Working with your college friend may sound like a fabulous idea as you can hang out together and have fun full-time, and yet it can turn into a nightmare. How come you can ask? Let’s find out.
When you think of your future job and colleagues, it occurs to you over and over that having your best college friend next to you in the workplace is a dream come true.
Yes, indeed, a new environment with changed expectations and unforeseen challenges may seem scary, and it is only natural that you would like to be there with someone you know well enough to rely on if the situation runs out of control.
Moreover, as the Gallup study proves, the performance of people who have friends at work increases dramatically – 63% of respondents with a workshop are more engaged compared to 29% who say otherwise.
On the one hand, the sense of affiliation motivates employees to act for the benefit of the business, which eventually brings positive outcomes. And they definitely would not consider any of similar actions if not for their strong relationship. Friends working together report feeling more disturbed and drained. When they disagree because of work-related issues, the results they suffer bear an adverse character.
It Is All About the Values
When starting a career, especially with your best college friend around, you should make sure that you share some fundamental values. As you understand, this is not about the party rules, not talking wrong about your friend or keeping your word, though these things are also important.
You should check if your vision on such core values as commitment, responsibility, integrity, trust, and passion corresponds. If not, then you should probably consider another job or another friend as your colleague.
It is a ‘grown-up’ world, and it is extremely difficult to pursue a career if your environment does not support you in the life principles that are crucial for you.
Consider the Boundaries of Your New Relationship
It sounds surprising, but college friendships may be less flexible than new relationships built in the workplace. The reason is that there is a certain context you have been communicating in during the recent years, which is now doomed to change, and the question is if you can keep up with those changes.
Your relationship transforms into both personal and professional, and succeeding in both realms is not always easy.
Along these lines, before moving on, think of your new situation. Are you and your college friend going to be equals, or one of you will be in charge of the other? If so, are you okay with being a subordinate, or are you both alphas in your relationship?
Be Prepared to Mitigate Risks
When you work with your college friend, you have certain advantages as you do not need time to make a connection, and your company can benefit from your close and comfortable communication and mutual understanding.
Yet, it is more challenging to build a professional rapport. You have shared so many moments, you have gone to dozens of parties and know where to order an essay paper from essayservice.com when needed, your relationship has become so personal that it can impede your career development.
There is another risk of feeling alienated from your teammates as they are new people, and you cannot fully trust them yet.
So, you and your college friend need clear guidelines as to how you are going to interact with your colleagues, how you can blend into your new team, what aspects of your friendship should be adjusted to maintain a level of professionalism, etc.
Learn to Embrace Your Conflicts
First, accept this idea – conflicts are inevitable.
Even if you and your college friend have never argued before, the situation can change in the workplace. You can still get along brilliantly, but the background is more competitive now, your colleagues may be over-ambitious, there can be some tension and misunderstanding.
To overcome these issues and cope with anxiety, remember that the conflict is not about you but the business.
You can arrange some regular meetings at the office or go to a nearby café where you can discuss the situation and your attitude towards it. Be transparent, and do not afraid to speak up. It is also useful to know that sometimes you can come to the best decisions by disagreeing. However, try to respect each other’s opinions and be collaborative.
Be a Support to Each Other
When you get into a new work environment, it is very unclear in the beginning how your teammates are going to treat you, if you can trust them and count on their support.
Having your best college friend at the next table in the office is a blessing in such circumstances. You can always support and inspire each other to make sure that your career path is smooth and successful. Especially if your skills and competencies complement each other, which is highly probable as we often choose friends according to the principle “opposites attract.”
So, while you are good at one thing, your college friend can be more professional in something different. And together, you can create momentum and keep it going.
Expect a Change in Your Relationship
As you start a new life and turn from students into professionals, your relationship with your college friend will change. But it is such a benefit to have a person who can cover for you and lend a helping line when needed.
The fact that you are comfortable together, know each other well enough not to tip-toe trying to reach a compromise means you can always work out a solution from tricky situations. Besides, your context is broadened as you will have more topics to discuss, more challenges to meet, and achievements to make.
Also, staying friends off the clock you can go on vacations together, which will keep you engaged and enthusiastic about your work.
Hold on to your friend and relish your relationship!