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How to keep friendships with former colleagues after changing jobs

December 28th, 2021
You don’t code side by side with your teammates anymore – but does that mean you have to stop being friends? No!

So, you’ve finally made the decision to leave the place where you've been working at for the past few years. You have been working with the same people for so long, you can’t imagine working with anyone else... and you start wondering how to keep friendships from work after you leave the company?

You definitely don’t want to lose their friendship after having spent so many great times together!

Of course, while there are many benefits to your new job and you are excited to start something new, you might find yourself starting to miss your old colleagues and office lunch buddies slightly more than you’d like to admit!

Just because you don’t see them on a daily basis anymore doesn’t mean you have to stop seeing them all together. Rather – it is the opposite! Now is your chance to really pursue and develop long-lasting friendships, creating more great memories and shared experiences along the way. 

Here are some top tips on how to keep friendships from work when you leave the company:

1. Leave with good intention to keep in contact

One of the most important things you can do to keep in touch with your colleagues, and make sure you keep friendships from work, is to leave the office with the intention to reach out to them once you are gone. We suggest creating a whatsapp group with your closest friends before you go, or send out your personal email or number in an automated mail out before saying goodbye on your last day. 

2. Attend future tech events together

If you and your former colleagues have similar interests or enjoy some of the same hobbies, keep friendships from work won't be very hard!

Why not invite them along to join you at future events you want to go to? From Global Tech Conferences and Summits, to Comic Con and Sci-Fi Movies, any experience is always enriched when alongside a friend. Not only is it a great way of catching up with someone informally, but you are also doing something that interests both of you at the same time, allowing you to share your thoughts and feedback with one another as you go. 

We just published KWAN’s guide on how to make the best of the 12 coolest tech events coming up, check it here

3. Working from home? Keep friendships from work by coding together

Perhaps your new job has flexible working hours or offers a remote schedule? While this allows you a lot more freedom to choose when, where and how you get the job done, we recommend using this to your advantage by meeting up with your coding friends. Why not reach out to those old office buddies to ask if they want to meet in a coffee place one day and share advice and tactics on coding techniques? You might find you’ll be a lot more productive the following week if you give yourself the opportunity to learn and improve on your skills through the support of your friends. Not all work has to take place in a professional setting, and even some of the most successful developers still lean on the help of others to refine their competency in a specific field. Why not find a cool coworking space in your city to work together?

Check out our article on 15 places to work remotely in Portugal for a little inspiration.

4. Meet outside of working hours 

Don’t be afraid to keep in touch by meeting before, during and after work. Are you an early bird and like to head to the gym in the morning, or for a quick run around the block? Maybe you have to walk the dog, and remember your old colleague walks in a park near you?

Utilise those early mornings to keep friendships from work!

By catching up with an old friend, working out together or grabbing a coffee on the way to work. Perhaps if you live nearby, you can meet your friends during lunch break, or if you consider yourself more of a night owl, make the most of after-work drinks by catching up with old friends in the bar at the end of the street. If your old office is near your new one, you can rest assured you’ll find your old friends there after work, unwinding from the day. You could even bring along some new friends and introduce them! 

5. Organize a regular social gathering

Are you a fan of cinema? Or a gamer? Or perhaps your go to is an intense game of chess or pool?

Whatever you like to do to rewind from the working day, remember: gathering your buddies to play or watch something that you both like is an excellent way to keep friendships from work!

If you make an effort to go out of your way to organise informal, after-hours events, you’ll be surprised at how many friends will be keen to join. Be it hosting a weekly games night at your home with a few beers and takeaway pizzas, or organising a trip to the local bowling alley, the more time you spend with these people will open up more invitations and exciting opportunities for you in the long run when they consider you a friend they can count on to have a good time with.

6. Last but not least: video games

If you really don’t feel like venturing outdoors but are still in a sociable mood, why not play some video games with your friends? This way, you can play your favourite games and have a great time while still catching up online. Open Discord, and get your gamer head on, tuning in with headphones and microphone to say hello to your team! You’ll be surprised at how talkative you all become when it comes to planning battles’ strategies, car races or shooting matches. 

And isn’t that what friendship is about after all? Catching up, sharing great moments (online or offline) and helping each other plan your next adventures?

How to keep friendships from work when you leave the company: final thoughts

We hope we have shown you just how easy it is to keep friendships from work even after you stop being colleagues.

From attending events together, meeting outside of working hours or playing video games, there are so many ways you can keep those friendships going! Don't be afraid to embrace a new challenge just because they won't be there with you.

Remember that keeping in touch is not just about friendships, as it is also vital to keep good relations with former colleagues for professional reasons too. Maybe they can refer you for an exciting new job opportunity or they can help you with an issue their company has already overcome… your companies may even end up collaborating together and performing like never before! 

If you don't have a new professional challenge ahead of you but you think it's time for a change, talk to us! Our team of recruiters at KWAN will be happy to help you find a project that matches your skills, ambitions, personal tastes, and favourite tech stack.

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