There are times in your life when you are either lucky enough or doomed enough to work with someone you consider a close friend. This can oft times be a good thing but it can also be a bad thing. There are several things you need to keep in mind when working for a friend.
When your friend is your boss
When working with a friend, especially when that friend is a boss, you can rest assured that they expect you to dedicate as much time and interest to your job as they do theirs. If your friend works long hours and puts in extra time over the weekend, then you will also be expected to put in that extra time.
You can also be confident that your boss/friend will expect you to conduct and perform your work very similar to the way they perform or conduct his or her own. If your boss/friend is organized, efficient and always on time, he or she will expect the same behavior from you.
What generally happens is that, while you may be great friends outside of work, your styles, mannerisms and your expectations may vary greatly in a work setting. Talk to your friend outside of the workplace and find out what they expect, how much time they commit to work and what their work style is. Then, objectively decide if you want to work for this person.
When your friend is a coworker
Even though you hear people say that it would be great if we could work together, be careful what you wish because it might come true. Many people think that since they get along so well outside of work that matriculating to a working relationship would be easy and fun. However, this is not always the case.
The main thing to remember in the working world is that the rule is: Every man (or woman) for himself. This means that even though you are friends outside of work, if an opportunity arises for a person to advance (especially in pay), they will do almost anything to get that opportunity, even if it means walking over you to get there. Also, if it comes down to it and your friend is in trouble, don’t be surprised if they try to use you as a scapegoat to take some of the blame off of themselves.
Being friends is oftentimes easy. If you get angry with a friend, you just don’t speak for several days. When you meet after a week or so, you act like nothing happened and are right back to being friends. If, on the other hand, you work with your friend, you have to see them every day and cannot easily let things smooth out.
My warning to you is to be extremely cautious about accepting a job with your friend, especially if they are going to be your boss. You may not only wreck your friendship but you might also end up losing your livelihood in the process.