Starting a new job can be overwhelming, but bonding with your new officemates can make the transition a lot easier, writes consultant April Starcadder. Sometimes, though, co-worker bonding doesn’t start out so well, and it can seem like you’re invisible to everyone around you.
If that sounds familiar, consider these reasons you might be feeling like you don’t fit in, along with some solutions to help.
1. You don’t feel comfortable socializing outside your age range. Baby boomers and millennials sometimes have stereotypical assumptions about how members of the other generation operate socially. For example, millennials may assume older generations won’t want to go out after work. This leads to exclusion. Try socializing in the workplace first to learn how co-workers like to interact outside the office.
2. Your colleagues typically spend more money than you can afford. When your co-workers like to spend money on expensive meals, it can be hard to tag along if you’re on a budget. Saying no can cause your co-workers to think that you don’t like them, or that you don’t want to be included. Offer to pitch in around the office, and make sure to include yourself when activities involve less expensive options.
3. They’ve judged you based on your hobbies. Sometimes, co-workers can make snap judgments about your hobbies and interests outside of work, such as the recreational sport you play or the TV show you like. This prevents work relationships from blossoming. Instead of dwelling on this, try to talk more about subjects everyone finds interesting.
— Adapted from “3 Reasons You’re Not Bonding With Your Co-workers (Solutions Included!),” April Starcadder, The Muse.