Being “the new kid” is never easy, whether it’s stepping into a new classroom full of kids as an elementary student, or stepping into a new office full of unfamiliar faces as an adult. When lunchtime rolls around, it can be intimidating to attempt to “insert” yourself into the various cliques or groups that are already established in any given place, and oftentimes, it seems easier just to quietly take your lunch and eat alone in your office or cubicle, or leave the premises altogether and go out to eat by yourself. However, this is not the best decision if you have hopes of being in that particular office long-term, or have goals of eventually moving up the ladder. The lunch hour (or lunch break, depending on how long you’re allowed) can revolutionize your career through networking if you know how to do it the right way!
So, how can you develop a lucrative lunch hour?
- Don’t eat alone, even if you feel awkward and intimidated by finding someone to eat with. If you see a group of coworkers at a table, or gathered in the break room, give yourself a pep talk, bolster your confidence, and ask if there’s another seat or if you could join them. More often than not, they’ll be happy to welcome you in, and by being friendly with groups that are established, you can learn a little more about the social structure and existing hierarchy within that specific office.
- Be the initiator! If you can’t seem to find a group to eat with, look for other employees that tend to eat alone just like you. Go to them, and ask if they’d like to join you, or if they’d like to go grab lunch at a nearby eatery. This shows that you have leadership skills and confidence in yourself, and that can go a long way in helping you stand out in an office environment.
- Don’t be afraid to be “friends” with everyone. Just because you might not fit into a certain group, at least attempt friendly acquaintances with everyone in the office where you work. You never know who might end up being your boss one day!
We hope these tips help end some of your lunch break anxiety as you head into your job each day. If your anxiety comes from not having a current job, you’re in the right place! PHR Staffing Solutions is your one-stop for finding employers looking for qualified applicants throughout the greater Polk County area and beyond. Give us a call, or apply for one of our current openings online and get hired!