For the women who need us most

For the women who need us most

I’m Werking On My…

I’m Werking On My…

How to pave your way in the same industry as your parents
By Eva Millett
How to pave your way in the same industry as your parents

So, your parents have already made their mark in their industry, and you’re considering following in their footsteps, but you don’t know how to carve out your own route? Werk has devised a list of tips to help you in the same industry as your parents!

Embrace your legacy, but don’t let it define you

Firstly, it’s okay to acknowledge your parents’ success and influence. You’ve probably grown up soaking up the juices of their achievements, and that’s fab, but the trick is to balance embracing this with defining your own unique identity. Use your family’s name as a springboard, not a crutch. Try to practice habits to build your confidence to help remind you that you’re your own person, not just a product of you parents.

Education and expertise are your best allies

Your parents might have told you they’ve taught you everything you need to know, but that’s not always the case. Equipping yourself with new skills and knowledge is one of the best ways to establish yourself, as well as bringing a new perspective. 

Don’t be afraid to take courses, earn qualifications and absorb as much knowledge about your field as you can. If you’re trying to increase your credibility, the best way is to show your colleagues you’re serious about the job and know your stuff, this way people won’t just see you as your parents’ child. 

Keep up with the news, join online communities and online forums and look for mentors or coaches removed from your family.

Network like a pro

Try to avoid solely sponging off the contacts given to you from your parents. Make sure to go to events and socials in order to connect with potential employers off your own back. Be proud of your family name when working. Avoid lying or trying to conceal your true identity because let’s be honest, it’s gonna come out eventually. Aim to cultivate relationships based on shared interests and mutual ground, as a pose to your family name. 

If you’re totally clueless with networking, here are some useful tips:

  • Be mindful of people’s time – keep it brief making sure that what you say packs a real punch
  • Offer help to experts – offer connections help without expecting immediate return
  • Timely follow up – send an email or message follow up within 24-48 hours of meeting someone

Find your niche

If you’re trying to separate yourself from your parents’ work, it’s crucial to find your niche. Explore different avenues in your field, and once you find one that suits you, work at it. Is there a subfield your parents haven’t explored? Could they help give you any opportunities to open doors for a new company niche? By specialising in a unique area, you can carve out a unique space for yourself. 

Build your brand

Personal brand building is so important, but how do you do it in the same industry as your parents? Use social media, blogs and other online platforms like LinkedIn to promote your work. Using your newfound niche, develop a brand voice, identify your audience and identify your brand’s purpose and position. A strong personal brand helps showcase your unique identity, and elevate yourself in the workplace. Detail all your achievements on a LinkedIn profile, promote any personal work on your socials, and be sure to always carry a business card around with you. 

Don’t be afraid to fail

Remember that failure is part of the journey. It sounds really generic right? But your parents didn’t achieve success overnight, and neither will you. There will be missteps and setbacks. Sometimes your parents might propel you into a direction that actually doesn’t work or suit you, and it might turn out to be a total flop, but hey it’s all part of the journey. 

Being in an industry with your mum and dad can be really scary. It’s normal if you feel anxious about being judged in the workplace because you’ve pretty clearly piggy backed off the success of your parents. But you have just as much right to be there as anyone else, if you were totally incompetent your parents might have been less likely to give you a role high up. 

Keep at it, try to build your confidence, while owning your family’s legacy.

If you’re interested in reading more about brand building and entrepreneurship, read – How to pioneer entrepreneurship: A letter to you – Werk (