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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Working for family business causing anxiety.

Topic: Working for family business causing anxiety.

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Worrywart458
    Worrywart458 avatar
    1 posts
    28 January 2018

    Hi, first post here. I feel like I have nowhere to turn.

    I have migrant parents and he opened a restaurant 8 years. Ive been working there since a young age (year 11) and im at a point I feel like it is taking over my life. I do waitering, delivering (everything at the front)

    I have told them I do not want to work anymore but he keeps having staff issues and I keep coming back. Its an endless circle. At age 23 I want to work for jobs from my own field and meet new people.

    Im not scared to do things on my own but its something about it being a family owned business and the expectations / toxic work environment that is consuming me.

    My mum has severe depression and anxiety so theres family history. I have developed anxiety because the job is a lot of pressure and my mind has been conditioned to be on call all the time due to the unpredictability of the job as it can get busy without notice.

    Its affected my social skills, my work at uni and my ability to go out in the world and make my own mistakes and commit to new endeavours.

    The anxiety is especially bad before I leave for work. Sometimes I just waste half a day on my bed, because it consumes me and I dont want to do anything.

    I have talked to them and they understand somewhat because of my mums condition but as I said its an endless circle, there is no solution.

    Ive started to develop social anxiety and perhaps depression. Even on a day off I cannot relax because my mind is racing hoping I dont get called in. Im so lost.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Hayfa
    beyondblue Connect Mentor
    • beyondblue Connect is a FREE service that puts people living in Victoria's Greater Dandenong community, in touch with mentors. They can support your wellbeing and help you achieve your goals.
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Lebanon
    Hayfa avatar
    120 posts
    30 January 2018 in reply to Worrywart458

    Hello Worrywart458

    Sorry that you feel this way, I absolutely understand your situation and I know this is not easy at all!
    My husband and I have been involved in a family run business for 12 years now, when we first started my daughter who was 10 at the time actually began to work with us, not long after daughter number 2 joined her at the age of 12. While this was an amazing experience and build of skills, they still have their own life to look forward to, as they grew older, their father was like yours always calling them in and sometimes getting a little angry if they couldn't make it.
    I took a stance on this, I didn't want them to be involved if they didn't want to, I recruited new people and gradually got my husband to start working lone wolf to adapt to the idea that in family business you might not have anyone due to emergencies/social engagements etc.
    Bottom line is that when you condition them to know that you will be there to help in the family business restaurant then they expect it is a given no matter what. Unfortunately parents think that there kids are superheroes who can hold down a job in the family restaurant, commit to their families, get HD's in their degrees and then become doctors and lawyers when the restaurant is sold!

    You say your parents get you a little, well you need to be a bit more forceful and explain how this is affecting you and you will help them by putting an advert on gumtree to recruit someone.
    Don't fall for the ' can't afford to pay anyone' line because when it comes to running an effective restaurant you can afford it!
    Talk to them, they'll understand, don't make yourself available otherwise they will keep expecting it. They will get used to finding another way, it will take time.
    I am in the position as you, I am still involved in the family business despite my day job, it was hard and tiring at first because my husband needed the help and my girls aren't involved anymore. I made a plan with my husband, I would only help 2 nights instead of 4 and only in rare extreme circumstances would we get my daughters in. Yes, there was a bit of resistance at first but I persisted until he made it work.

    Talk to your parents, get your mum to also explain to your dad that it's important for your future to not be there as much if at all. Dad's get used to the idea, you just have to work on him a little, and don't feel guilty when they use emotional blackmail, stick to your guns!

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    • LGBTI
    Donte' avatar
    845 posts
    4 February 2018 in reply to Worrywart458

    Hello Worrywart458,

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing your personal experience. That sounds like a terrible predicament to be in and understandably it causes you anxiety. I cannot relate as my parents always had office jobs and worked for church and non-profit organizations so we never had a business and I have never been in that predicament. But I have a 22 yo daughter who is independent, works full time, studies, pays rent and bills and food expenses (even though she still lives at my house), pays off her car loan, car insurance, petrol and all her expenses for clothes, make-up, outings etc. She is at her boyfriend's most nights and weekends, however, she still pays me her rent and bills expenses (even if she's out most of the time). My point is, at this age one should be totally independent as an adult. If one still chooses to remain at the family home then they should contribute like all other capable adults. At 23 you are legally entitled to move out and/or refuse to work in the family business. I think also that Hayfa has offered some very good points. Hope it all works out for you. Please keep talking about it and get support. It takes time to make changes and find the strength to deal with challenges especially when family is involved.

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