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I am considering a position where I would be reporting to a close friend. Originally we were colleagues at different companies but in the same field, and now we have become close. (In this situation romance is not a factor.) He has a posting for a job that fits me perfectly and at an organization where I would love to work, but what sorts of things should I keep in mind as I evaluate the situation?

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I have seen this work out good and bad and I have seen it work with different personality types across the board.

However I feel the biggest factor is the employee's ability to do the job. If the employee is highly skilled for the job they are doing then happy boss, then happy employee.

If you feel that you are very able to do the job in question, chances are you won't have friendship issues. He will want to be seen with a high performer at work, he will treat you nice, won't micro-manage, and you will reap the rewards. However if you are under-performing and he can't communicate well with you, then this is were animosity starts on both sides.

  • +1 for this answer. OP: keep in mind that your friendship may change because you're likely to work together, or for him, substantially more than before. Relationships and opinions of people can change very rapidly when spending a lot of time with someone else (may be negative or positive). – Edwin Lambregts Apr 15 '15 at 14:47
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First, will the backyard barbecue feel different next summer if you don't get the projects and pay you expect, or if you're working crazy overtime and he's going home at 3:30 everyday?

If you say no, you're mistaken (unfortunately). And even if you are fine with it, your significant other will not be.

Second, you have to decide if the friendship is more important to you than the potential job. If they cannot coexist peacefully, which one will you sacrifice?

Finally, are there similar jobs under other managers that you would also be ideal for?

  • 2
    To add to this, remember: don't mix business and pleasure. It's not just a contrived quote, it's very applicable. – Cloud Apr 15 '15 at 1:33

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