As a resume writer and career coach, I have met numerous people with family businesses. Some managed the businesses themselves; others were actively involved in a smaller role or only part-time. And many others didn’t want to have anything to do with it (Dysfunctional businesses can come from dysfunctional families).
My husband, Curtis, and I owned an independent auto repair shop for about 20 years. The truth is, I found it very difficult to run an honest business in an industry with a bad reputation for ripping people off. I had another corporate job most of the time, but I was still involved with the business – whether I wanted to be or not.
I have been a professional resume writer and coach for 18 years. Curtis knows about my business, but he could not do my work. Funny enough, I found myself in a similar position when it came to auto work.
Here are some lessons I took from working in my family business:
1) I needed to know how the business functioned.
I learned enough about car repairs for me to run the shop when Curtis had some health problems. With a lot of help from the technicians, I could keep it floating. I definitely don’t know how to fix a car myself! The success of the business long-term really hinged on Curtis’ health.
2) I understood the financials of the business.
You know you own a business when you cannot cash your own paycheck because you have to pay your employees!
3) We had to figure out the dynamics between the two of us.
Most of the time, it was fine, but not always. But hey, we’re still married!
Every family (and family business) is different. When involved in one, it’s super important to keep good communication for everyone involved. The lessons you learn from working in a family business can serve you well if you decide to start a new career!
If you’d like to speak about how working in a family business can help you find a job OUTSIDE of that business, let’s talk! With my experience working in my family’s auto repair shop, I can help you improve your relationships with those you love when you all work in the same business!