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home : columns : dear harriette June 24, 2018

5/17/2018 8:06:00 AM
Job seeker applies at family friend's company

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am currently in the process of seeking and applying for jobs. I came across an entry-level position that fits my interests and skills perfectly, and that I think I am very qualified for. When I looked more into the job, I realized it was at a company the dad of one of my friends works for. In fact, he doesn't just work for the company; he is the CEO of it.

I am wondering if it would be overstepping my place to ask my friend to speak to her dad for me, or even just give me the OK to reach out to him. Do you think this falls under the umbrella of mixing business with pleasure? Will it make the relationship with my friend a little awkward? -- Am I Overstepping My Place?, Milwaukee

DEAR AM I OVERSTEPPING MY PLACE?: You said you feel qualified for this job. If you think you are a match for the company, you can feel confident with your next steps. Think about your friend. Do you believe she will feel comfortable putting in a good word for you? If so, go ahead and say something to her. On the flip side, if you question whether this will create an awkward moment, go solo.

Schedule the interview, and if you do see your friend's father, be sure to speak to him and let him know how much you would like to work for the company. Keep it professional, making it clear to him what you know about the job and why you are a good match. Of course, if he knows that you and his daughter are friends, mention that -- not to ask for a favor, just as a fact.

After the interview, be sure to let your friend know that you interviewed at her father's company so that she isn't caught flat-footed. You can tell her your thoughts. If you would like to work there, by all means make that known to her and to the company.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I are both about to finish graduate school. We attend different universities in New York City. My graduation is a week before my boyfriend's. On my graduation weekend, my boyfriend had previously agreed to attend a bachelor party in Las Vegas, so he is unable to attend my graduation ceremony. This made me really upset and has created a lot of arguments between him and me. I don't want to sound petty, but since he is not coming to my graduation, do I have to go to his? -- Graduation Dilemma, Boston

DEAR GRADUATION DILEMMA: You have every right to have hurt feelings. Both of your graduations are a big deal. It is unfortunate that your boyfriend cannot attend yours, but if it really is true that he booked this trip before knowing your date, it could be an honest mistake.

I do not recommend reacting out of hurt feelings and spite. If you are available to attend your boyfriend's graduation, you should go. Unless you think you are ending your relationship, you should not choose this moment to take a stand.

Harriette Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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