Working with your family: a privilege or a curse? (part 1 of 2)

Based on my experience working in and out of my family’s business, I know that while there certainly are advantages, working with parents is not all fun and games.

Here I share with you the major perks that I lived in my first job out of college while working as the assistant manager of my mom’s restaurant group. (In my next post you’ll hear the other side of the story)

This is part of my inheritance – I trust that you’ll spend it wisely:

Trust and responsibility:  If like me you have a solid relationship with your parents, working in their business could mean that you reach a level of trust and responsibility that you’ll find hard to match in any other organization.  I found this to be the case particularly when I worked in entry-level jobs at other companies.  While I felt I was trusted, I was never really entrusted with the level of responsibilities that I had almost since day one when I was working with my mom’s business.

Quick approval for projects:  Because of the high level of trust, it’s quite possible that your projects will be approved faster than in any other organization.  After all it’s likely that you’ll have more pull with the decision maker.

Ups expectations:  Admittedly taking on more responsibilities in an entry level job can mean a steeper learning curve.  However, it can also set a higher benchmark for your career.  (Later I’ll talk about the downside of that)

Easy access to a solid network:  By association with your parents, it is quite possible that you’ll have faster access to a network of decision makers, key opinion leaders and other people high up in the pecking order in the business community.  Personally, I discovered that developing the same level of rapport on my own took longer.

Carry the torch:  Working in the family business means that you’ll play an integral part in continuing your family’s legacy – which some day you’ll be able to pass on to your own children. 

Bonding:  By virtue of experiencing more things with your parents, like facing the challenges of running a business, you’ll end up bonding more with them.  I found that I got to know things about my mom that I otherwise wouldn’t, like her gift for influencing others without being authoritative.

I’d LOVE to learn from your experiences.

And stay tuned for the other side of the story.

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