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So your kid is fresh out of college, looking for a job, and possibly even living at home again. You have your own business, and a position to fill. You’re naturally tempted to give your kid a job. You’d like her to start earning money right away, since life will be expensive, and you’d like to boost her confidence in the job market, since you know how disheartening it can be to send out resume after resume, never getting a response. Maybe your child even majored or minored in a subject that she could apply to the job you’re offering. You’ve missed your kid, too, so it would be nice to have her around the office. There are plenty of reasons employing your child can be appealing, but there are also some inherent pitfalls of this setup. The dynamic between a parent and child is just not reminiscent of any real boss/employee relationship your kid would otherwise encounter. Should you give your kid a job out of college? Here’s what to consider.


She’ll see you in business mode

Your kid will see you in business mode, which may be a bit of a shock for her. At the office, you’re sterner, straight to business, and speak to employees, clients, and partners with a no-nonsense tone that you may not want your kid to see.


You may be too soft on her

Your natural inclination is to be easy on your child. Even if you try to be stern with her and treat her like any other employee, you just won’t be as tough on her as a real boss to whom she isn’t related would be.


You can’t be a future reference

You may not count for much as a future reference. Other potential employers know they can’t really get an honest assessment out of someone’s parent. You’re naturally going to say all nice things.


You can give her low-risk experience

You can give your child the chance to learn and gain experience in a low-risk environment. She can make mistakes and learn at her own pace without the risk of losing her job.


She’ll appreciate what you do

Your child will learn to (finally) appreciate what it is that you do. She’ll understand why you’re so stressed out and tired sometimes. She’ll see how hard you’ve worked to provide for your family.


You’ll spend more time together

You’ll spend more time together, riding to work together and getting lunch together. You’ll always cherish this time together when she leaves for another job.


Potential failure to launch

Your child could become so comfortable in her circumstances that she doesn’t feel any incentive to hunt for other jobs. She may want to stay here, where she feels safe, even though she isn’t reaching her full potential.


Resentment among coworkers

Some of the other employees may resent your kid—and you. They’ll see that she doesn’t get reprimanded as harshly as they do for mistakes, and that you are quicker to help your kid when she needs it.


Boundaries with other coworkers

Your child may waste the time of your other employees, asking them to walk her through tasks or even do some things for her. They may not feel that they can say no, because she’s the boss’ daughter.


She may not start at the bottom

You probably won’t make your child start at the bottom. You’ll let her immediately start putting her higher-education skills to work, and she won’t waste time being a coffee-runner.


But maybe she should start at the bottom

It can be good, however, for a kid to start at the bottom at a company. It makes her humble, makes her recognize just how hard it is to climb the ladder at a company, and makes her grateful for higher positions when they come along.


Set realistic pay expectations

It’s important that you set realistic pay expectations for your child, so she doesn’t become greedy at future jobs. This is her very first job. She is young. She is inexperienced. So while her role could pay a certain high number, it shouldn’t for her—just yet.


She should know the job market

It is important that your child has some concept of just how hard it is to find work. Most people are not lucky enough to walk out of college and into a job at their parent’s company. When it is time for your child to seek other work, you don’t want her to be completely shocked and disheartened by the process.


She should learn to interview

Your kid should learn the valuable skill of surviving and thriving in job interviews. Make sure you interview her for the role, just as any other employer would. The good part here is that you can coach her on her interviewing skills.


Personal life can interfere

What happened at home (a fight over who loaded the dishwasher wrong or who forgot to feed the dog) can spill over into the workplace. Your child should learn to never bring her personal life to work.

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