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Esther Perel: 1 key thing you need to love your job—no salary or perk will make up for not having it

In Business
June 08, 2024

Renowned psychotherapist, author, podcast host and speaker Esther Perel has one, central message that she hopes her work communicates: “The quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life.”

This applies not only to your personal life, but your professional one, too.

“You could be doing a great job, be at a good company, but if you are working with people who keep you up at night and you are miserable and fretting, no amount of paycheck, no amount of free food, no amount of gyms will actually make up for it,” Perel said at the Culture First Global Conference in May.

Science support’s Perel’s claim: People who have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to say they are satisfied at their jobs, according to a 2022 Gallup poll.

“You love your job in part, in large part, because you love the people that you’re working with and you feel loved by them,” Perel said.

The process of making friends at work can seem less straightforward than making friends in your personal life. Offices can be rigid and more conversation topics are considered taboo.

Still, you can forge meaningful bonds at work if you make consistent efforts to engage with your co-workers. Here are three ways you can start.

1. Reach out to co-workers as soon as you’re hired

Being the new one in the office provides the perfect pretext for reaching out to co-workers, Stacie Haller, career expert at ResumeBuilder.com, told CNBC Make It.

“When you first get hired, that is the time that you can reach out,” she said. “Things like introducing yourself to your team members, reaching out, making a phone call, putting together a team meeting so everybody could get to know each other” are all appropriate ways to start forming connections.

You love your job in part, in large part, because you love the people that you’re working with and you feel loved by them.

Esther Perel

2. Volunteer for workplace extracurriculars

Work events can seem a little like forced fun, but they provide an easy opportunity to engage in conversation outside the office environment, Angelina Darrisaw, career coach and founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach, told CNBC Make It.

If your workplace doesn’t prioritize planning events for employees, volunteer to set something up yourself.

“Even in setting the agenda, you’re having to collaborate and connect with team members that you might not otherwise have,” Darrisaw says.

3. Be consistent

Don’t expect one conversation or one happy hour to net you a lifelong friend. You need to reach out and show up repeatedly, Haller says: “You can’t just call somebody and be friendly and introduce yourself, then not call them for another three months.”

If you’re routinely open and available, you’re more likely to form friendships and, in turn, be happier at your job.

Want to be a successful, confident communicator? Take CNBC’s new online course Become an Effective Communicator: Master Public Speaking. We’ll teach you how to speak clearly and confidently, calm your nerves, what to say and not say, and body language techniques to make a great first impression. Sign up today and use code EARLYBIRD for an introductory discount of 30% off through July 10, 2024.

Plus, sign up for CNBC Make It’s newsletter to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.

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