Ask an Employee/ Employer: Can you work with a friend?

I think one question that is asked more than any other is “How do you work with a friend?” I actually think it has its benefits and hardships. I am going to go over the hardships first. There is a lot more at stake if it doesn’t work out. You could end up finding your friend is a great friend but horrible co-worker.  You could find out that your friend isn’t really a friend. The worst is you could lose a friend over work.

You have to set real boundaries and be up front in your expectations. You have to know what you are good at and what they are good at and support each other. You have to be honest no matter how hard it is and resolve issues before they become problems.

I actually work with friends in my virtual job and obviously with Renae, here at Madame Deals. I am smarter than I look- I always pick people in my life who enable me to do more. The ladies I work with are my best friends. I consider myself very lucky to work with such smart, strong, and dedicated ladies. I also know that they will help me grow as an individual, employee/ employer, and friend.

I think a great tip to making sure this friend/ co-worker idea works is to try it out. When you have your friends as co-workers have them work for someone else first prior to moving them over to your department. I also had my friend interviewed by my boss to make sure that she fit what the company needed. She also took a job initially at a “beginner level” because it fit her needs and she wasn’t ready to be more committed to work.  I didn’t have any doubts about my friend but I wanted to make sure she really wanted to work prior to doing a job share. I didn’t want her to accept a job because I wanted her to work with me but rather because it fit into her vision of what she wanted for herself. I know we both put family first so we are working out our schedule so we can be successful wives, moms, and career women.

It is very important to have both a working relationship and a normal friendship. Renae and I talk work but we also leave work behind and just hang out. It usually involves food or food shopping but we do not have our laptops without us so that counts right? My friend at my virtual job and I leave work at work by spending time with our families. I truly think working with friends can work you just have to find the right friend. I would never hire or recommend a friend that I wouldn’t be proud to have associated with me. I really like when the people at my office say, “Where did you find her?” and they mean it in a good way. You all know how lucky I am to have Renae in my life. She has taught me much more than “making dollars out of change.”