I get a lot of different reactions when I tell people I work for a family business.
“Wow, and you still like each other?”
“How do you keep boundaries between work and life”
“That must be so cool because you all get along so well!”
To be honest, I love working with my family. I have always loved the lifestyle is allows and how much time I get to spend with them. Family businesses are kind of a tradition in my family. My grandparents started their own consulting firm in the 80s and both of my parents worked for them. I remember going from my aunt’s house to the office on days when my mom was working and sitting in the room watching tv. Since my mom and aunt alternated who worked, my brother, cousin and I were always together with whoever wasn’t working. When my parents started their business in 2001, they were working out of the house. My dad would be working in the basement and we had to learn to be quiet or leave the house when he was one an important phone call.
As I got older and got more involved, I knew this was the kind of work environment I wanted to be in. I’ve worked retail, sales and a few other jobs that were not with my family, but nothing compares to this.
When we travel, we travel together and we go to the coolest places. There isn’t any awkwardness and we all know each other’s weird travel habits and quirks. We try to make sure we do something everyone is going to enjoy.
When we bring other people with us, they are usually close friends or family members who aren’t involved in the day to day business. We’ve celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and a lot more with dear friends. These people are now more like family than before.
I get to spend a lot of quality time with my family. More than most people. I have a great relationship with my parents and my brothers because of all the time we spend together. At first, things weren’t great because we were all learning how to work with each other. Now, things are a lot smoother.
Working for a family business isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though. It can seem like there are little to no boundaries when it comes to separating work and life. Work comes up at every family event, especially when there is something big going on. Sometimes we don’t always get along either. That politeness that is usually there between coworkers isn’t there because it’s family. Disagreements happen and sometimes lines are crossed. But at the end of the day, we all know that we need each other so it works out for the best.
Since we are a smaller company, we end up doing pretty much everything. I hang whiteboards and put together desks. We all eat lunch together so someone is always cooking. I go through the mail everyday but I also get to spend 2 days a week with my 3 year old cousin. All because I work for a family business.