I’ve only been back at work for the last two weeks, and as much as they had tried to convince me with, “It’ll be fine, you’ll ease back into it”, I was sceptical.
The first two week’s have hit me hard. Much like Sharapova being bull-dozed by Williams, the month has slammed me in the face six-love. I’m currently working on the biggest campaign of my very short-lived career in the social media game that has earned me a seat to Australia for the Cricket World Cup. There are days when I think, “Kirst, you got this shit!” and the others that have me thinking, “Holy Fucking Mother of Pearl! What have you done to get yourself into this? You’re in deep shit!”. Most of the time it’s the last option that finds itself on repeat. I keep reminding myself that the time spent trying to make this happen is totally worth the hours, the stress and the almost free-flowing spout of tears that turn into uncontrollable laughter.
A part from these past two weeks, 2013 and 2014 were not kind. I can definitely look back on my three years in the industry and say I’m proud of what I’ve achieved but the honest truth is that this would all be meaningless without my colleagues. Your friends, they’re cool, but you can’t deny that having good work friends makes your job more worthwhile. You spend over forty hours with them a week, and to say you don’t have work colleagues whom you can call your friends would be exceptionally short sighted.
So, these are my 8 reasons for keeping those little gems close, nurturing them and appreciating them.
- Weekends:We work hard but we play even harder. Our bar nights are renown around the ad industry but as we all know, “What happens at bar night, stays at bar night”. Making friends at work all starts with being social and shit, right?Don’t be the first to leave and then be the same person that feels left out on a Monday morning. If you there, then there’s no need to explain what went down.
- Input VS. Output:I don’t really care if you’re above me or below me, an idea can come from anyone. People often say that you should leave work behind when at home, but the truth is, you spend majority of your life with the people you work with. You can’t afford to not have anyone to rely one.If you invest in that person with more than just a monetary value, you’ll reap more than just your bottom line Loyalty goes beyond that of a payslip.
- Win or Lose:With all the time you put into making a success of yourself and your career, it would mean nothing without the people that helped you to get there.I have a very strong sense of pride in what I have achieved up to now but I have no illusion that I accomplished what I have without my work colleagues.Whether, Natalie ever reads this or not, she’s a large part of my achievements and they mean very little without her nod of approval.All the times she shat on me were not in vain. We share many wins as a team but the greatest loss I have had was losing our team. The power duo is no longer and I’m still recovering but if only she knew how much she meant to me not only then but now. Win or lose, I know she’ll be there. At least I hope so.
- I want to smash your face!I figured that by the time it had got to September 2014, I was just exhausted, emotionally, mentally and physically except that even after my holiday I’m still finding that my fuse with people is pathetically short. I’ve come to realise that I can only take so much bullshit – I can see through you, I can smell your undignified stench of gossip from the other side of the building.I’ve come to accept that there will be people you’ll want to talk to and others you just don’t have the time for. This is ok. We can’t all be shit at our jobs, because how else would you be so good at what you do?
- Riding Solo:There’s no such thing… If you’ve made the right friends at work. You might feel like you’re headed for a gauntlet on your Monday morning client status meeting and you’ve failed to meet some deadlines that you’re now having to find excuses for but with the right crew, that should never be a pressure you should bare on your own.You might see it as riding solo but the truth is you’re always riding on something. Let the people who want to help, help. It’s their way of saying they want to know more about you, split the stress and take your pride out of your pocket.
- That’s what she said…Being a total introvert has it’s advantages. My inappropriateness is fuelled by my defence mechanism and my equally inappropriate work friends. Despite what people may or may not think, there is such a thing as being too inappropriate in the office. The occasional slip of, “But your mom’s nice” or “That’s what she said” is still enough to slide under the radar but you start crossing the line when it’s about who you did, what you did to them and where you did it. Ears are everywhere, and you should definitely be concerned about what people think about you. It’s not professional and despite what you think, people judge. This is more than just an average statement, it’s a hard truth. Keep it clean and your dignity will remain intact.
- Pizza is knowledge. Salads are sad:
When you bring your salads for lunch, we laugh at you. You’re trying to hard. Who voluntarily eats rabbit food when you can indulge in the food of champions? Friends don’t let friends eat salad at their desks. If they do, then you seriously need to re-evaluate your work friends.This isn’t a scene from ‘Mean Girls’, it’s life and it’s real. You can’t sustain yourself on a salad in advertising let alone a friendship. Sort that shit out!
Loyalty is so important in the office. Who you trust says a lot about who you are as a person. If people are not willing to associate themselves with you then you should be considering a spring clean of work friends. It’s all or nothing, you either have their backs or you don’t. This doesn’t always have a negative connotation either, the flipside is that either you’re being played or you’re making all the plays. Find out what it is your stand for and make your stand. You can’t please everyone and they certainly won’t please you.
I’m alone in this big city but with work friends, it gets a little smaller. Sure, we’ve all been burned along the way but the truth is that not everyone is clothed as a wolf.
You need to choose wisely, and you’ll discover that those people have the ability to be just more than the 9 to 5 minions.