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Think Twice About Using Friends and Family to Get a Job
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friends and family

Summary: Friends and family members are comfortable resources to use, but they aren’t the best way to land a law firm job.

Read the full article, The Danger of Getting Jobs Through Friends.


Harrison Barnes brings us another enlightening article about the drawbacks of using your personal network to get a job. Many people on the hunt for a job–even attorneys–immediately think of using their family and friends when in need of employment. But this strategy has a lot of negatives.

There are several reasons your friends and family may be unwilling to help you get a job at their place of employment.

First, your best friends are often your best friends because you don’t work together. At the end of the day, we all have qualities that others find annoying. When those qualities are with co-workers they grate on you; in contrast, we often overlook our friends’ weaknesses. Your friends know you intimately, and may understand you are not a good fit for their company–but they may be too nice to say so to your face.

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Second, some organizations look down on those that use family or friends to get a job. Many companies even have rules in place prohibiting family members from working there. The relationship between family members, especially when one is in a leadership position, is viewed as special treatment even when it’s not.

When a relative or friend gets you a job, you can end up hating the job and the person. This can be especially true when you got the job without working for it, or if you took the position because of your connection but aren’t really interested in the work. Just because you’re someone’s friend or family member, it doesn’t mean you are automatically the best one for the job.

The person who helped you can also feel that you owe them a favor in return. They may even hold that debt above your head until it is repaid.

Friends and family can certainly assist you in your search for a job, but they should not be the one doing the work. Use them as a reference point, to find firms with openings or to get your foot in the door. But make sure you take the initiative of following through and proving you’re qualified.

See What is the Best Way to Get an In-House Position?





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