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Is it OK to put my friend in a bad spot to take a job?

Updated | Posted
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I was recently offered a job that my friend facilitated for me. It’s not my dream job and pay isn’t great but I’ve had a hard time finding a job period.

Since the COVID situation happened, I was offered a temp position with a local hospital and the VA. I did the on boarding process for the local hospital but then they suddenly decided not to move forward with orientation and I was told they would keep us posted.

The VA has a very slow process and I haven’t been able to get in touch with anyone there so my application hasn’t moved forward in well over 3 weeks now. My friend called me yesterday and basically discouraged me from starting the job at her company. She thinks I will leave as soon as a better opportunity comes and she doesn’t want her boss to hold that against her.

I could use a job right now but I don’t want to upset my friend. She thinks her boss would not give her a good recommendation if she moved on to another job herself. I have worked with her for a different company and she actually quit mid-shift and it was super dramatic. I don’t think she’s in a place to discourage me from taking the job but I really don’t want to ruin anything for her either. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Dear Could Use a Job,

I'm sorry, it's such a difficult time to land a job. Hospitals are facing severe financial challenges and trying to adjust. Plans change week to week and you are experiencing the results of that.

Your friend got you a job by putting in a good word for you. If you intend to leave as soon as you have a better offer, it would be embarrassing and awkward for her. Her past unprofessional behavior does not mean it's OK for you to put her in that spot.

When you leave a job after a short tenure, you risk burning bridges. This situation is even more complicated that usual, because you would not just be bailing on an impersonal organization, you are risking your friendship.

Best wishes in making the right decision,

Nurse Beth

Start your job search today!

No matter how you end up dealing with this, I think that in the future you need to take your friend out of your career moves.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

Put the situation in reverse, and think of how you would feel in her shoes. Let that guide you