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Working with or for family members

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Old 28th January 2018, 1:03 AM   #1
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Working with or for family members

I doubt this will get much response, but I'm putting it out there anyway.

I'm curious to hear others stories of working with or for family members, and if it went awry, why did it, what did you to either rectify it or not, and how did it affect your familial relationships.


Knowing what you know now, would you work with/for family again?

Do you think family takes advantage of family?

Is there a way to compartmentalize it all?
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Old 28th January 2018, 3:18 AM   #2
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I have worked with my brother and sister, and would not be in a hurry to do it again. I worked well with my brother, but not my sister.

Does family take advantage? Only if they are allowed to, in my experience. The same could be said for any employee though. I own my business and would never hire family (again) because I don't want to deal with the drama. It is just so much easier to keep my business and personal life separate.

If family does work for you they should expect to be treated like any other employee, ideally. Business is business, and family is family, and it can be tricky to combine the two. I had to fire my sister when she worked for me. It caused a LOT of issues outside of work because she took it personally. It wasn't personal, it was business. I would have fired any other employee had they done the same thing, but she didn't see it that way. Nope, instead she called our mom. Not that it helped her situation, because I would not rehire her, and our mom refused to get in the middle of it.

I think it is easier to compartmentalize working with family when they understand that work isn't personal, and don't expect any special treatment. For many people, working with family is not an issue. For others, like me, they have to deal with a family member who takes advantage of the situation. It really depends on the people involved.
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Old 28th January 2018, 11:51 AM   #3
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I worked an ongoing detail 2-3 times a week with my mom, stepdad and some of his family for about 7 years. Assignments were weekday evenings and Saturday mornings, so someone who worked a full time 9-5 was able to also work this detail. There was a pool of people (About 15) to select from based on how many each assignment required. (Typically 2-5 each location) Initially there was a pecking order that was followed. My mom, stepdad and myself always worked and because we were able to all carpool, it also made financial sense for the company as far as mileage, parking, etc.

Fast forward 3 years in, my mom divorced my stepdad. She was immediately tossed from the group. I continued working because the money was too hard to pass up at the time and I had just graduated from college. Don't get me wrong it it was fairly awkward working with my ex-step dad (who I often times felt wanted me around so he could still have a connection to my mom), but nonetheless the extra money helped me out.

Everything continued to operate as normal as it could for the next 2 years. I kept that work separate from my personal life all together. I still wasn't crazy about operating that way, but again, hard to pass up an extra $8,000-$10,000/year for occasional work.

This leads me to the last 2 years I worked for the company. My stepdad had essentially been fired from his position and HIS daughter jumped on board to fill his position. (Mind you I had no interest in the supervisor role, but I had several years more experience than his daughter and was completely overlooked) Again another change, but I roll with it. Initially she (his daughter) depended on me a lot because she was slowly transitioning away from a previous job.

After about 6 months, she started bringing personal friends into the mix-friends who had no business being involved when there was an entire pool of qualified individuals to select from. I went from working every week at least once or twice to once a month very quickly.... OR when she was absolutely desperate. It was clear she was using me only when her friends couldn't fill the roles, but I stuck with it for another 1.5 years. I went from the $8,000-$10,000/year range to $1200-$1500/year.

In the last 6 months I was involved, after seeing I'd made only $120, I finally walked away quietly. I stopped accepting what little assignments I was being offered and then eventually she stopped communicating with me all together.

All in all my life was so much less complex when I stepped away from this crazy dynamic to focus on things that were really important to me. It got to the point it was a chore to go to work and be around my co-workers/ex-family. A chore that I kept up with, but wish I would have bowed out about a year or two sooner. If I were ever placed in a position similar to this again, I simply wouldn't get involved.
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