Do Yourself a Favor – Get Rid of Your Job Search Frienemies

TLC Say Yes to the Dress Lori
Courtesy TLC Say Yes To The Dress


Sometimes you see things that are so obvious in others yet we cannot recognize in our own lives. This thought was reinforced to me the other morning when I woke up on a treadmill around 5 am.

You see, I am not a morning person.  I loathe mornings and according to my mother, there is a well-documented history in my youth of the dangers of talking to me before I fully wake up.  I live with a workout fanatic.  The boyfriend works out two hours a day, six days a week.  It speaks to his awesomeness that he is able to get me to the gym at 5 am unscathed.

I may be there, but I am not awake.  I stumble to the treadmill and wake up somewhere in the first mile.  That is when I become cognizant of what is on the tv.

On that day, I woke to TLC and “Say Yes to the Dress”.  Once awake, I really enjoyed Lori and Monte.  I really, really liked Lori in this episode.  The whole episode was about “frienemies”.

One poor girl, everything she tried on her haggle of hens completely destroyed her confidence and joy.  That is when Lori had enough and we saw that haggle was no match for this mother hen.  Their “excuse” for their ugly behavior was that they were just being brutally honest.  No, Lori told the camera that there was a difference between brutally honest and brutal.  They were brutal.  She gave them a polite, southern talking to and, well, it all worked out for the bride.

What on earth does this have to do with job searching? While it might be easy to see that these girls were frienemies to the soon to be bride, it might not be easy to recognize if you have a frienemy or two ‘supporting’ you in your job search.

Do you have friends that, when you talk to them about finding another job, they seem to support you but at the end of that support give some little twitch that puts a pit in your stomach?

Something like saying it is brave of you to go after that job, they couldn’t do it if they were you since you don’t qualify for the position.  Or perhaps you should just be thankful for where you are since you couldn’t’ do any better since you don’t have the right/enough education, experience other hooey.

It is hard to recognize and even harder to acknowledge in our own support system.  They seem supportive and besides, they are your friends, aren’t they supposed to support you?  Why on earth would they not?

The short answer to the why not can be summed up with one thing: fear. Maybe they are afraid of making a move in their own life so they are jealous that you have the courage to do so.  Maybe they are insecure and feel better about themselves if you seem more miserable than them.  Maybe they are afraid they will lose your friendship if you improve your lot in life.  Who knows, the bottom line is it is their problem, not yours.

Once you recognize it the best thing you can do is to eliminate them in your process.  Just for the job search, because for this – you need to be all about you.

No more talking to them about what you want, hopes, fears, asking advice – nope, nada, no way.  Cut. It. Out. No more involving them in any of your job search thoughts or actions.

You need all the positive and support you can get right now and job search frienemy does not fit the bill.  In job searching, you probably recognize that there will be enough insecurity – not hearing back, thinking you are prefect for a position and getting rejected.  There is a lot of unknown so we need to make sure your personal support system is on track.

This is done by replacing your frienemies with your own positive actions:

  • Instead of asking them what they think about a certain job – write down what you like about the job, why gets you excited about it and how you are a great fit for it.
  • Instead of asking them what you should do stay in your current job or look, make a T-square of pros and cons of staying and leaving.
  • Instead of asking to be cheered up after a tough day, make a list of positive aspects about your talent, accomplishments, good deeds or traits.
  • Instead of asking them if they think you qualify for a certain job, you perform an analysis. Write down the key words from the position and your resume/LinkedIn and do a comparison. For each duty they list, write down examples of how you perform – and better yet – add value to these duties or requirements.

By providing your own proof you provide yourself with support and confidence to go after what you want– and who can go wrong when you have that going for you?


 A little about me: I do what I love: help leaders break out of a suffocating corporate existence and into a position and place that renews their brilliance.

As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career personal branding firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging personal branding as applied to LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.

Click here – – to find out more about how we can help you.

To get all my latest articles, click the “Yes Please!” button on the right