That’s fine most of the time. But there are three situations when it’s wise to mingle:
1. When the CEO drops by. If a top dog stops to chat with your co-workers, join in. You don’t want to miss a chance to build visibility.
2. When consultants visit. Informal conversations with consultants can help you gauge how your department is perceived by the brass. Outside experts might tell you what they’ve heard about you or the future of your job, but only if you ask friendly questions and listen attentively.
3. On a colleague’s last day. Even if you’re not good friends with a departing co-worker, use his final day to open up a bit. Exchange phone numbers, and offer to keep in touch. It’s a golden opportunity to establish a valuable contact.