Monday, January 5, 2009

Working for a family business

This may be a stupid question – but does it look bad if I worked for my family business? I’m afraid it seems like the only job I could get was from my parents!

1 comment:

USDCareerBlog said...

We get this question a lot. Let’s start with the basics. Recruiters look at a number of things when evaluating candidates – the major, GPA, work experience, community activities, leadership, computer and language skills, and so forth. Students are at a significant advantage when they have work experience that is relevant to the line of work they are pursuing. That’s why internships are so important.

So let’s say you want to go into marketing, and you operated a forklift for three summers in your family’s business. That’s not exactly relevant experience, is it? It shows a good work ethic, but it hasn’t enhanced your skills in marketing. But what if you did extensive marketing for your family business? You conducted price comparisons, made cold calls, dealt with manufacturers, created press releases, did “viral marketing” through social networking sites, hosted open houses, etc. Given that great experience, we can’t believe a recruiter would be concerned because you worked for your family business.

In fact, one of the primary advantages of working in a family business is the opportunity to assume roles and do work that might be unavailable elsewhere.

So never apologize for working for a family business if the work you do provides valuable and relevant experience.