Work makes up a huge part of your life, so it makes total sense that you’re dedicated to crushing your career goals — even when bad bosses, coworkers that drive you crazy, and rejection get in the way. Thankfully, there are tons of things you can do to make sure you stick to your goals and achieve success no matter what. We recently chatted with Blair Decembrele, a LinkedIn career expert, and discovered a new, game-changing element you can add to your nine-to-five: a work bestie! Read on for why having a BFF at work pays off, plus Decembrele’s top tips for making one.

two coworkers in office

how having a Work Bestie Can Rock Your World

1. They’re key to career happiness. “Many of us are lucky enough to love our job, but when things get stressful, it’s nice to see a friendly face,” says Decembrele. A 2014 LinkedIn study shows that 46 percent of professionals around the world believe that having work friends are important to their overall happiness. So, getting to know your coworkers on a more personal level can give you the motivation to get out of bed and tackle the day.

2.Motivation equals success. There’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition to keep you motivated on the job, right? Decembrele says, “Relationships can help us feel connected, making us more motivated and productive at work.” Notice how your work BFF helps keep you energized and focused when you’re preparing for a big presentation, or even keeps you on track when you’re stuck with a stressful deadline. Be grateful to have him or her helping you along the path to success.

3. Work friendships count as career networking. “Cultivating friendships is the basis of all networking,” explains Decembrele. “Know that when it comes time to go your separate ways, you’ll be glad you took the time to get to know your coworkers.” So, where you do start? Decembrele suggests connecting with your coworkers online so you can keep up with where they work and what they’re accomplishing. “Send them a message to check in on their new job or share a recent post they wrote. Who knows, if you’re looking for a new gig down the road, your old work BFF’s company might show up front and center on a LinkedIn Jobs page or in search results — and who better to reach out to if you want to get a foot in the door?”

Group of friends using their mobile phones outside a shop.

Expert Tips for Making a work BFF

1. Get out of the office. Getting involved in work activities (outside of the four walls of a conference room or your office) can be the key to finding someone you share interests or passions with — a start of a valuable work friendship. Decembrele advises, “Take the time to get to know some of your coworkers outside of the office environment. Grab coffee at a shop outside your building or take a walking meeting. Make sure to get involved beyond formal emails and meetings, whether it be a volunteer day or a company-wide happy hour.”

2.Take interest in your coworker’s life outside of work. Decembrele explains that while there are definitely things that should stay out of the office, like relationship drama or your wild Friday night, you should get to know what makes your coworkers excited outside of the daily grind. “Take advantage of LinkedIn, Facebook, or social media to familiarize yourself with a coworker’s background, experience, and interests. For example, if you see that your colleague is currently fundraising for an upcoming marathon, you can ask if you can join them one day for a run after work.”

3.Congratulate, share, and like. Remember that supportive relationships are necessary for successful friendships, and work friendships are really no different. “We all want to be recognized and congratulated for a job well done,” says Decembrele. “A simple gesture can do a ton for morale! If your teammate just achieved a major milestone, it pays to acknowledge them. Plus, if you have their back, they’ll likely have yours in the future.”

Do you rely on work BFFs? Tell us about your work besties on Twitter @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)