We all know that we can form strong friendships with people at work. Because of the amount of time spent together every day it enables you to really connect with some colleagues. Especially if you have an open-plan office at work. Some of these friendships have the potential of being life long friendships. But what happens if you quit your job? Is it possible to still stay in touch? Of course, it is! It will require some effort from all parties involved, but if it was a strong bond, to begin with, you can make it work. Here are some tips on how to go about it.
Reach out often
Communicating via telephone calls or text is the simplest, and most hassle-free way of staying in contact. If you’ve started a new job, that could be a good topic of conversation. Share information about your new job, talk about your new colleagues and even discuss what your new title entails. This way you’re keeping your friend in the loop as to what’s going on in your life at the moment. He or she will probably also tell you the latest office gossip. By keeping the lines of communication open you create an atmosphere where you’re both still somehow involved in each other’s lives. This ensures that you will not drift apart, and may even strengthen your bond even more. The work that goes into maintaining a good relationship with someone that you no longer see on a daily basis is proof enough that the friendship is worth keeping.
Arrange to get together
Phone calls and texts are great, but ultimately if this person is a friend, you will want to spend time together to nurture the relationship. Don’t be shy to be the one to make plans to have dinner or coffee together. Your enthusiasm will be met positively and will most probably be reciprocated. When you worked together you had a lot of time to chat and maybe even ate lunch together. Now that you don’t have that luxury, your only option is to be intentional about creating opportunities to spend time together and socialize.
Use social media as an additional means of communication
When you were in the same office you could show them pictures directly from your phone of your family or events you attended, now you have to find other ways to do so. What better way than to use social media. You could post pictures on your status and tag your ex-colleagues in your photo, or just simply tell them to log on and scroll through your pics. There’s something about social media that connects you to people even if they’re halfway across the world. You can even share your location by checking into a place, so your friend can see where you are, and can possibly come meet you.
The basis of any good relationship is investing time in it. It’s easy to maintain a friendship when you have the opportunity to spend eight hours a day, five days a week with someone. The trick comes in when that is no longer the case. But don’t despair, it can be done. So don’t lose heart, as long as you’re willing to put the work in you will not lose that friend. And who knows, this distance may even bring you two closer together.