Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Ask DR.JOB Q and A: 'Gravity' Does It Differ in Family Business?

(Q.)1 I WORK IN A FAMILY OWNED AND RUN company. Usually, corporate 'Gravity' flows downward, giving those below opportunities for advancement. It's different here. Promotions fall only from one family member to another, leaving no 'space' for the rest of us who work harder than any of them for less money. We all know family members won't do the best job but what can we do?

(A) CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE THAT FAMILY can't do the best job. They have the DNA for business success, so their chance of succeeding is really very good. A case in point: Alfonso Cuaron, director of box office hit GRAVITY, chose his son Jonas to write the script because he believed him to be the most talented writer he could find for the job and Jonas did not disappoint. Another long-time example of successful family members succeeding is Crain Communications Inc., founded by G.D Crain, taken over successfully by sons Rance and Keith with their mother Gertrude, and now still growing with younger family members on board. The Family Business Council has even more examples.  The way to rise in such a company is to get with the program-be glad they let you join them, support and cooperate with them, and you can enjoy a very successful career. Remember no small family can run a whole company themselves. They need and appreciate you.
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