Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

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.