Episode 218: Referral underperforming and take a tech lead role


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:


  1. Hey Dave and Jamison, really wish I found your podcast sooner as it has been a great insight into some of the challenges at work.

    Last year, a fairly close friend reached out asking for a referral for an entry level position to my work. Trying to help him out, I figured absolutely! What could go wrong? (Foreshadowing intensifies)

    About 3 months into his employment, my boss informally mentioned at a dinner how behind said friend was at a technical level. I brushed this off, and reassured him that he’ll catch up.

    6 months into his employment said friend was written up a few times for a few different reasons: tardiness , performance (avoids taking tickets and calls), using phone too often during work hours, fell asleep at his desk.

    7 months in brought in our yearly reviews, which he was denied a raise due to his performance history. He asked me if I thought this was correct, and I was brutally honest with him and agreed with that decision. He didn’t take this well, and resulted in an argument between us. At this point I was pretty frustrated with his performance, and it was definitely straining the relationship.

    1 Year in (today), he was caught working on side-projects (paid) at work….. which resulted being put on a PIP / Final Warning. I got pulled aside by my boss and HR asking if I knew about it, I said I knew he had side work, but I wasn’t aware it was being done on company time. He’s on the verge of losing his job, but I can’t help but feel somewhat responsible for referring him.

    All of above events have really hurt the friendship, to the point where I don’t think I would call him a friend. I’ve pulled him aside more than a handful of times asking what’s going on, or if I can help him in anyway but either resulted in a small improvement or a stubborn response that he’s fine at work.

    Am I holding him to too high of a standard? I don’t think the friendship will heal anytime soon, which I am fine with, but am I responsible for referring them?

    Thanks for your time guys, love the podcast and advice!

  2. I’m currently a manager and applied for a manager role at another company. I heard back from the recruiter that the manager role was filled, but they were still hiring for tech leads.

    I really want to work at this company, so I asked to interview for a tech lead role. But I really want to be a manager. I’m tempted to ask if they’d be willing to then interview me as if I were a candidate for the manager position I originally applied for.

    Should I try to show them my readiness for a manager role (even though they no longer have a manager role available) just so I can be top of mind when a manager role opens up? Or should I just be happy falling back into the tech lead ranks and try to prove myself over time?

    I really don’t mind starting out in the tech lead role and moving back up to management when I’m settled in at the company and an opportunity presents itself, but I can’t help but wonder if I could have passed the bar for the manager role I originally applied for.

A speech bubble