Banks Insurance
January 14, 2023

Saying no to friends: Denying Job Referral Requests

Let’s start this off with a very simple guessing game. What is a seven-letter word that starts with an F and ends with an S? You guessed it, it’s Friends. And no, we are not talking about the award-winning tv-show. We are talking about your friends. Of course, you would always help your friends when in need, but what if they ask you for a referral at your job? You may want to but decide not to because of various reasons. A few examples: they may have a poor work ethic (ignoring e-mails, coming late to work every day, calling in sick often without being sick, etc.), or you just want to keep work and your private life separate. And like that, there are plenty of other reasons why you wouldn’t want to refer your friend. But how do you say no? 

Keep it simple

The most straightforward way is just to say no. Beating around the bush is never a good idea. And when it comes to saying no, it is even a worse idea. Yes, you may want to let them down easily but don’t create a whole story around it. And most importantly, don’t lie about it. 

Give an explanation

Try to explain in detail why you don’t want to refer them. Be honest but avoid hurting their feelings. Which is a hard thing to do and might not even be possible. But keep in might that you’re trying to relay a message, and it needs to be clear.

Stand your ground

If you don’t want to refer your friend, then don’t. Don’t say no and later change your mind because your friend convinced you to do so after all. Or because you feel bad. Yes, you may feel bad towards your friend, but it would be worse if you would constantly change your mind. Make it clear that this is what you decided and that it’s final.

Sidenote: Okay, guys, we want to add a little side note. It may seem harsh and even cruel to deny your friend a referral. But you must understand that working with a friend is not for everybody. And that’s okay. We often talk about setting boundaries when looking for a job at this is one of them. Have you ever denied a friend or acquaintance a referral? Or do you have any tips and doing so? Let’s talk in the comments!


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