What's your problem?

A philosophical question: can friendship and business mix? I've discovered that a good friend at work has applied for the same internal job as me.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

It's weird, because neither of us told the other that we were applying for it. I found out through a mutual colleague. I think she knows that I know and it has made things very awkward. Should I come clean?

A: A philosophical question? I'm not sure this is one for Wittgenstein. Of course, friendship and business can mix. Some of the best and most solid of friendships are forged at work - even when there's an element of rivalry in the relationship. What corrodes friendship more quickly than anything else is mistrust. From what you say about things becoming awkward, that process of corrosion has already begun.

So, yes - come clean immediately. I bet your good friend will be as relieved as you. What's more, agree on a deal. Whichever of you gets the job pays for a big night out. And if neither of you gets it, have the big night out - but go dutch.

Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. His book Another Bad Day at the Office is published by Penguin at £6.99. Address your problem to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@mtmagazine.co.uk. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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