Many women find it challenging to socialize during or after work hours. Their commitments with family, house chores, and busy nights limit them from connecting with senior colleagues and advancing in their careers.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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Some women feel excluded because they are not invited to hang out with colleagues after work. There are many reasons behind this. One is because most are busy moms who need to head home to start their "night shift" quickly (making dinner, taking care of children, doing the laundry, etc.). Another reason is that some male colleagues don't want to create a misunderstanding when wanting to know a female employee better. Since the #MeToo movement has grown, men have admitted to feeling more hesitant when deciding to socialize with women. But why is it so crucial for women to attend informal meetings with people from their work?
According to the Harvard Business Review, socializing with people in senior positions is a crucial step for women to advance in their careers and get sponsorship.
Female executives also struggle to fit in due to their limited time. During work hours, they prefer to concentrate and keep their heads down at the office to maximize their efforts. This is especially challenging when they have a family and must take care of other things outside work. However, there are some ways women can build relationships at work without sacrificing their personal life. The first step is to identify the social rituals of your company. Is your workplace a coffee culture? If so, go with your colleagues to grab a drink and while waiting in line, talk with them and let them know you better.
Another good strategy Harvard Business Review recommended is walking to the train or bus station with someone you know is going your way. Take this opportunity to connect and become close with other employees. Every chance you get to socialize, don't be hesitant to take the first step.
If you are shy or introverted and consider it very hard to talk directly with someone you don't know well, invite some people close to you and propose places where you and colleagues can meet outside work hours. Don't bother learning how to play tennis or golf if you won't enjoy it. Instead, propose doing activities you like, such as attending a nice restaurant or karaoke. Choosing an environment that makes you feel more comfortable will allow people to know you better, and it could even positively change their perspective about you.
Finally, teenagers are not the only ones that can't keep their eyes away from their screens. Getting along with colleagues is fine, but making genuine connections with people in high positions is especially important. Instead of hiding before your cellphone, chat with others, look them in the eyes, and give them all your attention. If you don't have that much time, try to arrive a couple of minutes early to the meetings and use that opportunity to connect with them.
Getting along with people in senior roles and managers at work will increase the chances of being promoted. Women especially face a significant challenge due to their busy schedules. Nevertheless, prioritizing work relationships should be essential in every woman's career plan.