Are Your Friends Helping You in Your Career? They Should.

clinton & Phil Stefani.jpg

President Bill Clinton & Chicagoan Phil Stefani

When was the last time you asked a friend for help in your job hunt or a potential career transition?  Did they help you or did they make up some lame excuse for their lack of support?  If they didn't offer you any help have you asked yourself why?  Are they protective of their own resources or just too busy to help?


Asking our friends for help in our job search can be an embarrassing and a daunting task or it can be a meaningful exchange between you and your friends, by deepening your friendship.  It's all about how you ask for help.  People really are busy and often struggling with something in their life that makes it difficult to focus on their friends.


Before you reach out to your friends for help you need to determine what you want them to do for you?  Do you need an introduction at IBM, Morningstar or the Tribune?  Are you looking for them to support you by throwing a party for you to introduce people to you and your product/service?  Just what do you need from your friends that will add value to your job search or career?


Our friends often don't see that we are struggling.  They assume that you will be okay and if you needed their help you would ask for it.  So, ask them for help, but be very specific on what you need from them and what they are able to do for you. 


The successful business people that excel have a close network of friends that mutually support one another in their careers.  Think of President Obama and Rahm Emanuel, Oprah WInfrey and Gayle, Mayor Richard Daley and Terry Newman,  Phil Stefani and former President Bill Clinton.  These people all have very close friends that they turn to when they need guidance.


We are often so busy collecting acquaintances, we forget to build and nurture our relationships with our closest friends with whom we trust.  Rather than collecting "bodies" of people that we're friendly with but certainly not friends, work on supporting those you like, believe in and can call at 2 o'clock in the morning when your mate left you.


They are the one's that are truly vested in you as a person and want you to be happy.  They are not competing with you or talking about you badly behind your back.  They are there to support you as you do them.  Your friends will be the one's that pick you up when you're down and get you on a new path in your career and life!


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