Lindsay Olson

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When Your Friend Becomes Your Boss

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Photo credit: Olli Siebelt

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about when your friend becomes your boss. In the PR agency world, this happens very often. Your friend is a Sr. Account Executive at a new agency and calls you up about the new position on his team. Before you know it, he got the promotion and you're reporting to him.

According to WSJ, people who have close friendships with their bosses are twice as likely to be satisfied with their job. Great news! But nobody said this transition is easy. The friendship will change inside and outside of work and it will definitely present its challenges at first.

In addition to the article's tips, I would add:

Acknowledge the change and keep your expectations reasonable. Realize the relationship will have to change in some way. Allow time for both of you to adjust. It's reasonable to expect communication in front of peers to change and daily luncheons to be put on the backburner for other work priorities. Don't expect to freely share work information as you may have in the past.

Set boundaries with each other. Keep business talk in the office and if you have to approach the boss (or vice versa) about work matters, do so during business hours just as in any other boss/staff situation.

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