I'm in an interesting position and I don't want to make things awkward by asking for a reference, so I wonder if folks here could give me some input on whether it would be inappropriate or not.
I volunteer at a particular organization. I have gotten to know many wonderful people and consider most of them friends. They are generally very unpretentious people who are easy to get along with.
The volunteer coordinator position is a part-time one - about 10-15hrs a week. The coordinator, someone whom I have come to consider a friend, has been trying hard to find fulltime work but has enjoyed the position while she's been searching. She just got a full time job. She sent out an email yesterday letting us know she is stepping down, and the formal announcement came today.
I spoke to her today and mentioned that this would be a role I might be interested in applying for and asked her for some information. She was VERY enthusiastic. She let me know that she'd be staying on to train the new coordinator and make sure the reins were handed over seamlessly and said I would be welcome to shadow her to get a feel for the job.
The posting went up and after reviewing the posting, I've decided this is a role I definitely want to apply for. It is a from-home job that I can easily balance with my current lifestyle.
At the same time, I understand there may be other volunteers who might be interested in the role, too.
I've never been in the position of being interested in the position of someone I personally know who is stepping down. However, she would probably be the best reference I could get.
Would it be out of line to ask?
Do you think it would put her in an awkward position?
(As a side note, I could probably also ask for a reference from any number of people likely to be involved in the hiring process - I've gotten to know many people very well. I just don't know if it's appropriate to do so generally.)