My last day at my current job is right around the corner. In a few weeks I’ll pack up my belongings and set up shop in our second-bedroom-slash-home-office.
I’m incredibly excited about this next step and the year ahead. But there is, of course, one thing I will miss: My work BFFs.
As I’ve mentioned here before, I have a wonderful gang of work besties. We’re really close, perhaps closer than normal coworkers should be. They have become some of my closest friends and I’m going to miss our constant banter, IMing across cubes or yelling across aisles, buying each other birthday treats, sending any and all links related to Glee/How I Met Your Mother/teenybopper films/celebrity babies and breakups/Neil Patrick Harris, laughing over lunch hours, and generally doing everything that friends who spend their days within eight feet of each might.
It’s the first friend goodbye I’ll have since starting this search and I am not looking forward to it.
Of course, it’s not like any of us are moving. We may not all work together anymore (two of my four work BFFs are leaving around the same time as I), but we’ll still be in Chicago. We could see each other pretty often if we want to.
I’ve heard mixed reviews about what can happen to a friendship between coworkers when you no longer share an office. In one camp are those who say not working together actually makes the friendship stronger. Office gossip takes up a lot of conversation time, the argument goes. Once you free that space up to talk about more substantial stuff like personal lives and emotions and Bieber, you take the relationship to the next level.
Then there are those who say that once the common ground of the office is gone, suddenly there’s not much holding the friendship together. When there are no circles around the water cooler, there’s not much left. Or so the argument goes.
In my case, I’m quite confident these friendships will last. They’ve been elevated from mere “work friend” to “friend” to “really good friend.” I spend eight hours a day with these people. They know pretty much all there is to know about me… and they still like me! Keepers.
But in my past life, in previous jobs, I’ve had co-workers fall into both categories. One of my dearest friends in the world is a cube-neighbor of mine from my first job. We were very close then, and our friendship is something serious now. On the other hand, I’ve had a few other coworkers that I considered friends, not just “work friends,” who I hardly spoke to after I left the job. We tried, with an email here, a Facebook message there. But mostly we got lazy and went our separate ways.
So, though in this case I feel pretty confident of what will happen, I ask you your experience. When you’ve left jobs, have you maintained friendships with your coworkers? Or did your relationships fizzle, despite your best intentions?
P.S. Thank you for all the birthday wishes! It was a stellar day.