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How Your Friends Can Affect Your Career After Graduation

New York City is full of opportunities for a recent college graduate. For this reason the city draws many young people starting their career, making the competition fierce. If you are launching a career in the city, think about your peers. The old expression about “birds of a feather” applies to your career journey.

How Friends Affect New Grads (Photos: Mat Szwajkos, Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


If your best friends include the guy that knows the latest night spots and the girl maxing out her credit cards to keep up with the fashionistas, you may need to reconsider with whom you spend your time. These two friends are not likely to be your professional role models. Whether you realize it now or later, your peers are influencing you and affecting your career success. The transition from college life to a professional career is hard enough without temptations to take you off track. Partying through the week and amassing debt divert your focus from your job search and your career success.

Surround yourself with a crowd of diligent, focused and organized individuals. It’s always better to acquaint yourself with people more driven then you are. It helps you set high goals and work harder to achieve them. It is natural to turn to friends for advice. Make sure those friends are supportive and wise. Of course, you will want to be the same friend in return. Form connections at industry functions, career-related meet-ups, alumni socials, and professional development workshops or courses. Cultivate the associations that are working for you and minimize the ones that are distractions to your success.

Think about your peer group. Are they fostering success in your career life or giving you an excuse to be less successful? Positive attitudes are contagious. Think carefully when you invite people into your circle of friends. The right friends will inspire you, support you, and are also beneficial to your personal brand.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at


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