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Being pressured into officially going into the family business


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My parents are now ageing and since 1994, have created a very lucrative business that has changed their lives (from having not much to having quite a lot) and given us a wealthier and comfortable living growing up. They run a company that specializes  in chemicals and laboratory equipment. They supply to top manufacturing companies, schools, labs etc. 

So now they really want me 27 (F) to come to their work officially and see what they do, even though I obviously already know. And they want me to eventually run the business. I have been doing my own thing for years. I've been in and out of jobs etc and learning some skills along the way.

I majored in Geography and also have an Honours degree in Literature (I think you know where this is going). I graduated a while ago. Couldn't really find what I wanted to do. Was kind of lost for most of my young adult life. Just making money from various jobs that didn't make me feel happy in life.

So last year I did some research on Digital and Content Writing and Marketing. And it spoke to me. I love the internet, media and I love writing etc I loved the idea of maybe pursuing a late career in that. I came up with a few leads and even got a certified course on it. 

Then just when I am finally discovering myself after all these years (I'm not getting any younger), my parents hit me with a talk about working in the family business for the future of the company and myself. I'm just so stressed out now. What they do is completely different from my path. And at the same time they are getting old and I don't want to disappoint them and let the business die because of me. There is also the idea of money. I will have a much more stable income at the family business than chasing a young and uncertain career path.

The pressure is unbearable and I don't know how I can balance it all.

help?

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Do you live at home? Do you have an income producing career?

If you are completely financially independent of them, then there's no pressure. They can hire and train people. They can can consult their business attorney as far as the future of the company.

If they offered you this because you're almost 30 and can't make a living or decide what you want to do when you grow up, then you'll have to change that.

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Tell them it is the wrong fit and you won't be able to contribute the way someone with a passion for the business would.  Offer to help interview people who would get involved.  I would not do a course in digital media unless you are working for a company that pays you for that course.  I understand you are passionate about writing. Me too.  The field you mentioned is highly competitive and saturated and my best guess is it's far more about who you know and networking than a certification.  

Yes, a stable income is important but this would be a long term commitment you do not wish to make.

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4 hours ago, cecebutterfly said:

My parents are now ageing and since 1994, have created a very lucrative business that has changed their lives (from having not much to having quite a lot) and given us a wealthier and comfortable living growing up. They run a company that specializes  in chemicals and laboratory equipment. They supply to top manufacturing companies, schools, labs etc. 

So now they really want me 27 (F) to come to their work officially and see what they do, even though I obviously already know. And they want me to eventually run the business. I have been doing my own thing for years. I've been in and out of jobs etc and learning some skills along the way.

I majored in Geography and also have an Honours degree in Literature (I think you know where this is going). I graduated a while ago. Couldn't really find what I wanted to do. Was kind of lost for most of my young adult life. Just making money from various jobs that didn't make me feel happy in life.

So last year I did some research on Digital and Content Writing and Marketing. And it spoke to me. I love the internet, media and I love writing etc I loved the idea of maybe pursuing a late career in that. I came up with a few leads and even got a certified course on it. 

Then just when I am finally discovering myself after all these years (I'm not getting any younger), my parents hit me with a talk about working in the family business for the future of the company and myself. I'm just so stressed out now. What they do is completely different from my path. And at the same time they are getting old and I don't want to disappoint them and let the business die because of me. There is also the idea of money. I will have a much more stable income at the family business than chasing a young and uncertain career path.

The pressure is unbearable and I don't know how I can balance it all.

help?

Do both. Start learning how to run the business and once you’ve learned the ropes and can manage it on your own, pursue your other career interests. In the meantime use the digital marketing skill set towards the family business and grow your client base as a consultant. Take more courses in management and marketing to advance. Don’t stop learning.

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Ok 27 is not late in life. 

But you do need to start making money. It's all great to still be discovering yourself but you can't focus solely on that.  

Have you done any work that you were paid for in technical writing? 

Until you can make that into a career that is your side hustle.

Being open to your parents' business might be more interesting than you think.  You might try it and like it. You think you know but you don't know. Have you shadowed them for full days for weeks or months? 

I would make a deal with them that I would give them 6 months or a year (it goes fast) and if you're still not interested, then they need to come up with a plan.  Maybe they can sell the business. 

In the meantime work your side hustle.  How can you be so committed to a job you actually haven't had any experience in. Are you just being flighty? being super eager until you find you don't really like it? 

There's is an aspect of ant work that it is actually WORK. many of us would not do it, if we were not paid to do it. 

Try to be realistic about life, money, livelihood. If you're floundering to find your way, you need to figure out the cause.  

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I wouldn't make the mistake of 'contempt prior to investigation.'

I would accept the opportunity to learn everything your family is willing to teach you. From there you can make the best decisions for yourself from an educated perspective.

There's nothing to stop you from pursuing the writing courses on weekends.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/23/2022 at 8:40 AM, Rose Mosse said:

Do both. Start learning how to run the business and once you’ve learned the ropes and can manage it on your own, pursue your other career interests. In the meantime use the digital marketing skill set towards the family business and grow your client base as a consultant. Take more courses in management and marketing to advance. Don’t stop learning.

I came here to say exactly this. Learn all the skills you can at this company, and when you’re ready, pursue your own interests with the strength of all the wisdom you’ve established.

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