The Drawbacks of Working for Parents in Family Owned Businesses

Family Business

There are millions of family owned businesses in the US alone. In fact, these businesses contribute more than half of the country’s GDP. If your family runs a business, there’s a big possibility that you could become part of it once you graduated college. This is not a big thing especially it’s really not that easy to land a job in this tough economy. While others are sending their applications to various companies for the hopes of landing the position they are applying for, you already have a sure spot that you can get if you decide to join running the family business. However, working for your parents also has its drawbacks. Understanding these disadvantages and weighing them against the pros would help you decide if this is something that you want for your career or if it’s better for you to work elsewhere.

Your Talent and Skills May Not be Acknowledged

Unacknowledged Talent

Even though you are more than qualified to get the position whether you’re a family member or not, not many people would respect this. Your skills and talents may be overlooked by others because they believe that you only got the job because it’s your family’s business. If the company also employs other people other than family members, it may take more effort on your part to prove that you actually deserve to be there. While others may say that it doesn’t matter what other people think, it could still get to you at times and it could affect your self-confidence.

It’s Difficult to Separate Work and Personal Life

Conflicts and disagreements could happen in the office. If working in another company, work conflicts can be more easily separated from your personal emotions. You may disagree with something regarding a project with your co-worker, but completely be okay about each other outside work. However, it could be different with your parents or family members. The tension could easily turn into a more personal level.

Resignation May Not Be an Easy Option

It would easier to step down from your current position in case you wish to explore other jobs if working outside the family business. This may not be that simple if running the family business, especially if your parents expect you to take over the company. Even if you would like to try other things, you may be trapped in the position since you may feel that the future of the business relies on you. Plus, it would be difficult to leave everything to your parents instead of helping them.

Tough Times at Work Can Be Harder on Your Part

Like other companies, your family business may face some tough times. If working in another company, the situation may not be as tough on your part. You can forget about the difficult times at work when you get home or after the work hours. However, it’s different when running your family business. Since this is something that affects the whole family, it would be hard to not think about the problems even when you’re at home or somewhere else.

It Would Be Difficult to Distinguish Family Time from Work Time

Family Time

When the family spends time together, it may not be avoided that you would still end up talking about work matters instead of catching up on what family members have been up to with their lives outside the office.

Your Parents May Still Treat You as a Kid at Work

Parents have always had the authority over you at home. They may find it difficult to let go of this mentality and bring it at work. There’s a possibility that your voice may not be heard just because you are their child.

Consider these things before deciding to work in your family business. See if the advantages outweigh these drawbacks before getting aboard.

Photo Attribution:

Featured and 1st image by IvanaMadzarevic (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

2nd image by Sodikjohn (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

3rd image by Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand (Family dinner, Perth, 27 Oct. 2010) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons