This week at the youth group we are focusing on family and friends, the people that it is important to stay unified with at times like these.

We got to thinking about the fact that many people, particularly young people, will end up working with a family member or friend at some point in their lives. This could be simply working for a relative part-time or fully going into business together.

You may be wondering whether working with someone you are close to is a good idea in the long run. Well, there are certain benefits to be gained from working with a close friend or family member.

 

Trust

Obviously, friends and family are people that you are going to know pretty well. Knowing someone means that you have a level of trust in their abilities and also their judgments. If you’re a young person working for a family member or close friend, you know that you can ask questions and accept guidance from them, they also know your skill level and can assign jobs for you accordingly. If you are working with them as a partnership knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses from the get-go is good for establishing a strong business and a team.

Knowing and trusting one another can also build loyalty in a team. Being part of a business that includes or is run by someone you know & love will likely give you a vested interest in seeing the company do well. This can translate into a stronger work ethic and wanting to do more for the team. This is something to remember as an employer and as an employee.

 

Opportunity

The reason so many young people start out their working lives with a job for a family member is the fact that it is an easy opportunity for a job. When job seeking, many people say that it’s often about who you know, and that very much applies here. If you have a friend or family member that can give you a job, however small, you can learn some skills and get some experience that you can then apply later on in jobs you get for yourself. Even if the job they can get you is not what you want to do in the future, there are likely some skills to gain that can be applied universally.

Working with a friend or relation also will likely afford you the opportunity to have a more flexible working environment. Being comfortable around your partners or employers is very useful when it comes to negotiating time off, breaks or even just a change in working patterns. It will also be easier for you to address problems that you or any other employees may be facing at work.

 

Interest

Having people be interested in and excited about you as both a person and as a worker should not be underestimated. Being both valued and listened to will give you more confidence in your abilities and allow you to speak up and even take risks at work. Working with close friends or relatives means you don’t have to work as hard to earn value at work. You are working with people who already know you and probably like you, therefore you can hit the ground running as a valued team member.

This benefit also goes both ways. If you get to a point where you are the employer, hiring people that you already know & value can help your company grow. You also know that they value you and your vision, so you will likely be employing people that will put the effort in to do a good job for you.

 

Security

Working for a family-owned company often means that the family has a place there permanently. If you are employed by a family member or even a close friend you are likely to have greater job security as letting you go could lead to a complicated relationship outside of work that no one wants. Obviously, you should not take the security for granted and still strive to do your best work. The security, however, will help you to relax into the job and not feel as much pressure to do well right from the get-go. This is particularly important for young people just entering the workspace who may be anxious about the new environment.

 

Things to remember

While there are benefits to working with or for family and friends, as we’ve discussed, it is also important to keep in mind the drawbacks so that you can counteract them.

Though you are close and friendly with these people it is important to remain professional and business-minded at all times. Other workers may feel unfairly treated if you do not take the job seriously or break rules simply because of the security that being a family member affords you. don’t allow yourself to get special treatment and remember that all rules apply to you. Remember to respect your managers and co-workers no matter who they are.

It may also be helpful to try and get a job on your own at some point. This way if you ever decide to move to a different company or career, you can show recruiters that you do have the skills to get a job on your own merits and haven’t just been handed a role by relations. Remember that working with friends and family is a good starting point, and you can always come back to a family business later on after branching out on your own.

Working for or with family members or close friends can be a very rewarding experience, especially early on in a young person’s career. If you have the opportunity it is worth taking, just remember to always stay professional and focus on where you want it to take you rather than using it as a crutch.