I know it’s an old adage to not combine what makes you happy with what makes you money, but after working 16 of the last 48 hours, I want to say that it’s both important and possible to be in an environment that makes you happy. If it also makes you money then what could be better?
As a waitress, I’d be lost if I wasn’t friends with my coworkers. Sure, I could complain to my friends and family when I get off of a double shift, but there’s something so freeing about being able to have a friend on the floor next to you that just gets it. Whether it’s because table ten only left you a 10% tip and you did all but wipe their mouths for them, or because you just want to complain (again) about how uncomfortable your uniform is, there’s a comfort in this type of solidarity.
I’m lucky in the sense that I have a job that allows me to bond with the people I spend 25-30 hours a week with. I’m not in a cubicle boarded off from my coworkers, and in that, I’ve gotten to know these people far beyond the ways in which they prefer to do their work. We go bowling late on Saturday nights because it’s the only place that’s still open after we’ve finished closing up the restaurant; we celebrate birthdays together; we go out for drinks; we have a group chat for days when we’re apart (which is a rarity, to be honest).
I can’t imagine being in a business that is so reliant on interpersonal communication without being able to feel like I can be honest and open with the people I’m communicating with. I consider myself lucky because I know not everyone’s got a group to work with that’s this great, but I’d heavily encourage bridging the gap and turning coworkers into friends. You’d be amazed to find yourself actually looking forward to work when that happens.