top of page

The Shut Down: Common Mistakes Young Professionals Do in Joining the Family Business (Part 2 of 3)

Comparing yourself to employed peers is a sure way to experience a shut down.

A “Shut Down” is when you spiral in your own mind thinking of what could have been your life had you not joined the family business.

Your friend is now working abroad.

Your friend has just been promoted to Senior Manager.

Your friend is probably earning X times more than you, may benefits at bonus pa.

Your friend is now leading a team of fresh grads from your university.

Your friend this, your friend that.

Before you know it, it’s already lunchtime and you say to yourself - what am I doing here? I’m still trying to solve the same problem my parents have. You feel stuck. You feel left out.

A Shut Down just happened.

To overcome the longing of being back in the corporate world, G2 (2nd Generation) leaders try to simulate what they had in their company. They impose similar rules, structures and expect people to be on board with the changes because “that’s how big companies do it.”

This is of course faced with resistance and eventually snuffed out. “No need to rock the boat since we’re not sinking.” No buy-in, good bye. Back to missing the “good old days.” Another reason to think your employed peers have it better and that you’re left behind.

Solution: Accept that you are on different paths.

You and your employed peers are on different paths. Your path’s challenges encompass working with family members, constantly being compared to your parents by the employees, never really being “one of the employees,” and thinking of new ways to bring the business to the future. On the other hand, your employed peers must work with people they didn’t hire, go through regular performance assessment, and suck it up to follow certain ways of doing things even if they don’t completely agree with it.

Both paths present their own challenges therefore require a different set of skills to go faster.

The usual case is that an employee is asked to drive fast on an asphalt road while a G2 is asked to further pave and extend the road that has been laid down by the previous generation.

We hope this starts to release you from constantly comparing yourself to your employed peers. A moderate amount of comparison is healthy so you can see what good the other path has. However, at the end of the day, the G2s have the freedom to lay down their own path eventually inviting more cars to drive on what they’ve built.


Up next:

Treating your boss like your parents

Learn more about our C-CAD (Career Clarity and Direction) Programs here.


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.


bottom of page