Do You Have a Career Best Friend?

Do you have a Career Best Friend?  Someone to talk to for advice?  Someone to bounce career ideas off of?  Someone who can talk to you about their career?  Someone you share professional experiences with?

We all need a career best friend – or friends – because for careerists life can get awful complex.  We can get lost in a maze of certifications and job data, we may need a boost, we may need someone to shoot down a harebrained idea.  We also need someone who we are truly friends with to do that, since otherwise we're probably not going to listen to them.

I found this out recently when I didn't get a chance to talk to one of my Career Best Friends because of a lot of work, and I realized how much I missed them.  I missed the camaraderie, and the sounding board, and the advice, and the chance to give advice and help them out.

So, do you have a Career Best Friend?  Here's the traits that identify one:

  1. Someone you're already friends with one way or another – you need a real relationship.
  2. Someone who can provide good perspective on you and what you do, having enough shared experiences to advice you, and enough distance to provide a different perspective.
  3. Someone who is professional and mindful of their career.
  4. Someone who is improving themselves and growing.
  5. Someone who also has a life beyond their career – so they have a broad perspective.
  6. Someone that can tell you when you're out of line – and you can tell them the same.

So take inventory.  Do you have a Career Best Friend?  Maybe you had one and didn't know it, maybe one of your friends can become one – or maybe you need to network more and find one.

– Steven Savage