I was reading some blog archives, and came across a post about friendship and how it relates to a career. I thought about it. And I came to the conclusion that my friends have helped me immensely, but not in the ways most people would imagine. I came the following conclusions, and have found them to be crucial for me, both in my career and in my life.
My friends couldn’t care less about what I do for a living
At first glance, that would appear to be a negative thing. But is it? My friends don’t look at me as another reference or networking tool. While we certainly all do that for each other (I’ve gotten a few people jobs at the firm I work for), it’s the the purpose. A good friend of mine and I get together at least once a week in my “cigar club” (my garage) and talk about everything from the latest Hot Water Music release to the proper way to set up a 4 port router to the latest in our social lives (I should say HIS social life. That cigar room IS my social life these days). I have numerous friends who are the same way. While we all could benefit from our individual connections, we’d rather just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.
They know where I came from, and where I could go
While I won’t go into the details, many of my friends know what I was like in my darkest times. We’ve all picked each other up off the floor (literally and figuratively), helped clean up the blood & broken glass, and in some cases even bailed each other out of jail. I know there’s still a video of me with a green mohawk throwing cans of beer at people in the streets of Savannah, GA one St. Patrick’s Day. No corner office will ever change that.
We were friends before anything else mattered
Now this isn’t the case for everyone. Since I’ve basically lived in the same county since I was 6, I am fortunate enough to have many friends that I’ve had for 10+ years, some even more. One good friend of mine recently graduated from pharmacy school, and is looking at a 6 figure income from the gate. We’ve been friends since 1st grade. We watch baseball, get lunch together when possible, and we’re planning on going to see a Yankee’s game this summer in NYC (finances permitting). Is that a pharmacist and an investment professional networking? No. It’s two lifelong friends enjoying baseball.
My friends certainly keep me grounded in my life. They help me have fun, shed the office mentality for a little while, and look back to time where none of that stuff really mattered. Adulthood is here to say, but with good friends, it’s bearable. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “If you have the means, I highly recommend it”.