Karren Brady’s Career Advice on Working With Your Family

APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions and meets an inspirational CEO.

Here she gives a reader advice on working with family.

By Karren Brady

Q) I’ve owned my own floristry business for 10 years, and my eldest daughter has always had an interest in my work, helping out during the summer and even doing more formal work experience with me.

She recently graduated with a first class degree in media and communications, and I could really do with someone to grow our social media and look after our PR – for which she’d be perfect. 

She’d love to get a leg-up in the industry, but I’m worried about a working relationship getting in the way of our mother/daughter relationship. 

We’re really close, but I’ve heard horror stories from a friend who used to employ his daughter. What do you think?

Millie, via email

A) Don’t compare your relationship with your daughter to that of your friend and his daughter. 

You’ve had a taste of working alongside each other over the years and you’re still really close, so you’re obviously doing something right! 

The best way to avoid any issues is for you both to lay out your expectations before she accepts a full-time job with you. 

You need to be clear exactly what you would expect from her in the role, how you will work together and how you will deal with conflicts.

Agree to listen to each other and to be open to each other’s ideas.

This way, you are clear on what the ground rules are before she starts. 

Agree that work stays at work (as best as it can!), so that your personal time together doesn’t become all about it, too. 

There is something very fulfilling about working in a family business,  and hopefully it will be a rewarding and happy experience for you both.


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