Do you have a workplace bestie? Gallup data shows that having a work best friend makes you happier, more productive, and almost twice as engaged at work. So, meet two best friends at SoFi, Ishani Ganguly and Emily Rodriguez, and learn how their friendship has blossomed both in and outside of the office and transformed their time working at the company.
To get started, Ishani and Emily, let's put your friendship to the test!
Ishani Ganguly Emily Rodriguez
What was your bestie’s first job?
Ishani: Em was a cashier at a Smoothie Shop.
Emily: Ishani worked at a gym.
How long have they been at SoFi, and what is their current role?
Ishani: A Tech Recruiter for a little over three years.
Emily: A little over three years as a General and Administrative Recruiter.
What is their favorite guilty pleasure?
Ishani: Sour candy and reality TV.
Emily: Eating sour candy and watching reality tv.
Okay, you two really are two peas in a pod! When you started working at SoFi did you know anyone?
Ishani: Nope, I didn’t know anyone.
Emily: I knew one of my coworkers, Scott, but that was it.
Onto the fun stuff, how did you two become best friends at work!?
Ishani: We are on the same team, so I shadowed Em when I first joined (I remember being so distracted by her long eyelashes that I couldn’t focus haha), so we worked closely, but got even closer over the pandemic as we were all so isolated. We faced similar challenges in our jobs as Recruiting Coordinators, had similar hobbies, and were able to have funny, silly conversations. I naturally began to rely on her as a confidante for work, life, and more.
Emily: I trained Ish when she first started - we quickly became friends after realizing we had so many similarities - not just at work, but also personally. Over time, we shared similar challenges, career growth, and I quickly realized she was someone who would be a lifelong friend.
How has having a work bestie made you happier at work?
Ishani: Having someone like Emily to share all of your successes, challenges, and frustrations with is an invaluable gift! We’re always cheering each other on, giving advice, and listening to each other like sisters do. Our SoFi experiences are so similar that it’s easy to go to each other for anything. At this point, we’re beyond work friends, and now work is just where our story started!
Emily: Having someone you are close to who shares similar experiences in the workplace is so crucial. She and I joke about how many times a day we chat and it's…alarmingly a lot haha. That camaraderie makes it so easy to lean on one another when things get tough- she’s always there to listen and be a solid gut check.
Emily, your friendship was forged during pre-covid times, but how do you continue to grow your friendship virtually?
Emily: We got to build a solid foundation of friendship in person before the pandemic, so it was easy to continue that relationship even when we weren't working in person. We call and text all the time, so being remote didn't stop us from connecting, and I don't think it's prevented other friendships from developing on our team. The key is dedicating time to connect with others, and if there aren't virtual socials/events to attend, don't be afraid to create them yourself!
Ishani, what advice do you have for others looking to forge strong relationships/friendships at work?
Ishani: Friendships can form naturally, but sometimes, you have to actively take a role in driving that relationship. To start you have to be a good friend to have friends. To do this, I would try the following:
1) Be open to getting to know others, 2) Be vulnerable in sharing your story, and 3) Be willing to put in the time and effort to grow your relationship. It will take some time and shared experiences to overcome the initial awkwardness but putting yourself out there is really important and is worth it in the end!
How does SoFi promote a culture of community that has helped spark friendships like yours?
Ishani: SoFi offers so many different avenues for employees to find community - through programs like SoFi Circles, GROW, other cross-functional initiatives, and even in-office experiences. Everyone is friendly and reliable, because we all share a love for helping people or creating accessible financing (or both!). With these shared values, a lot of people are open to chatting with one another and, hopefully, make deeper connections.
Emily: There are so many ways for us to be collaborative. We naturally gravitate toward social events and gatherings, which has made me realize how many other people at SoFi are looking for deeper connections. We also see it everyday, because there are so many long-tenured folks on our team that are now lifelong friends - many of our managers have deep friendships and we see how well they take care of and support one another. I think in large part it’s because our department has instilled a family-like feeling that you truly can’t escape, and it’s cool to see how new people that join become part of the family. It’s a bit cheesy, but it’s great.
Thank you for telling us a bit about your friendship and life at SoFi. And readers - we are hiring! Check out our open roles and consider applying today.
(The Increasing Importance of a Best Friend at Work, 2022)
The individuals featured are SoFi employees. Their personal experiences, obviously, do not take into account your own specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. Results will vary.
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