What Happens When You Work With Your Parent

I remember during my second year of UCSB, I was feverishly trying to apply to multiple jobs on LinkedIn, Handshake, Indeed, you name it, but with no luck at all. During spring quarter, I had received a few calls for interviews, but they ended with a rejection because I was either too inexperienced, or if they were interested in me, they wanted me to start in late May even though UCSB ends in mid-June. As I was about to give up and be unemployed for summer 2018, my dad called me and said, “There’s a marketing internship available at my company right now. Are you interested?”

At first, I was extremely put off by the idea but also extremely desperate for an internship. Working with my dad?

As if he read my mind, he added, “I won’t even bother you if you get the position.” He was in the IT department, and if I got the job, I would be in the creative services department.

I agreed and sent over my resume. In a few days, I did a quick phone interview with my future employer. Then I heard back that I got the job.

I was scheduled to start the internship in mid July, right after my three week marketing course at UCSB. On the first day, I walked in and waited for the Human Resources representative to greet me. At first sight, she had mentioned how much I looked like my dad.

My summer internship went smoothly, but I realized that my family line did have an impact on the way people treated me in the office.

People might assume you got in through nepotism, even if they won’t say it to your face.

Even though my dad and I had tried to keep it a secret that we were related, words fly around the office from department to department. Only the CIO and HR had known that we were father and daughter, but by the first week, all my colleagues had found out. I kept getting comments like “It must be really nice to have your dad help you get an internship.” Yeah, a subtle accusation of nepotism.

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Your parent’s reputation will definitely affect the way your colleagues perceive you.

Thank god my dad had a good reputation as a hard worker and smart employee in the office, or else I would be eternally screwed. Because of that, a lot of my colleagues assumed that I would always be up to any task and finish my projects in a timely manner. I had hoped that I would start with a clean slate and build up my own reputation in the summer, but that was not the case in the presence of my dad.

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Conversations with colleagues usually revolve around your parent.

As I introduced myself to new faces in the workplace, most of them followed up with a remark about my dad and a fun memory they had with him. One of them used to work on a project with him, a few of them attended my parents’ wedding, and so on. It was really cool to hear stories about my dad, pre-me era!

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You get to learn what your parents REALLY do.

Sure, I heard stories at the dinner table after my dad’s 9-5, but I never really understood the pressure he was under until I was just around the corner from his cubicle. I loved my dad, but since last summer, I finally understand the stress and the things he go through to provide for me, and I have a newfound respect for him.

Image via Slate

I will forever be grateful for the experience.

With every situation comes pros and cons, advantages and drawbacks. I definitely found myself in a sticky situation last summer, trying to live up to my dad’s shadow in the company. But I loved my internship and loved the tasks I was assigned to. I definitely grew a lot as a professional, which has opened up more doors for me now as a third-year student. I am extremely grateful for my dad’s call and his gesture to look out for me and my future.

Image via Mashable