Working the Family Business

David C Justin, The CopyGeek, Dallas Freelance Copywriter, Star Wars Geek

Both my parents took me to see their jobs when I was a kid. I knew Dad installed phone systems but I was never quite sure what Mom did. I just knew she was a manager of some sort with a different telecommunications company than what Dad worked for.

When I was in college, I took a summer gig as a contractor working HR with Mom at her old company. I was well on my way to earning my B.A. in Public Relations and with a semi-flexible schedule and $10 an hour, the job was perfect while I finished my last two years of college.

One day, we had a meeting with one of the new bigwigs. He went around the room to ask us our back story and after telling mine, he asked me if I planned on working for the company after I graduated. My response?

“Absolutely not.”

Mom was horrified. I think she envisioned me working for the company until I retired like she had already done once and was going to do again!

It wasn’t that I didn’t like the company. It had been really good to Mom and quite honestly, it was good to everyone who worked there. I just didn’t want to work for the same company that employed practically every other person in my family. It was like working for the family business. Plus, I had plans that included coordinating special events like conventions, concerts and festivals.

Little did I know that right after I graduated, I’d be unemployed with no prospects lined up. That led me right back to Mom’s company… where I stayed for 18 years, stuck in a little cubicle that never really suited me.

I never planned on staying for as long as I did. But the pay was impressive and the benefits were most impressive, so I stayed on with the company that Mom brought me to see when I was a kid until I was laid off a few years ago. But honestly, getting laid off was all part of my exit strategy.

You see, I knew that my job was at risk. I knew that I would be laid off eventually. It had almost already happened once. So I spent my last few years at the company building my freelance copywriting business, getting ready for the inevitable end.

Today, I have the luxury of working from home as a freelance copywriter. And my kids? Well, technically, I bring them to work every day. But while I know you can make a good living being a copywriter, I want them to work wherever they want, doing whatever they want – just so long as it gives them the means to live the lifestyle they want to live.

Until next time, may the Force be with you…

David C Justin, The CopyGeek, Dallas Freelance Copywriter, Star Wars Geek

Leave a Reply