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Boss or Parent: Common Mistakes Young Professionals Do In Joining The Family Business (3 of 3)

We conclude this mini-series by tackling one of the biggest sources of tension young professionals go through in joining the family business - treating one’s boss as your parents.

By definition, a “Boss” will fulfill at least one of the following roles: leader, manager, superior. Through experience, a “Parent” has fulfilled at least one of the following roles: nurturer, value-teacher and genetic source.

Here are clear differences between a Boss and a Parent.




Tied to employment or professional association Stops being your boss upon employment termination

Based on biological, emotional and historical connections Doesn’t stop being your parent even if they or you pass


Asks you to perform and deliver

You ask them for support and understanding


May have a different way of living and values

Similar to yours after growing up in their house raised in their values and beliefs

General experiences and findings; not necessarily applicable to all

Treating the two different relationships, albeit with the same person, will certainly cause tension.

Solution A: Create boundaries with your Parent/s and Boss/s.

You can politely and respectfully ask your parents not to talk about work especially during breaks and meal times. Let’s face it, there are many children who work in FOBs who live with their parents out of practicality and convenience. Fortunately, their parents don’t mind except for the occasional “Kailan ka na magpapakasal?” (When will you get married) question.

Separate messaging apps and chat groups for work and family. Establish rules of engagement such as: Viber is for work, WhatsApp is for family.

Solution B: Leverage on the relationship and history you have with them.

Now where can you work with people who have much more experience and wisdom than you who still have your best interests at heart? Harp on your relationship with them - that’s at least 20 years of knowing their strengths, blindspots and buttons.

Parents see your success as their own. There is no competition to outperform the other. Ask questions, take them out to one-on-one dates and embrace the beauty of this relationship.

In conclusion, joining the family business is a tricky and challenging career move. It puts you in a position where you may feel like you have no choice because you’re already needed. It can come off as invalidating your personal career goals. And in this process, you cannot help but compare yourself to your peers who have gone up the corporate ladder with fatter paychecks. What’s more is that the people whom you got used to getting support from are now your boss.

The most efficient way to lessen the tension and better enjoy working in the family business is to anchor in your personal brand. Standing on that foundation will open the doorway to improving the quality of your life no matter the career path you take.

Knock on the door towards a clearer career path. Explore your Career Clarity and Direction.


For more work-related tips and/or articles, you may visit our website at You can also follow us on our social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram at @BrandemConsultancy.


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