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Working with Friends

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by Bridgitte Krupke

Mixing business with friendship requires a lot of professionalism and a great sense of humor!

Ask yourself the following questions before working with friends:

Scenario #1:   Working as co-workers

 Your boss realizes he needs more help and asks you if you know anyone hard-working and reliable. Immediately, you think of your live-in couch potato housemate. 

They get hired per your recommendation, and for whatever reason do not rise to the challenge of punctuality and responsibility. Granted, if they are fired, it's mostly reflected on themselves, but a part of that can still affect you. Your judgment in choosing good employees vs. good friends can ultimately affect they way your superiors see you.

Scenario #2: Working as partners

A great deal of our working together on Makin' Rent, occurs via the telephone or email. Though technology has brought us closer together, it has also made us more insensitive to how our message is being conveyed. 

The first six months of our long distance partnering was spent apologizing or bickering. Over two years later, we understand that when one of us makes a suggestion or insists on an editorial change it has nothing to do with the state of our friendship. 

It is imperative that each party make the friendship priority and if the business relationship isn't working then dissolve the partnership. Also, be sure that you hire a good attorney to make the partnership a legal entity.

Scenario #3: Working as an employer

This combination of mixing friendship with business is the most precarious, because of the power aspect involved. As an employer you are in the position to fire or reprimand your friend. This disparity in power can adversely affect even the closest friendship.

Suggestions for helping friends find employment