This is breaking my one rule which I said I would never do on this blog. When I started this I said to myself that I would never talk about the inner-workings of the family business that I am part of. How we work and how we run our business is a private matter, but after 6 years my patience has run out.
Everyone said to me to that working with your family will be stressful. They said that you’ll get under each others feet and it will affect home life. For the first few years that wasn’t the case. I joined after leaving Sixth Form after one year because I didn’t enjoy it there. I wanted to get into the world of work and start earning money so I can get somewhere in life. I worked with one of our senior reps for about two years until he retired. At that point my brother joined me in the sales arena. The banter is great. I helped train him and immerse himself in the world of selling and the immense amount of product knowledge that is required.
Working with my brother is the easy part. Working with my parents is what is difficult. Nothing in business ever goes 100% correct. The odd mistake occurs from time to time. The good thing is with us, those are put right straight away and the customer is left happy. Behind the scenes however it’s not always that rosey. There are arguments, discussions, clashes of opinion. As you will all know, I do tend to have my opinion on things. This seems to stem from my Dad, as he also has his opinions. Therefore when putting something right which has gone wrong, more recently there has been heated arguments – usually ending in me submitting and giving in.
Arguing with family at work is tough. It’s not like a normal argument at home where you can disappear into another room or go out to avoid the atmosphere. You have to occupy the same office space, trying to pretend to everyone else that everything is fine when clearly it’s not. It’s disheartening. I walked into the office this morning a little tired but quite upbeat. After an issue with a door we were due to fit this Thursday, I was left completely deflated. I can’t help thinking that if my boss wasn’t my Dad, then I wouldn’t have left feeling so negative. It’s frustrating. Clearly I don’t want to feel negative at work, it doesn’t motivate me and it doesn’t motivate the people around me.
The worst thing, is that issues at work are often carried home. Rather than leaving them at the door, the grumpy moods and atmospheres are continued at home. I’m currently 23 years old and still living at home though funds for moving out are amassing quickly as I’m saving as hard as I can to move out. When you work with your family then come home to live with them as well, things get a bit too close and tensions are created quite easily. I try and get out as much as I can, but I think if I had my own place then it might relieve some stress.
There are times when I just really don’t want to do this job. I’m sick of the stress and arguments, caused by both family and customers. As each month comes and goes, I find myself increasingly tired of the general public. Most are inconsiderate, rude, unhelpful and unappreciative of the degree to which we bend our backs to make sure everything goes as perfect as possible for them. When it doesn’t, it doesn’t just cause issues with the job, but with us as a family unit as well.
It’s not bad all the time. There are some very good periods. When me and my brother are pulling in the big contracts and there’s a generally good buzz around the place it’s great. Everyone’s relaxed and things go smoothly.
Question is do I want to carry it on in the future? My parents have said that they wouldn’t want to dump all this stress on me and my brother when it comes to retiring and handing the reigns over to us. But what options do I have? If I don’t carry on I’d have to go work for someone else, something which doesn’t appeal to me. It’s the only industry I’ve ever been in and I don’t fancy learning a new trade. The prospect of a safe job with good money in the future is what is keeping me working. Enjoyment levels are quite low at the minute. Hopefully they’ll pick up soon.
Sounds like you need a holiday!
“The grass is always greener etc….”
There are a lot more important things in life than windows and who you sell them for. You also have gained a following on Social Media, but even that is not really the what defines you.
Deep breath, reality check, move on….. ;-)
I worked with my Dad for nigh on 12 years and we set-up a successful marketing agency that later saw the inclusion of my brothers. Their skill set far outweighed mine and I spent a long time trying to find my niche within the business. It is harder when your Dad is the boss as you have to separate the emotional connection from genuine business decisions and the discussion of “I’m not sure I’m contributing as much as everyone else” is very hard to have. I was more fortunate than you that I had been living away from home since… Read more »
Welcome to the real world DGB. As always there are and pro’s and cons. Biggest pro for sure is that you are working for someone that really cares for you as a person not just a balance sheet asset. As the ‘Dad’ in our company I can affirm that the frustration is not all one way. But it’s all worth it. You learn a lot about each other which will have beneficial effects in time. My advice, keep at it. No job is perfect and you have more say in your future with the family company than part of a… Read more »
Hi, I didnt realise it was a family business, I am in a similar position to you as well, I work with my husband, father in law, brother in law, sister in law, Uncle and my own brother, my own father worked here briefly before he passed away. Over the years my husbands other brother and sister worked here but it wasnt for them and they moved on, we all have our moments but the great thing is as we all work together we dont feel the need to visit each other all the time, we have arguments and disagreements… Read more »
I have worked with my Dad for 10 years and we do have our arguments, but the one thing we do is always leave work at work which we are both very good at, the one thing you have to remember is that your Dad is your Boss and you have to treat him the same way you would treat any other boss Its one thing we have to deal with but the other thing is they have been in the business longer than you and have alot more knowledge about certain situations that we dont, we have a fantastic… Read more »
Do you work for west yorkshire windows?
No I don’t, why do you ask?
Thank you all for your comments and support on this issue. I nearly didn’t post this last night, I nearly deleted it, but I’m glad I did!
I’ve read all your bits of advice and have taken it on board. I’ll probably just carry on and learn to grow an ever thicker skin! It’s about two inches think now already!
Thanks for all your insights!
Sound like you had bad day, I work with my parents and it is not always easy, Old School against new ideas etc. But No1 rule is never take work problems home if you work with family. Sometimes hard but trust me the best way.
Family businesses are the backbone of British Industry, and it is not easy sometimes: We hear many similar stories throughout the country, and we are very keen to support family businesses in any way we can. The smallest, and some say the best, unit of economic activity is the family. The problems you are encountering with the general public are not helped, in our view by these Ombusman schemes. Of course, there are rogue companies, but I can’t believe that anyone really believes that these kind of schemes will rid our industry of them: They are biased towards the consumer… Read more »
PG Glazing – We are a family run glazing repair business based in Glasgow. With over 30 years experience in all, we realise that our customers come first. Our business is built on word of mouth referrals. We thrive on getting it right first time to make customer satisfaction our priority.
I bought a family business with my brother in law 7 years ago, the company is now 30 years old. Although me and him do not argue as such we do not always agree on things. Like dgb i to have had enough, i have been in the game 27 years and feel its time to move on but what can you do at my age and would it be the same working for someone else again( nice not to have the stress) if someone offered to buy me out i would probaly go and get out of this game.… Read more »
Everyone seems to have the same opinion when it comes to working with family, dont do it!! To be honest i find it very beneficial to be in an environment where i am viewed as part of a team and a family, and my talents were spotted from a young age and nurtured so that i am a senior director of the company, when once i was but the warehouse assistant. Dont get me wrong we have arguments which im sure normal members of staff wouldnt have, but working with my mother, step father, grandmother and sister in law makes… Read more »