Why you need a work tribe – and how to identify them
Finding kindred spirits within – and beyond – your workplace might be the best thing you do for your professional growth
As children, we knew instinctively who our friends were. We dig the same games, pore over the same books, and obsess over the same music. We are our best selves around each other, comfortable in our own skin and unafraid to express our views. We egg each other to go further with our pursuits and go deeper into our passions, no matter how trivial they may seem. Our friends were our tribe, our pillar of support in the journey of growing up.
Such kinship of spirit remains critical in our development as professionals in the working world. The rules of engagement might be different from that of the school yard, but the rudiments to finding people who you connect and belong with remain the same.
Know your own values
To find your tribe, you have to first find yourself. Ask fundamental questions: What is my purpose? What are my non-negotiables? What do I value? Find the answers through deep introspection and you will be able to identify a like-minded person easily. This is especially important when expanding your tribe beyond the usual circle of colleagues and trade connections, and embracing new, inspiring people into your fold.
Go beyond your industry circle
It’s always great to have people who speak the same language – and you will often find them within your own industry. But in the age of disruption – especially one accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic – you would be doing yourself a favour by expanding your tribe beyond folks from your own trade. It isn’t just about networking, but about expanding your horizons. At our co-working spaces at Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok – each venue a natural ecosystem that has attracted a diverse pool of professionals – we’ve witnessed how sparks fly when people from different industries hit off. Diverse points of view – underscored by shared values – can often result in fresh ideas and radical collaborations. With talent from industries spanning Fintech and Venture Capital to Fashion and F&B, every casual encounter at lunch, or even that mid-day cuppa shared with a co-worker, could be an opportunity to grow your tribe beyond industry contacts.
Free up your calendar
That social invitation or lunchtime talk is all too easy to turn down, especially when deadlines are looming. Yet each activity is a window to inspiring teachings and enlightening encounters – all you need is an open, positive attitude. At The Great Room, a host of activities and perks – from our boisterous monthly networking event Great Thirstday to our Spend the Night business learning sessions – bring a host of professionals from a diverse spectrum of industries together. These are prime opportunities for seeking out members of your tribe.
Let your tribe evolve
A common misconception many have is that our tribe sticks with us for life. Yet, we change as we grow in experience and wisdom: we might discover new facets to ourselves, or even a paradigm shift in our values. It is critical thus to find people whom you can connect with, at different phases of your professional growth. Says thought leader and depth psychologist Anne Davin: “Don’t be disillusioned if your “tribe” goes by the wayside—many have. Do what the ancients did: Go find another one or start one yourself… Modern-day tribes must be fluid, flexible, and have open boundaries. What remains constant is the ‘village heart’ that tethers everyone together with a feeling of belonging that transcends time and change.”