Your Buddy Is Your Boss

Okay, so imagine this scenario: you get a new job where you make a few friends, but one of them becomes closer than the rest. You start off as office buddies, but pretty soon you’re hanging out outside of work and eventually, you become close enough that you may refer to her as one of your best-friends. Fast-forward a few years, and a few steps up the corporate ladder, and suddenly, your friend becomes your boss. It can happen – and oftentimes, it does. So how do you deal?

First off, don’t get caught up in the egotistical office shenanigans. If you position yourself properly, and focus on your position rather than your friend’s, you can cope – and keep your relationship (both in and out of the office) in tact.

Be a grown up
Try your best not to pout over having to work for your friend, and do not, in any way, try to circumvent this person’s newfound authority and supervision over you. You may feel like stomping your foot, but don’t – at least not in the office or in front of your newly promoted friend!

Center yourself
Learn the phrase, “middle of the road,” and live it to its fullest. Don’t be uncooperative or challenge every decision made by your new boss, but don’t be overly submissive or flattering either. The ideal here is to land somewhere right in the middle.

Be patient
Allow ample time for both of you to adjust, your new boss into their new position, and you into what may seem to be a never-ending transition. You will adjust and hopefully grow as a result of this situation, regardless of how it turns out.

Know the value of respect
Respect goes a long way, especially when directed towards the people you care about. In fact respect is almost like a form of currency; it’s given in exchange for something, sometimes for an equal amount of respect in return. At the very least, show your respect for your friend’s new position, the same as you would for any person assuming that role.

Check yourself (and your demands)
Having one of your best-friends become your boss, may seem like your chance to cash in your ticket to kick-back city, but in all likelihood, they will not foster that type of environment, if only because of their reputation. It’s not the type of characteristic they’d want to be defined by, be it from other subordinates or managers, and you should not expect it.

Don’t take credit (or place blame) for everything
The best employees know the value of giving credit where credit is due – and having a great team to work with. Don’t suddenly feel the need to claim credit for everything that’s good or place blame for everything that’s bad. You’ve been put into a position where feeling defensive is natural, just do your best to keep in check and not let that feeling show through.

Don’t get too comfortable
While inevitably your work and personal relationships will intersect at certain junctures, try to remember that there is a difference between what you would say to your friend and what you will say to your boss. Test the waters and read the signs before unleashing your uncensored opinion the way you would have before your friend was promoted. The last thing you want to do is be so comfortable that you create an even more uncomfortable situation.

The terms boss and bossiness shouldn’t be synonymous, but often times they are depending on how the working relationship between supervisors and those they are supervising is managed. Learning to separate personal emotions from a professional life can be extremely difficult, especially if your boss is a personal friend. Like all positions, yours relies heavily upon professionalism and a positive disposition.

In a corporate environment, it’s almost an oxymoron to check your ego and competitiveness at the door. If you feel as though your sense of veracity at work is being compromised, then asking for a transfer isn’t out of the question. As long as you approach things with your professionalism hat on, if this person’s really your friend, he or she will support your decision.

Need help dealing with your boss? Call now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *