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I feel lost. Career, Money, etc...

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I'm not the best writer but will try to do my best. I'm in my mid 30's with a wife and 3 children. I have been working for my dad on and off for many years and currently have been for the past 2.5 years. There are many different feelings when working for a father, mother or basically in a family business. Some good and some not so good. The career path was started by my grandpa and when he was done with his business a new one was formed for my father and the same work continued. At this time I still feel the same way I felt when I first started working full time in my early twenties. I was somewhat lost on whether I should go to school or go to work for him. I did go to college for a year and cared about my schooling as I did make the Deans honor roll. After that first year for some reason I decided to not go back. I did talk to my dad then and he tried to advise me, I believe to the best he could. He did tell me a couple of times I wasn't cut out for school. I don't know if the wording came out wrong or he meant something else but I took as though, maybe I'm not. I was a shy kid and had a hard time socializing but did make friends. To this day I feel like it was a mistake for many reasons to stop going to school. I had excelled at what I was doing, I believe I would of been very talented at my field choice. At the time it was Mechanical drafting and I had planned to go into Architecture. I have always been interested in it and still am today. I loved drawing, designing, also loved mechanics. Math is something I pick up on easiest.


About my up bringing, my dad cared for me. He would always try his best to teach me about anything he knew. About 90% of his knowledge is between working and money. He devoted 6.5 days a week to work. He spent at minimum 5 days away working and 1.5 days close to home but still working. The other .5 is for church. So its safe to say I know alot about going to work. I also learned early on about saving money.


Maybe some will already know where this is going, but my dad has no problem telling me where my problems come from. And the sad thing is at my age I'm still looking for his approval. I hate it. I don't want to disappoint him. It makes it even harder when I work for him. I'm not sure if I'm working for him because I want to follow his foot steps or because he wants or has always wanted me to. Money has always been big priority for him and me too. My grandpa passed away a very wealthy person and my father will as well. I hate to give up on something that does have potential to make plenty of money. But part of me sometimes wonders what if I hadn't just given up on my interests. Maybe I could of had a comfortable life style going a different route.


TO the readers, I'm sorry if I'm all over the place.


I look back to why I really quit school. The best I can come up with is, I didn't like not having money. Of course I think that sounds foolish now. I knew my dad was making more money by then and starting at young age for me, mine and his conversations was always about money and working. My dad didn't go to school. I suppose he didn't have much advise to give on school other than it cost money. One would think he lived through the great depression.


So recently I asked him if it would be fine with him if I could start finding work for myself or basically working for myself in a similiar field, but not always for him. We didn't get much time to talk about it but I did have him tell me I'm not experienced enough. I was somewhat offended, being that I handle a lot of his jobs for him without him. I manage the workers, the equipment, I handle the hiring, enforce the policies and so on. He relies heavily on me. I can say I don't do much on the business side. Not by my fault entirely. I did ask him if I could be more involved a few years back and was told point blank, I need to be focused on the work side. As if I was wanting to stick my nose where it shouldn't be. How does one get experience if their not allowed and also feel guilty for making their own choices for their own interest.


Oh back to him telling me about my problems. I did buy a house that comes with a mortgage. So the reason I bought the house was so I would be able to see my family more than twice a week. Our work is spread through-out the state and I wanted to be more centralized. I actually own a house free and clear which I lived in prior. It is a rental at the moment. I know my father would tell me to get rid of the mortgaged house and move back and then spend more time with him learning the business on my days off. I don't really mind not having a day off but I'm sure my wife and three kids do. I have a hard time excepting that it can only work that way. Problem is I have never seen it work any other. So it is hard to dispute.


I know I have went from feeling like I shouldn't have quit school to wanting to work for myself. I know I'm back and forth and feel like some of my choices are influenced. I know I have a choice in what I do. My main goal is to always provide for my family. Which I do. I wish I could rewind back and see something through. I feel like I'm still in good position to go any direction I want. If I didn't want to buy the house I'm in I could sell it and get most of my equity back out. That plus my savings would give me lots of choices. I just want to feel like I'm making my choices because thats what I choose. Not because of my father or money.


I don't know if I'm doing all this because of money, for my father or for myself. I don't know if I'm being selfish for wanting a better situation. Its hard to walk away when you don't want to be a quitter. My wife is a good trooper through all this but I know she gets tired of me talking about it. I wish I could shut it off and move on.


Thanks for any input.

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It's really tough when you aren't sure where you are heading or where you want to be. It sounds like you are mulling over 3 options: school, striking out on your own or staying with your dad.


For the school, what I think would be helpful would be to do some research and take it from "dream" to sketching out a plan (you can decide later if you want to execute on the plan). If you were to go back to school, which school would you attend? Which program that they currently offer would you take? How many years would it take to become an architect? Is there more schooling after that? (I think there is). How much would it cost? Do any of your previous courses apply to the new degree? (You may need to speak to someone at the school). Where would you and your family live? Does your wife work? How would you sustain yourselves? Would you go full time or part time (and work part time). What impact would that have on the time to get the degree? What age will you be when you graduate? Are there actual jobs in the field in your area? (Don't take the school's word for it - actually look for a job as if you were a graduate. Is there 1 job available (if so, there would likely be a lot of people applying for that job) or are there 50 jobs available? I think that once you sketch out what it would actually look like for you, with real, researched information, it will become clear whether those are sacrifices that you would be willing to make or if it's just a dream. If it is something you may still want after that, I would suggest taking one course at night. It has been a long time since you've been in school. It would be wise to get reacquainted with that before jumping in with both feet.


Once that is done, you will either be excited by the prospect or you will decide it's not for you. At least there will be a decision.


I almost don't want to talk about the next part because I really think the above is the first step - otherwise you will always wonder what could have/should have/would have been.


After that is done, for striking out on your own vs. staying with your dad - is it something you can do part time on your own? Take one or two contracts on the weekend or something? (You don't mention the profession so not sure if that's possible). Can you speak to your dad about a "learning plan"? Talk about where you are in your career, where you want to get to, and how he can help you achieve these goals.

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Hi RedDress, we work in highway construction. I have tried many times and it always ends up in the same spot. He will tell me what he did and then believe I should do the same. I don't disagree with how he chose to go about it, but not thrilled about it either. Basically, he waited and knew eventually he would run his own business. It didn't matter how long he would wait, how little he would be paid for his efforts while waiting, and sacrifices he made for the family, or what the family sacrificed for him. It is not the easiest path to go. He could of been running his own business 15 years prior to when he did but just waited until my grandpa felt he was done.


It is difficult for me to wait. Especially when its years. I guess when it comes down to it, I don't need his approval. I don't need his green light to do what I think I need to do. If I don't want to wait on him I shouldn't. I feel like every year I put off my thoughts, dreams, they are less likely of ever happening. I don't want to be just a person that says what if, I regret not...., all my life. The best experiences I ever had was self created. I did start a business a few years back. No regret there. The only regret I have with that is, I quit to soon. I let money control my thoughts. I learned a bunch about business. Creating it, insurance, taxes, payments, customers, sales, marketing, and so on. There was so much but I enjoyed it. Nobody can ever had teach me an experience. Side note: This was an entirely different field.


I had a lot of people admire me for what I was doing. Some wondered why I would, considering the family business.


I guess my dads plan is a fools proof plan. It would be hard to mess up. But currently its driving me insane just sitting around.


I know there is people that believe my setup is not all that bad. Maybe for some, but consider that I'm am away from family some. Reason for some is I had to buy a house. If I don't move it would be gone weekly. I work in hot or cold weather. Finding reliable help in construction is almost impossible. Lots of turn over. I would be agreeing to take on many different problems.



I will start my list of questions and write it out. It should help to see my answers. Thanks again

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