Is the Family Business Keeping Your Prospects Grounded?

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For those who are fortunate to have a family member own a business, the temptation to hop onboard and carry forward the tradition hangs heavy. What’s not to love about a family business? You know the boss. They know you. You’re pretty much guaranteed a job if you want one. Plus, you can take over one day if you play your cards right. However, while jumping into the family business may seem like a surefire career move, there are plenty of chances for this move to sink your job prospects and leave you stuck in place.

Perhaps the biggest drawback to getting into the family business is the weight of responsibility falling onto your shoulders. While
answering phones at your uncle’s law firm or pushing a lawnmower for your dad’s landscaping business sounds all well and good during your teenage and college years, but there’s going to come a time when these positions may not be enough.

However, expectations can often be placed on family members to step into the business and carry it forward. This can be especially hard for a child taking over for a parent or if the business is an old one handed down for generations.

Now, there is nothing wrong with taking over the family business, especially if it’s something you’ve had your eye on for some time.
Nevertheless, there is an opportunity for entrapment for those who set out to just give things a try. Once you get comfortable with a job, especially a family run business, it’s hard to break routine. Furthermore, while you’ve been comfortably holding a job when your friends have been schlepping from interview to interview, an attractive prospect during hard economic times, you haven’t
had to brush up on your job seeking skills.

The entire job seeking experience, while it can be unrewarding, grueling and tedious, is a fabulous learning experience for aspiring professionals. It teaches you how to package yourself, how to conduct interviews and how to put yourself out there and get noticed. Taking the family business route is fine and all, but you’ll likely lose out on this learning opportunity.

Ultimately, the point is to not let yourself become guilted into a job at your own professional expense. Take over the family business if you want to. Spend some time working there if you have no other prospects. However, you have bigger plans on the horizon. Don’t forget to keep your feelers out. It’s easy enough getting too comfortable at a job. It is even easier to get comfortable at a job run by your family.

Any negative experiences working for a family member? Let us know in the comment section.

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