. One survey found that only about 30% of Brits currently have a close friend at work compared to 50% back in 1985.
Where to Find Friends Outside of Work
- Join a group. It can be awkward to strike up new friendships now that you’re past play dates and borrowing calculus notes. Participating in a group takes some of the pressure off. Search Meetup for a movie night or winery trip.
- Take a class. Continue your education while you discover new friends. Sign up for an evening course at your local college or take an art therapy seminar over the weekend.
- Ask for leads. Let your friends and acquaintances know you appreciate introductions. They may know someone who wants a workout buddy or travel companion.
- Volunteer your time. Participating in a worthy cause is great way to meet others who share your priorities. You could build affordable housing or organise a charity auction.
- Look back. Maybe you already know the friends you’re looking for, but you’ve drifted apart in recent years. Consider showing up for your next college reunion. Touch base with the woman who used to make you laugh at your old book club.
- Leave the house. Any public place can offer friendship opportunities. Chat with other coffee drinkers while you’re waiting to pay for your latte.
How to Develop Friendships Outside of Work
- Focus on others. Turn interactions into relationships by being kind and generous. The old saying that you have to be a friend to make a friend rings true. Others will be drawn to you if you’re sincere and caring.
- Share yourself. Being vulnerable is a little scary, but the rewards are worth it. Express your authentic self, including your personal strengths and the areas you’re still working on.
- Watch for reciprocation. Choose your friends wisely. Stick close to the ones who appreciate your time and efforts. Ensure you’re both contributing to the relationship.
- Be persistent. It takes time for a connection to blossom. Give yourself credit for taking risks and reaching out.
Cultivating friendships outside of the office or your typical professional environment is good for your professional and personal life. The wider your circle, the more happiness and success you’ll enjoy.
Whatever you do, take the process in your stride, it is all part of your Believe and Live Again recovery, bounce back and transition journey from being a “we” to becoming a “me”.
If you would like to have an informal chat about it, don't hesitate to get in touch on: +44 208 938 3672 and myself or a member of my team will gladly schedule a Complimentary Believe and Live Again Coaching Discovery session or a no-obligation 30 minute "Forgive and Let Go" consultation and together, we could be embarking upon the Believe and Live Again 5 R's journey to heal your heart, outgrow your challenges and let go of the past so that your glorious future can finally emerge.
Once again, I invite you to contact me or schedule a time to talk, call: +44 (0) 208 938 3672 (24 hours) or click on the pink "Contact" at the bottom right hand side of this page and this will take you into my "Let's Talk" contact form. Kindly complete the form and you will get a call back.
In the meantime, until next time, Keep Smiling, Keep Strong and Keep Believing.
Best Wishes and God's Blessings
Zina Arinze helps female professionals, business women, entrepreneurs and women of faith, swiftly recover from the grief and trauma of domestic abuse as well as the stigma of divorce, separation or relationship breakdown by giving them clarity for their radiant future so that they are able to transition their mindsets from “we” to “me”, reconnect to their positive of self, regain their feminine power and walk in the healing restorative power of God. A lawyer by training and armed with an MBA, Zina has over 15 years in IT Project Management Consultancy, Training and Capacity Building for both the Public and Private Sectors, she very passionate about building lasting relationships and encouraging the discovery, development and deployment of hidden talents.