Think about Fortune 500 executives. GE. Coca-Cola. General Motors. Caterpillar. Executives from these global companies move all over the world in the pursuit of their career objectives. 

They want to be challenged. They want to grow. They want to earn more money. They want to take on more responsibility. They live all over. North America. Asia. Europe. South America. What's the one thing they have in common aside from their desire to grow professionally? They are always without a social net.

They don't have their high school or college friends. They aren't in one place long enough to build on their work relationships. They need to expand their social circles and be open to new friends and experiences, because the other option is alone, or the same one or two people.

In foreign countries it starts with their American coworkers. Then there are expats from all companies who work in the city. 

At traditional companies where people don't relocate, this is lost.  People have their friendship basis and resort to those.  Sometimes they make friends in the office and then they revert back to mini cliques like in school. 

It doesn't mean the people are bad, or even that people who have worked globally are good. The work product is many times mutually exclusive; however, it does create the question of, "What if?"

If people at local companies went about their own city like expats in foreign countries, how many more friends could they have? How many more experiences could result? How many more opportunities would exist?  Not just personally, but career wise, too. 

If you joined different clubs rather than rinse and repeat activities with the same friend since third grade what would happen? If you went on a trip for a weekend with new friends rather than your sorority sisters, what might you try? If you talked to people in restaurants because you "needed" to make friends, what business opportunities might be created?

Sometimes when you turn the telescope the other way, things look so different. The opportunities to learn about different people and different experiences is right in front of us and it can impact your business and career in unique ways.

Published on: Jul 8, 2016
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