Sunday, May 26, 2024

good friend drama could collide with job hunt — Ask a Supervisor


A reader writes:

I’ve a good friend, Jane, who I was near, however prior to now few years she’s been very cold and hot, going by way of intervals of being nearly clingy after which turning on a dime to turn into unresponsive and even type of aggravated that I’m speaking to her. This has been emotionally tough and I’ve determined I have to dial again the friendship.

I’ve additionally been making an attempt to get out of a job that’s turn into untenable, however the job hunt has been tough as a result of my business is small and aggressive. One other good friend, Carol, works in the identical business and has been extremely keen about getting me a job at her firm, the place I’d actually like to work. I’ve an utility in with them now that she helped me loads with, and I do know she’s talked about me to the hiring supervisor as nicely. I’m immensely grateful to her for this and positively owe her one whether or not it really works out or not.

Right here’s the rub: Carol and Jane are BFFs. (Like, Carol was maid of honor at Jane’s wedding ceremony.) And whereas I’m hoping to transition quietly to a extra distant friendship with Jane, she (for comprehensible causes that aren’t mine to share) could be very delicate to perceived rejection or individuals being mad at her, so there’s a stable probability that she is going to discover I’m not as engaged. She could confront me or she could silently be harm, however both approach I’m certain Carol will hear about it, and who is aware of what that can do to her opinion of me.

I do know I’m borrowing hassle just a little, however what do I do if my relationship with Jane blows up in the course of a hiring course of the place I’ve been relying closely on Jane’s greatest good friend’s goodwill? At this level issues are largely within the hiring supervisor’s fingers and I don’t technically want extra assist from Carol, however what if the supervisor comes again to ask her extra questions on me after her unique advice and she or he now hates me? Or what if she’s now not comfy working with me? Is there something I ought to say to Carol in regards to the Jane scenario beforehand? Ought to I pull out of the appliance course of if issues go south with Jane and Carol appears upset? Or ought to I simply deal with these two issues like they’re unrelated and let no matter occurs, occur?

I do assume you’re borrowing hassle. You’re not plotting a confrontation with Jane the place you checklist off all her faults, inform her she’s a horrible particular person, after which kick her within the shins. You’re simply … much less engaged with the friendship.

If Jane tells Carol that you just’ve been extra distant, that’s not the kind of factor that’s prone to make it into Carol’s feedback to the hiring supervisor. (And if it did, the hiring supervisor can be confused by why.)

In case your concern is that Jane will confront you about it and also you’ll be compelled to have a full reckoning of your issues with the friendship, which may result in a blow-up that Carol holds towards you or simply needs nothing to do with … then yeah, ideally you’d keep away from that dialog whilst you’re nonetheless within the hiring course of for the opposite job. And actually, is that dialog even mandatory? Possibly it’s, however possibly you may as well simply do the “I’ve been actually busy” gradual fade. (I do assume that if you happen to and Jane had been very shut as soon as, you’d owe her extra of a dialog, until you’ve already tried elevating the problems to no avail, however you additionally don’t have to have that dialog RIGHT NOW. You possibly can wait till issues aren’t as entangled, and it’s affordable to need far whilst you’re deciding precisely the way you’re going to deal with it.)

After all, if you happen to get the job, you’re going to be extra entangled with Carol, not much less. And if issues go south with Jane, Carol could really feel she’s in the course of drama between her greatest good friend and a coworker. In that case, one of the best factor to do can be to only be a heat, nice, {and professional} colleague. Except Carol is problematic herself (which on this case may imply some mixture of petty, gossipy, vengeful, and unprofessional) she’s unlikely to insist on bringing another person’s work drama into your workplace whenever you exhibit that there’s no want for it.

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