The Next Generation: To join or not to join?

The next generation occupies a unique position over the others when it comes to family business. They have an exclusive opportunity to build a challenging and enriching career for themselves. There are a lot of pros as well as cons for the next generation to join the family business. The obvious pros include an already set up and flourishing business, it is extremely rewarding to work in a family business, the sense of belonging, there’s job security and probably an attractive remuneration package too.
However, there is a price to pay for all the benefits. Family businesses are usually not diversified multinationals that can withstand downturns in some of their markets. There’s always a looming cloud of uncertainty if the business will indeed survive in the long term, and if the next generation is looking for assured career security then the family business may not be apt for them.
The outlook of the next generation to the family business often hints at the complexity surrounding the decision whether or not to join. Motivations for the next generation to join the family business- both good and bad are lengthy. Parental pressure to join the family business can be subtle and powerful, and the decision whether or not to ‘enlist’ is generally the junior generation’s first introduction to the emotional dilemmas that arise when business and family values overlap and contradict each other.
Certain important questions need to be answered before they decide to join the business.
• What are the reasons behind my decision?
• Does the business offer the career I want?
• Will I be able to live up to the previous generation’s expectations?
• Will I have my own independence to work in the organization?
• How different will my relationship with my patents be at work and then at home?
• Will I be able to withstand a working relationship with my siblings or will there be too much conflict?
When a family member joins the business, their roles and responsibilities must be explicitly mentioned to avoid any kind of inaccuracies or conflict. If the new generation is unsure about his/her future or career path, they must get support from their seniors and freedom to tread on unchartered territory.

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