Advice: "My dad wants to get me a sales job at his company but I'm nervous about working with him"

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Dear Quota Team

I need some advice. I’ve been looking for a new sales job for the past six months. The reason is because the company I work for has been struggling for the past few years due to bad management and a product that is becoming sort of obsolete in our industry. I can see the writing on the wall and I don’t want to be the last man on the Titanic when it sinks.

I have been on a handful of interviews and gotten one job offer which I turned down because the offer didn’t match what was in the job listing in terms of travel time and total comp. Other than that, nothing promising has come up yet. 

However, my father is an engineer and has worked at his company for over twenty years. They make a niche high-end technology product and are publicly traded. They’re not huge but have been around for decades. He says he talked to the head of sales and he can get me an interview. Based on what I understand, the pay will be comparable to what I make now, but I would be making a switch in terms of industries and would need to learn a lot. 

I am conflicted about taking him up on this offer. On the one hand, this could be a good opportunity to break into a niche industry which will give me specialized sales experience. On the other hand, I have some concerns about working “with” my dad. The first concern is that I’ll feel a different type of pressure working for his company than I would for another company. The other concern is that if I do poorly, it will reflect negatively on him. What do you think I should do? Take the interview or keep looking? 

Conflicted in Massachusetts 


Dear Conflicted

Put the fact that your father works for the company aside for a moment. If he didn’t work there, would you take the interview? If the answer is yes, then take it. If the answer is no, then don’t. 

If you do decide to take the interview, and you end up getting a job offer, then discuss your concerns with your dad. The conversation will clear the air and allow you to make a decision with less internal tension. And, for what it’s worth, the fact that you’d be more afraid to fail at this company could actually be a good thing, as it would push you to work harder. Good luck on the interview!

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