“What am I going to do with my life?!”
Chances are your best friend has been on the receiving end of this question ever since the day you both realized being princesses wasn’t a realistic life goal. Yet when it comes to actually seeking advice as adults, we seem to only look up to people that have more experience than us.
In theory, this makes complete sense. Why wouldn’t you go to industry professionals for the answers to your career questions? After all, they’ve been through it and were able to figure it out for themselves. But, as great as these resources can be, choosing a career path is actually something that is deeply personal – especially when it comes to your identity, and by extension, your self-worth and self-esteem.
Asking for advice from a professional in your field can be incredibly helpful, but it might not be the advice that’s right for you. Here are a few reasons why your best friend could be your new go-to career counsellor.
They know you better than anyone
They also know also what’s best for you. As a person that is close to you, they will recognize certain qualities that you probably overlook. Have you ever been in a relationship that you thought was great, only to have your best friend tell you what a horrible mistake you were making? Your relationship with your career is not much different. When your friends make comments related to your career, take them seriously. Since they know you on a deeper level, they can help identify your strengths and weaknesses and point out things you may not be aware of. Speaking from personal experience, I know I wouldn’t have my current job if I didn’t have friends who helped me figure out my career goals and motivated me to pursue them!
They’re brutally honest
You can count on your best friend to tell you exactly what’s on their mind. You can use this to your advantage when asking the tough questions, because the best friend contract states that they are required to answer every question with complete and indisputable honesty. Also, when it comes to job hunting, having someone to bounce ideas off of can be a huge help. Although it’s not always easy to hear, getting constructive criticism is one of the best ways to improve. Just remember not to take it too personally: they’re only doing it because they care.
They have different strengths than you
Are there any qualities about your best friend that you wish you had? Are they strong public speakers, great writers, or have enviable people skills? Well, the best way to learn is to learn from the best! For instance, if your friend is a good writer, they can help edit your resume or elevator pitch to ensure your key messages get across effectively and impress potential employers. If they’re talented networkers, bring them to the next campus recruitment event! They can help break the ice with industry professionals you’d like to meet. Whether it’s coaching you through a mock interview or giving you tips and tricks on how to dress like a professional, find ways to utilize your friends’ strengths to your full advantage. At the same time, don’t forget that this should be a two-way street – if your friend is helping you out, you should be using your strengths to return the favour!
They’ll do things other people won’t do
Only a best friend will take your LinkedIn picture within an hours’ notice, drive you when you’re late to your interview, or edit your CV at one in the morning. And you would do that same for them! It’s important to be there for each other on this path to self-discovery. This will make your life significantly easier and the job hunt a lot more bearable.
You don’t have to be alone
Lastly, finding a job or choosing a career path can be one of the most challenging processes you might ever have to go through, but the experience will be incredibly rewarding at the end of the day. Still, until you get to that point, just having someone to vent to about a rough day while throwing back slices of pizza can be the best support system you can ask for.
It’s important get advice from professionals in your field, but don’t underestimate the power of a great best friend! They’re support can be invaluable during the often unpredictable experience of hatching a career.