Should you join a family-run business?

Whether you’re planning a career change or looking for your first ever job, you should be sure to think carefully about the kind of company you’d like to work for before taking any job. With around two-thirds of UK businesses being family-owned, according to the Institute for Family Business (IFB), one big choice you’re going to have to make is whether or not to join a family-run firm. To help you make this decision, here’s a look at the pros and cons of joining a family business.

shutterstock_327125669Long-term security

Nowadays, people change jobs more often than ever, and it’s rare to find a company that you can stake your long-term future at. However, as family-run businesses tend to prioritise long-term success over short-term profits, you can be more confident that you’ll be able to stick with them for the long run.

However, a common reservation people have about joining a family-run business is that the senior roles will be reserved for members of the family. However, more often than not, these roles are filled by people who’ve worked at the company over a long and fruitful period, making it a great career move for anyone who wants to start their career off at a company where they see their long-term future.

A small workforce

Most family businesses comprise of a small, tight-knit team. Joining a business like this will give you the chance to take on more responsibilities and develop your skillset, not to mention carve out your own role within the firm and make yourself indispensable.

Tom Mankin, a digital marketing administrator at family-run shoe retailer Charles Clinkard, says that one of the benefits of being part of a family-run company is that your hard work gets noticed. He says: “In a family business, you really get rewarded for your hard work. It’s much easier to get noticed as the business tends to be smaller and, as family-run firms tend to prioritise promoting talent from within, you’re more likely to reach a senior role than in a big corporation.”


Family businesses tend to appreciate their employees’ needs more than big corporations, and are more likely to be flexible if you ever want to take a prolonged absence from work and then come back. So, if you have any plans for long-term travel or having a child in the near future, it may be worth prioritising family businesses when looking for your next job.

Learning experience

As KPMG describe in their competitive advantage of family businesses report, family businesses tend to be built on a strong set of values, and the day-to-day work environment tends to be an extension of these values. Joining a family-run business with a strong ethos can therefore be a great learning experience, as you get the chance to internalise the strong values shared by most family businesses and take them with you throughout your career.

When you’re looking for your next job, be sure to keep the pros and cons of joining a family-run business in mind. Whether or not joining a family firm sounds like the right next move for you at this moment in time, it’s an option you should definitely consider each time you come to change your career path.