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Wed., July 16, 2008

It’s always a good idea to be friendly with your boss and colleagues. But does your job depend on it?

According to Paul Dobransky, author of “The Power of Female Friendship,” both men and women often are hired and fired based on the degree of friendship they seem to offer – more so than their experience or productivity.

“We often do not realize the importance of popularity, and how the strength of the friendship we are able to emit in the workplace plays into this hidden process,” said Dobransky, a psychiatrist and business consultant. “The value of how good we make other people feel is really this hidden, unwritten thing.”

In his book, Dobransky examines how friendship affects a woman’s career and family life, as well as the science behind making and keeping close friends and avoiding toxic relationships. As in romantic love, we are drawn to and most compatible with opposite personalities, Dobransky said.

In social situations, including the workplace, individuals are often excluded or shunned by a group because they don’t make others feel good about themselves, according to Dobransky. Offering friendship on some level shows consistency and reliability.

“It always comes down to how positive you are, and that includes how you please your boss emotionally,” he said. “Whether people realize it or not, decisions are never so much based on surface reasons as they are about the core values of friendship.”

Do your research: Before you apply for a job in a new career area, you might want to set up an “informational interview.” Look for people who have jobs similar to the one you want. Alumni groups and trade associations are a great way to find such people.

Send them an e-mail, asking to meet for coffee. If they agree, ask lots of questions about their jobs and how they got them. Ask for their advice. What you don’t do is ask them for a job.

From wire reports


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