Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Friend Asks Unemployed Reader Not To Apply for Job

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been looking for work for about a year. Throughout this period, I have been talking to a few close friends about my search, as they are also looking for work. Recently, one friend told me about a job she is interviewing for that seems perfect for me. She even said as much when she mentioned it, though she agreed to the interview and asked me not to apply. I don’t think that’s fair. Truthfully, this job isn’t even in her field, but like all of us, she is just going for everything she can. Is it wrong for me to want to apply for a job that seems like a perfect fit even though my friend asked me not to? -- Should I Go For It?

DEAR SHOULD I GO FOR IT?: Unless you made a covenant with your friend not to apply for anything that the other goes for, you are not beholden to her request. You should know, however, that if you go for the interview and get the job, your friendship will probably suffer, at least in the short run.

In the best of worlds, you and your friends should use this moment as an opportunity for clarification of your interviewing process. If you have the nerves for it, bring it out in the open. The goal is that the best person for the job should get it, even when that includes two or more friends. You must realize that in most cases it won’t be just you and your friends being considered for a position. Agree to pump each other up, even if you are both going for the same thing. Trust that there is a perfect job for each of you.