In the legal recruiting realm, one of the things we commonly hear when we inform an attorney seeking a position that a certain law firm has a job is "Oh, I already have a friend there. I'll just contact them." There is a lot you need to consider before you decide to apply for a job through a friend or relative or take a job working for a friend or relative.
First of all, it is exceedingly rare that a friend or family member will ever be able to get you a position. Despite what you may think, the involvement of a friend or family member in your job search may actually hurt you because your friend or family member may end up not helping you get a job. Moreover, all employers know about the severe problems that can arise when friends or family members work together. Due to this, simply going through a friend or family member is often counterproductive in your job search
. Second, even if you are one of the few people who are able to get positions through friends or family members, you are likely to run into a great deal of trouble
and harm your relationship with your friend or family member in the process.
This article examines the risks associated with attempting to get a job through a friend or family member as well as potential problems you will likely have if you ultimately get a position through a friend or family member. This article also describes some of the reasons to avoid working for a friend or family member. Finally, because it is so common to get jobs through friends or family members, this article examines the conditions in which it is acceptable and not likely to be a problem.
The Risks of Trying to Get a Position Through a Friend or Family Member
When you are seeking a job through a friend or family member, you will often be surprised to find that the friend or family member will not help you get a job with his or her organization. In fact, the organization may actually view you negatively and decide not to hire you if you try to use a friend or family member to get a job
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Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
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