Working With Family: The Bad, and The Good

If you’re like me… you have a crazy, complicated, loving, insane, caring, support system that you call Family. These people we have in our lives are not necessarily related by blood but they have proven their love and loyalty throughout our lives and for that, we deem them Family.

It’s odd how as humans we go through many transitions of how we feel towards our family. As a baby, we revere our family, look up to them, to learn how to live and behave. As we continue to get older, that admiration oddly grows into a type of contempt which strengthens and sticks with us into our adolescent years. Continuing on in life as we get wiser, that contempt transitions back into admiration and appreciation. For most of us our journey with our family is quite similar but at the same time, very different.

My father is the greatest man I will ever know in this life. He came to the United States and assimilated himself into this country’s culture to truly become an American. If you’ve ever had the pleasure on engaging in conversation with him, you’ll recognize immediately that he was born with the brain of a developer and engineer. As the world of technology began to evolve during the late 70’s, early 80’s, he taught himself English and computer programming. After gaining some work experience, he started his own business developing proprietary computer software. His vision was to create his own business and cultivate the foundation for his children to one day take over. Naturally, being the ‘Daddy’s Girl’ that I am and the most like my father, I began working for him. After about 4 years of hard work, dedication, stress and sweat, our business was flourishing quicker than we expected. My father’s vision prospered and two out of my three siblings joined the business. It took a good few years to learn how to work with my father, who did have his faults and I’m sure my father would say the same about me but now, I am feeling the same growing pains working with my other siblings.

Living with your family is hard enough but throw in working together for 80+ hours a week and things can get trickier. At times I have felt a genuine fear that I might lose my family or lose the relationships that I have with my family because of issues within our business and the workplace. There are struggles that I experience every day that I know I would not have to deal with if say, I had some regular job for some other company. I don’t think there will ever come a time that I will know how to handle all of the situations perfectly or have all of the answers. The key for me is having emotional intelligence and effective communication. It is quite easy to let your emotions run your behavior and allowing that could run you right into the ground. I do believe that for me as a female, this misconception is hard to break of others, especially in a male-dominated environment. I am often dismissed out of conversation or consideration because of the assumption I’m behaving or will behave “emotionally” versus logically. I have hope that there will come a time when women in the workplace will be equals and will be treated equally to men, but unfortunately our society has not yet reached that transformation. I still fight for my right, my ideas, and my opinions but it is especially difficult for me because my family is very ‘old-fashioned’.

I have learned a great deal working with my family and even though I don’t know what the future holds for me or our business, nothing can change the lessons that I’ve learned along the way.

I realize that I sound like a bit of a ‘negative Nancy’  but don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of positives to acknowledge when you work with family as well. I will always cherish the times I have had with my father, especially when I know there will come a day when he is no longer around physically anymore. I will always not only have our memories at home, but also all of our memories at work to cherish. These thoughts have become a reality for me lately as I begin to see some of old friends or acquaintances lose their parents to old age. The same goes for the rest of my siblings that I work with – we will always get to have memories of of the milestones we accomplished or the experiences we’ve had together.

We’ll see where my journey takes me.

Until next time.

-Master and Commander, FjB



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