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Your friend, the new boss

You have lunch together every day, grab an occasional drink after work, and have gotten each other through work-related crises. So wouldn't it be strange if your office buddy became your new boss? • It's more likely to happen in the current economic environment as hiring freezes force companies to promote from within, says Stephen Viscusi, a New York-based author and career consultant. Meanwhile, employees are more willing to accept a new title even if it means doing two jobs for the price of one. • Becoming your friend's subordinate may not be easy, but chances are he or she will be counting on your loyalty, Viscusi said. Still, the dynamic of your friendship at work will inevitably change. • "You may not want peers in the same department to even know you have a personal relationship," Viscusi said. "It can get very sticky."

When a friend is promoted, the rules are different

Viscusi gives these rules for dealing with a friend you are now reporting to:

• Remember this is now your boss, and he has his own job on the line. Don't flaunt your friendship or ask for special favors.

• Congratulate him or her first, then ask what you can do to make the job easier and transition faster.

• Let your friend, now your superior, take the lead on what his priorities are: your friendship, or the role of being boss.

• Hand over a copy of your resume. This would, of course, apply if the person is not your friend. But, often we are at a company for a long time, and even friends may not remember our experience. Having an up-to-date resume at all times helps people understand how you have grown. In this case, your friend may know your children's birthdays and that your mother-in-law is a pain, but he or she may not know you have two master's degrees and experience managing a team.

• If you notice a change in your friendship and still need and like your job, accept the change. New friends are far easier to come by today than new jobs.

Your friend, the new boss 10/05/09 [Last modified: Monday, October 5, 2009 7:01pm]

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