Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Work for MIL?

My future mother in law offered to let me slowly take over her small business.  This is a dream position and something I would absolutely love doing!

The only catch would be that I would be working for her for quite some time until she officially retired.  And even then I'm sure she would come by the business quite often.

I'm not sure I would even want to work for my own family....I just like having a bit of space.  Plus, I'm worried about working for someone and then also having to seem them several time/week and at family functions would be overload :(

Thoughts?

Re: Work for MIL?

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    Never mix business with family or friends.

    I live by it.  And have stayed sane.
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    I think a lot of it depends on your relationship with her and what it's like.  Also, you'd have to set some clear professional boundaries if you agree to do it. 
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    My dad worked for my granddad (his FIL) and after 10 years of that work, they're not really on great terms. They get about to "Hi, how are you?" before one or the other finds someone else to talk to at family stuff. Just because I watched how miserable it made my dad, I wouldn't recommend it.

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    Nope, couldn't do it.  Like aMrs said, I do my best not to mix business and family/friends.  Too many potential problems.
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    I wouldn't do it. aMrs has it right. Never mix family, friends & business. It'll bite ya in the end.
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    I'd say it depends on what sort of company it is. But my family has experience in "family business" and it really hurt the relationships between my mom and my uncles to the extent where she wanted to make sure the companies were sold to be sure my brother and I wouldn't have to enter into it.  Everybody has different ways to tackle issues and in my opinion it's just too risky to mix business with family.  
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    I know several family members who have worked together through the years with no apparent hits to their relationships. But I also know one cousin's now ex-wife who worked with her husband and her husband's father (my uncle) and I don't think anyone ended up happy with that one.

    I think it really just depends on your own relationship with FMIL and how much you want the opportunity.
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    Yes, this is mainly what I'm afriad of :(  The job could offer some amazing potential benefits, but I guess I'm worried about feeling smothered.

    She's super easy to get along with but that's a lot of seeing the same person.

    Thanks so much for the feedback ladies....just a lot to think about......
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    I wouldn't.  I couldn't.  Certainly there are occasions where it works out wonderfully for people, but the flip side is too awful to take the risk, in my opinion.
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    Every time any members of my family (both my mom and dad's side) have gone into a business together, it has turned an awesome relationship into a horrible one.  I just don't think it's smart and their is a good chance it will destroy your relationship if it is not extremely solid with very open communication.  I would really think long and hard before jumping in to this.
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    I have the opposite take on this. My family owns a company, and it has had family members at the helm for generations now. I've never seen a family relationship go south from working together.

    I think that if you would love the position, and are able to set professional boundaries, you should go for it. It sounds like it would be your dream job, and positions that you would truly love don't come along every day.
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    I'm also on the against it bandwagon.  If any issue develops between you and FMIL it could put your FI in an uncomfortable spot.  I own a company with a business partner, the company started when she and I were dating, without getting into the details of why owning a business with someone you've got a relationship with was not a great thing for us, I wish we had just started it when we were friends and never dated, would have been much easier.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_work-mil?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:18a9d1a9-217b-46e7-9e09-b9c3b7cd21d2Post:1f3a3336-bbac-42d2-ba43-3779f488f349">Re: Work for MIL?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have the opposite take on this. My family owns a company, and it has had family members at the helm for generations now. I've never seen a family relationship go south from working together. I think that if you would love the position, and are able to set professional boundaries, you should go for it. It sounds like it would be your dream job, and positions that you would truly love don't come along every day.
    Posted by twilight.rose[/QUOTE]
    I get where you're coming from on this too. It's one thing to work for your OWN family, but it's another to have an inlaw for a boss. For instance, my brother works for my uncle, and my uncle has laid out a five year plan for my brother to eventually take over when he retires. They're really close and the relationship is great.

    OP's situation is a little different though. She'd be working for her inlaws, not her own family. Like Vegas said, it could casue problems between OP and her FI, or OP's FI and his mom. That's what happened with my family. My dad worked for his father in law, and the FIL (my granddad) would dog on my dad about what he thought dad was doing wrong to my mom. It caused my mom a lot of pain and she finally told her dad that she flat out refused to have to choose between them and would not be listening to any complaints either of them had about the other. Eventually, it got to a point where my mom's opinion of her dad changed for the worse and neither of my parents are on really great terms with my mom's parents.
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    I guess it would make it nearly impossible to go home and complain about work when your boss is your FI's mom, huh?  Geez
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    Entirely personal decision, and unfortunately you never know until it turns out.

    Imagine for a second that you had a sucessful small business. Would you want it to go to family or close it? Or someone you didn't know?

    I work with my Dad. It's a cluster but mostly because my Dad is an unmedicated bi-polar. Right now he's being wild and unpredictable and I'm about to walk from the business and tell him to figure it out on his own.

    On the other hand, if my Dad weren't involved, I would love to have my FH work with me. But here is the difference. I like my FH as a person. I like who he is in business. If my Dad weren't biologically related to me I woudn't have a relationship with him. He has run several businesses into the ground and I have an MBA and he still thinks he knows better. He's cost the business a million dollars alone this year in stupid decisions but fights me about my salary.

    So some things to think about. Do you actually like your MIL? Do you respect how she conducts her business? Does her business light you up? Can you talk to her easily? Can you and will you have a discussion about how to handle conflicts? Who makes the decisions? Is there any way to test the waters with out going all the way in? Work with her during a busy time, etc? Then ask yourself...how are you at handling conflict? Are you styles compatible? Can you not be in charge for awhile?

    My FH is also very good at leaving work at work. My Dad calls me at 8 am on a Sunday and wants to talk about the upcoming week. Be sure you talk about those kind of boundries too. When are you Business Barbie, and when are Family Barbie.
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    cat1121: thanks a million for you post :)  certainly some very important questions to ask. 

    i've got a good while before i have to give her an answer because i've still go to finish out my term at my current job, but it's still something i want to give A LOT of thought to
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    I don't know anyone who would want to work for their MIL. I don't think it is a good idea. Any problem at work will become a problem in your personal life.
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