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Bossy Friends: Is Working for a Mate Ever a Good Idea?

Anyone who’s ever sat around drinking wine with a good friend has probably come up with some business idea they could do together. “We should start a bar!” or “Come work for me!” are commonly thrown about phrases around 11pm, but what happens when the deal is actually on the table? Is it ever a good idea to mix business and friendship?

Having a friend who’s your boss seems like the perfect recipe for corporate wellness, but there’s a lot to consider before you commit to an extra 40 hours a week with your pal. Firstly, the good thing about working for a friend is that she’ll know your career aspirations, your strengths and your weaknesses. If she isn’t aware that cold calls put you in a cold sweat, it’s good to have an informal discussion about it before you go ahead and make things official.

However, you can’t expect special treatment just because you’re friends with the boss, so don’t be surprised if, now and again, you’ll be asked to do some things outside of your area of expertise. Your friend wants the best for you and your wellbeing, but, at the end of the day, the wellness of her business has to take priority between the hours of nine and five. As an employee, you have to help make that happen, just like everyone else on the team.

Working for your friend means it will be a lot easier to communicate and share ideas, which can set the standard for a very productive and comfortable work environment. However, when it comes to the tough stuff, discussing it with a friend may be problematic. If you’re not satisfied with a portion of your job, your friend’s management style, or your salary, there will likely be an element of awkwardness when it comes time to have a serious conversation about it, and the same goes if your friend needs to talk to you about your performance. How would you feel about humbly accepting her criticism?

Finally, it’s likely that your friend offered you a job because she knows you’re altogether deserving of the salary she’s paying you, which means she trusts you and you’ll have immediate access to the boss to collaborate on big projects and provide important input. Yet, it’s important to remember that she’s in charge, and will always have the final word. You can voice your opinion about how strongly you disagree with her, but in many cases, you’ll have to be prepared to take a step back and regard her as the boss.

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2013 by and tagged , , .
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