I have recently started a new job. I have struggled to gain friendships here as I feel there is an established clique. I am frustrated with how much I am left out. The team lead and his best buds go out to lunch often, and I am often the odd man out.

They are all on group e-mail chains, which I over hear about constantly sending each other funny thing back and forth. They often have impromptu meetings without me making design decisions.

I want to be friends with these people. But if that can't happen I at least want to be involved in the work aspect of things. It's difficult because I feel the two are somewhat connected.

I am one of the senior devs on the team. I am not an intern. I am very much apart of the same projects these people are on. I should be involved in discussions. It's hard to feel excited about working here anymore.

My manager(their boss and my boss) is oblivious to the situation. I am sure as he has other things he is working on and worried about.

How can I ask to be included without sounding petty?

  • 3
    @IDrinkandIKnowThings, this has nothing to do with "making friends"... The workplace social environment has nothing to do with the normal act of "making friends". Workplace social pyramids are highly defined and tie directly into one's "exposure", as well as many other things in the workplace.
    – Prodnegel
    Apr 18 '17 at 19:29
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    The core of the question is in bold. Is has nothing to do with "How do I make friends".
    – Ronnie W
    Apr 18 '17 at 19:31
  • I wanted to be included in work meetings. I don't get how you got "How can I make friends from that?"
    – Ronnie W
    Apr 18 '17 at 20:05
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    @RonnieW. You start out with "struggled to gain friendships" and complain about them not including you out to lunch. Maybe you should start with the work examples of not being included, like the informal meetings, etc.
    – Brandin
    Apr 19 '17 at 6:46

How do you include yourself?

My favorite thing is to walk up to the alpha of the team and just ask "So, where do you want to go for lunch?" There it is in all the glory. They can either include me or they can exclude me, but the ball is in their court. It's the easiest way to break the ice, and it puts the onus of acceptance on them. From there, play it by ear. If they ignore or exclude you, there's a problem you need to talk to them about, and if they don't, then there you go!

It's about making yourself available, and not waiting for them to initiate contact. They're comfortable and you're not. Time to hop on the couch, grab a beer and be "one of the guys".

  • 1
    Or chime in when you overhear them discussing that fun email, ask can they forward it to you. Or send your own funny email to the group. Simply put be pro-active and butt yourself into the group instead of waiting for the invitation. It sounds like they are simply a close-knit team, which is great once you manage to wedge yourself in ;). Apr 19 '17 at 0:19
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    Or just go up to the team lead and say "Hey I wasn't included in this decision. I'd appreciate being brought in on things next time, I have some opinions I'd like to discuss." Odds are good it was just an oversight. Apr 19 '17 at 4:27
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    But also be prepared for rejection! It is entirely possible that they are friends outside of work, and that you attempting to butt in will not get you the result you desire. So long as they are professional with you in their job capacity that might be all you can get, you may just have to adapt. People don't have to be your friend, but they do have to be professional.
    – MattR
    Apr 19 '17 at 10:06
  • @GabeSechan A bit of rewording, but I agree. The wording as it stands now is a bit aggressive to me. "I have some opinions I'd like to share about the design work" might cut it back to a "Hey, I want to input" instead of "Hey, you left me out, I want in, too". A minor change to me, and still keeps your point of professional injection. +1 Apr 19 '17 at 12:55
  • Inclusion, not injection. Oi. Apr 19 '17 at 15:08

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