Career Advice Opinion

Strategies for Making Friends in a Professional Setting

By AAEE — November 07, 2017 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

We tend to gravitate towards fun-loving people! The old adage, “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone”, is a nice way to remind ourselves of the power of laughter. To be successful, we need to go beyond fun and consciously build an environment that stimulates our professional growth. Being strategic with this process provides you access to talent and experience that will move you in the right direction!

Learn to be mindful of the people you work with! Identify the office gossip before you are used as a pawn. Do not fear attitudes used by lazy people to do their own thing. Evaluate your ego, your moral integrity, and your ability to afford a lawyer before you engage with matters that are suspect and not work-related. Refrain from complaining through rambling e-mails that produce evidence to question your sanity. Do not live just below the radar. It is a lifestyle employed by those who want to do as little as possible. Be confident of what you know and have the courage to ask for help when you need it!

Contrary to many professionals believing they know it all, it is support staff who are the workplace special forces unit. Treat them with dignity and respect they will always be at your side when you need rescuing! Take the time to listen and give praise when it is well deserved. Be mindful of people who leap to conclusions and those who use relevant information to draw rational conclusions. The latter group is who you want to emulate!

Take the time to identify and interact with effective and productive people you can learn from! Productive people go quietly about their business fully aware of what it takes to be gainfully employed, especially in a tough economy. They do not need volume to validate what they do because quality speaks for itself. Productive people respect a solid work ethic and go out of their way to help when they see a need. Choose your mentor - smart and productive, gossip monger, or office clown - based on your goal. Who you align yourself with is really who you are choosing to become!

Patrick Pillai, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Special Education Service Agency

Anchorage, Alaska

Related Tags:

The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Career Advice Thinking of Becoming an Administrator? First, Consider These 4 Things
Teachers who stayed in the classroom and those who left share their perspectives on making the leap from teaching to administration.
5 min read
A woman thinks about a choice between 2 options.
Denis Novikov/iStock
Career Advice 5 Essential Questions Teachers Should Ask During Job Interviews
When being interviewed for a teaching job, it's as important to ask questions as to answer them. Here are 5 key questions to start you off.
5 min read
Woman being interviewed remotely.
Career Advice Want to Be a Principal? How to Prove You're Right for the Job
What it takes to attract the attention of K-12 recruiters looking for their schools' next principals.
5 min read
illustration of hiring.
Nadia Bormotova/iStock/Getty
Career Advice Opinion The Three Question Interview
Most interviews begin with a time-wasting question such as: "Tell us something about yourself." Why? As the interviewer, you have the candidate's resume, cover letter, and some other documents like a portfolio, reference letters or surveys, transcripts, and test scores. What more do you need to know about a 22-year-old interviewing for their first teaching position?
4 min read