Critical Questions to Ask Yourself Before Joining the Family Business

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If your parents or relatives run a family business, it is only natural for them to ask you to consider joining the company. While this may seem like a generous offer, one should consider many things first. This is since some people found happiness and contentment after joining a family business, while others can say this is their greatest career regret yet. You can either thrive in your family-owned brand or feel remorseful about saying yes in the first place. Before you hop on board, it pays to do the following reality check to see if you are a good fit for the business.

What Value Can I Add to the Company?

If you intend to join the company, it is crucial that you already know what you can do to help the company thrive and experience more success. Do you have any skills that the company can use to its advantage? What is your educational background, and are you willing to be trained under the watchful eyes of both family and non-family members?

You may have the chance to secure a good position right after joining the business. But if you don’t have any skills, educational background, or interests that align with the company, you will find it hard to fulfill your future responsibilities. If you are really serious about joining the business, it would be best to have a good foundation to back you up.

If, for example, your goal is to become an entrepreneur and you’ve got your eye set in running the family business on your own, you can benefit from pursuing a Master’s degree in business administration. You can choose one of the best colleges in your area as preparation for your dream role. This can help boost your confidence in knowing your interests, skills, and knowledge fit the kind of business you plan on running.

What Are My Reasons for Joining the Family Business?

Ask yourself why you wish to join the family business in the first place. Write down your answers in a piece of paper and prioritize them accordingly. This will give you a better insight into what really motivates you to join.

Some of the usual reasons why people join their family’s company are as follows:

  • A family member/s expects or demands that they take over the brand.
  • This is their best shot at securing a good position in a company.
  • This is their way of protecting the family reputation.
  • They want the support they can get from family members in the business.
  • They are really passionate about helping the business succeed.
  • They don’t want to feel entitled or ungrateful by declining the offer.

If you only feel pressured about joining, then this can result in major issues in the future. Joining the business just because you don’t want to disappoint your family can make you feel unhappy and demotivated in the future. It can be difficult to give your best if you are not passionate about your role. Consider your reasons for joining and your long term goals before weighing in the pros and cons.

Is My Relationship With My Relatives Healthy Enough?

Sometimes, blood-relations are not enough to ensure a healthy relationship between relatives. You need to evaluate first what kind of relationship you have with your parents, sibling, or whoever owns or runs the business. If you respect the person in charge and you have a healthy relationship with them, it would be easier to pitch your ideas and create good decisions together.

On the other hand, if you have an unhealthy relationship with your relative in charge of the business, you may want to think things through before hopping on board. Any existing conflict, differences, and contrasting views and values now can only increase tenfold. If there is little to no autonomy in the business and you have a destructive relationship with your relatives, you might want to think twice before joining.

Am I Ready to Take Criticisms from Both Family Members and Non-family Employees?

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Even in small family businesses, criticisms can come from both our family members, and employees have been working in the company for many years now. These two contrasting entities can affect your work environment and your ability to work inside the business.

In joining your family-owned business, you should prepare yourself for any criticism about to be thrown your way. There is no way to please anybody, but it is your reliance and willingness to accept criticisms and judgment is what can set you apart from other potential hires. It is good to have a support system in place in case you sign the contract to make sure you have someone you can rely on.

Family drama is often one reason many choose to skip joining their family’s business. But if you think you can add value to the company, have a healthy relationship with your relatives involved in the business, and are up to the challenge and criticisms that lie ahead, then you can consider hopping aboard your family brand.

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