To so many people it can be tempting to go to work, do your job, and go home at the appointed time. Whatever your personal reasons are…you have chosen not to make friends. You’ve decided that they don’t pay you enough to make friends; therefore you will only do what they pay you for and nothing more. The problem with this is… you may be missing out on more opportunities. Even if you are the best person at your job, if no one knows you (or on the contrary, they only know you for being anti-social) then this may be part of the reason you are struggling to move up within your corporate ranks.
Let me define anti-social behavior with a few examples. Let’s say a team member asked you to join her for lunch, or your entire team is going out for happy-hour after hour after work or plans a company picnic, but you’ve already decided that you don’t like these people and you’re not spending an extra minute of your life with them. You give them your canned excuse as to why you won’t be participating. Whether you intended it to or not, these actions are perceived as anti-social behaviors (especially if your face is usually frowned up and you don’t engage in casual conversation).
If you’ve already created this stigma around yourself, how do you break it? It’s simple, you just start participating! You start getting involved in “extracurricular activities,” doing more than the bare minimum for your job. You could volunteer to be on a community service committee, for example. But if that doesn’t float your boat, find out what’s going on that’s of genuine interest to you and ask to be involved! Then be sure to show up and have a great attitude while you’re there!
It’s ok to show up, get your work done, and give an extra 20-30 minutes of your time to do something for someone else! People usually want to help people that have done something for them! Note: If you have a legitimate reason that you need to leave (newborn baby at home, long commute, etc…) then I’m not calling you anti-social…but do try to make arrangements once in a while to join in. In my new book, Your Resume is Not Enough: How to Network Your Way Up the Corporate Ladder, I discuss specific strategies on how to can move out of anti-social and into more opportunities at your workplace! Check it out!