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I’ve been replying to a lot of Public Relations (PR) requests on (HARO) Help A Reporter Out for my shop, Affordable Coin Shop.  I want to open the dialog and hear what others think. Please feel free to comment, reply and post your own responses. I want to know. Debra Auerbach with CareerBuilder was looking for…

What should someone new to the working world do if her/his family runs a business and s/he doesn’t want to join that family business? How should s/he have that conversation with her/his family? What points should s/he get across? Along the same lines, what if this person’s family all work in the same profession (i.e., his parents/grandparents/sisters were all lawyers) and s/he doesn’t want to major in that field or do that job after college? I’d like tips on how to approach this sensitive subject, along with real stories from people who have been in this situation and were able to branch out successfully.

Hello Debra,

Although I am now the owner of our family business, Affordable Coin Shop, it had not always been the case. My whole childhood has always revolved around the family business. I don’t recall any expectation of joining the business.

My father was a difficult person to deal with, but when I decided to go to school for programming it was not a big deal. Heck he even kinda pushed me into it at the time. After 9/11, the job market got scarce and I came back to work at the shop. Don’t get me wrong I loved my dad, but he was always just a hard person to deal with. In 2004, we constantly argued and bickered. I needed a break. In all honesty, they way I did it is not one I recommend. One should never let things get to the point where they feel as an adult they have to run away from home. Except, that is exactly how I felt, and what I did. I honestly ran 1200 miles away!

I know not all families are like mine, but when you are working with your family you need to step out of the situation. Hind site is always 20/20. If you can’t sit down with your family and let them know what your plans are then it’s not going to go well. Try being the calm one, plan for the worse case scenario and hope for the best.

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Suggested reading….
How to Escape the Family Business
Should I Leave the Family Business? To Go or Not to Go
Family Business Advice in the News
7 Rules for Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in a Family Business