Taking a break right now is key, but make sure you do it right

Linda J. Dodson

Q: Due to a bit of a reshuffle, a position at my level of seniority has opened up at my employer. I think my very capable best friend at work would be a perfect fit for it – plus, getting together at work every day would be fun. But I’m a bit nervous about suggesting her to my boss; what if it doesn’t work out?

A: I wonder if you’re telling me the full story. Reading between the lines, I suspect you have hopes that your “best friend at work” could become your partner for life. If I’m right in this assumption, you can be pretty sure that your boss is already aware of your ambition.

I suspect that you’re taking a short-term view, without thinking through the long-term consequences. You’re keen to spend more time with your best friend, but be careful what you wish for. Sharing an office with her may not work out as well as you hope. It might put a strain on your relationship and could create a barrier between the two of you, as well as your other colleagues. If she doesn’t perform well in her new role, both your jobs could be at risk.

If you’re willing to take a chance and really believe that your friend has the ability to do the job, by all means encourage her to apply, but let her complete the application without any help from you. 

Keep your distance; her case could be seriously harmed if you campaign on her behalf.

Sir John Timpson is chairman of the high-street services provider, Timpson.

Send him a question at [email protected]

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