Mercury (Hobart)



The founder of Small Business Women Australia, Amanda is a key mentor and career adviser

THIS WEEK: the do’s and don’ts of working with friends

Working with a friend is sometimes successful but a lot of the time it is the opposite.

If you are thinking about joining an organisati­on where your friend is employed – or vice versa – have a conversati­on about the possible issues straight away, upfront.

For example, if you are at the same level when you go into the job then all of a sudden one of you is getting a promotion or one of you ends up the other one’s boss, how will you feel about that?

Working together may not be

the best idea. But, at a time when you need an income, of course don’t turn down a job because of that. If you need work, take the job.

Your employment comes before friendship so you have to ask yourself: “If things don’t go well, am I willing to lose this friendship?”.

My best advice if you do work with a friend is to remember you are at work. You can be friendly but don’t be having long discussion­s about weekend plans for hours at a time. People will assume you are wasting your time.

You don’t want to lose your brand in the business over a

friendship. You want to be seen as a leader or a good worker.

If you are worried people will make assumption­s or judge the way you act with your friend, keep the friendship outside of work.

Also, don’t be gossiping. It’s silly and screams “don’t promote me” and “don’t trust me”.

Another thing to consider is whether your brand is aligned to your friend’s. If you are joining a company on their recommenda­tion, people will assume that you are like them.

Similarly, if you are recommendi­ng a friend to work with your employer, be aware of how their performanc­e will reflect on you. If three months after they come in they make a massive mistake, that is going to make you look bad.It just does.

Remember you do not have to give your friend a recommenda­tion if you do not want to.

If they ask for one, just give them the email address for the human resources department and explain they will have to go through the standard process.

But if you don’t feel comfortabl­e recommendi­ng your friends, you probably need new friends.

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