Job Doc

My friend introduced me to a company, and I’ve been working for them for a few months now. However, I got a promotion, and my friend is pretty upset over the decision. What should I do? Elaine Varelas guides

Using your network for a new opportunity is extremely important. However, some people in your network may be close friends and if there’s a conflict at work, this can cause some issues personally. Elaine Varelas guides on how to navigate these challenges.

Ask the Job Doc.

Q: My friend got me a job at the company they work at. I’ve been working at the company for a few months now, and I received a promotion. My friend is pretty upset with this decision since I got a promotion and they didn’t, and they have been with the company longer. What should I do on my end?

A: Congratulations on your new job. It’s great that your friend was able to connect you to the company. However, it does seem like there may be an issue now that you’ve been promoted. It’s important for you to remember that your friend opened up the opportunity to interview with the organization. Unless they were interviewing you for the position, they did not get you the job. You secured the job due to your experience, your potential, and your ability to communicate this during the interview. Skill set, emotional IQ, and other sought-after abilities are what organizations are looking for right now and you may have had or shown those abilities during your brief period with the organization.


Let’s recognize that you should appreciate the action your friend took. Hopefully, you thanked them and got them a thank you gift which would be totally appropriate for introducing you to the company. Often, people overlook that and it’s a critical step when someone helps you in the job search process. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that they acted as a reference for you, and they may have received a bonus for introducing you, but that’s where your professional obligations to that friend end in terms of the hiring process.

It looks like this organization recognizes and promotes based on skills, not length of employment. The fact that they selected you over your friend may be due to the company’s selection process and they may have chosen you because they needed your abilities. Remember: you didn’t take your friend’s promotion, and they may not ever be considered for a promotion. Now, if you belittled your friend in front of management or other individuals at the company, that is definitely an issue and makes you a lousy friend and colleague. If this isn’t the case, then this isn’t on you. You don’t say if they’re upset with you, the business, or themselves, so that may be something you want to discuss with your friend. But remember, even if you weren’t hired, your friend may not have been promoted. Your friend should be looking inward for these answers. Why weren’t they promoted? What should they do to get promoted? Your friend should be having these conversations with their manager and maybe the company’s HR department.


If they are mature enough, and a good friend, it’s a great idea for you to initiate a conversation about your promotion. Thank your friend once again about the opportunity they gave you by introducing you to the company. If and when you two have a conversation, you can say something such as: “I can understand why you’d be disappointed in not getting the promotion. As I looked at how this company promotes, it’s not based on length of time with the business. Instead, they saw my experience in X, Y, Z.” Try to use experience that is significantly different than your friend’s experience so it’s not a competition just something different that you bring. Let your friend know that they’re really important to you, that you want to continue your close relationship, and you don’t want to let this get in the way of your friendship.

In addition, make sure you continue to be an advocate for your friend. Both of you have to decide how important your relationship is. Hopefully, neither of you are driven to leave the organization and ruin your career paths. I hope your friend will bounce back from this and that you can continue your relationship. If they don’t, it’s an issue on them and not on you.


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