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Should I bail on the family?

I work for the family business, but our client base is dwindling. Should I be trying to get out now?

See if there is a way you can help grow the business, suggests our elder. But start building your resume too.

Dear EWC

After finishing college I worked in financial services which I left after a year because I didn’t enjoy the job or the long commute to work every day. I then started working in my local family business which was started by my grandad and then was taken over by my dad who has now been running it for the last 45 years. I have been working here for the last two years and have enjoyed the work and the freedom that being self-employed brings. The only problem is there is not much work for me to do as our customer base is reducing constantly. I have tried and succeeded in getting some new business for the company, but it has made little to no difference to the company’s bottom line. I am afraid that if I stay here for a few more years and the company has to close then I will have to start all over again at the bottom of the career ladder. My question is, should I stay in the family business or look for a job elsewhere?

Papa-Smokey replies

It seems that you are enjoying your job other than the lack of work to keep you busy. Perhaps you could ask your dad if there is something else you can take over or initiate to help the business. You may also want to ask your dad about the future viability of the business and how he would feel if you got a job elsewhere. This conversation might provide guidance to you of which direction to go in.

Another consideration for you should be whether you think you are gaining valuable experience and skill sets that would be transferable to other jobs if the company closes and you need to get a job elsewhere. A good check for this would be to develop a resume for your current job and compare that to job descriptions and requirements for other jobs you would enjoy to see if there are good job opportunities elsewhere that you would qualify for based on the experience you’re currently getting.

I hope these suggestions are helpful. Good luck!

Letter #: 448666
Category: Career

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