Personal and Career Development: The Value of Friendships at Work
Yesterday I had lunch with friends that I made at work more than 30 years ago. Meeting them led me to meditate on how important friendship can be in supporting you through the difficult times in your career.
I met those particular friends when they were fresh from university: now, they are on the verge of retirement.
We were part of a cohort of young Civil Servants setting out on an intense, month-long, course in Economics. I don’t know how much of it we retained for use in our later careers but the friendship has certainly stood the test of the years.
I don’t know what bound us together so strongly as a group beyond our variety – we a had nice mix of art, science and scepticism, in youth. The scepticism has mellowed with the years like our competitiveness.
I know that their friendship, and that of another former colleague, has been important to me in a life which has had more discontinuities than most.
Certainly, friendship has been one of the things that has sustained me through difficult patches at work.
The ability to talk in confidence to someone you trust, who understands what you do, can help you get through hard times in one piece. A true friend’s on-going respect for you, and what you stand for, can help keep your self-esteem and confidence in tact through a storm.