Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Should You Do Business with Family and Friends?

This morning I woke up to an email from a family member (my cousin) asking me to review her daughter’s resume. Her daughter will be graduating college in May, so they are dutifully helping her prepare to hit this struggling job market running.

Over the past couple years I’ve acquired quite a bit of resume writing experience working as a contract writer for a couple of firms (BTW - resume writing can be a nice, income-generating staple gig as Lori Widmer explained in a recent post). I don’t mind helping my cousin out with some helpful feedback and tips to consider. I realize that this job market is not treating recent graduates very well, so I’m more than happy to help.

The comments section in a recent blog post about working in exchange for product/service in lieu of monetary payment got me thinking more about the topic of doing business with friends and family. My general stance is that I don’t. One commenter said it best: “It’s too stressful.” That’s my experience as well. I have a very no-nonsense approach to the way I run my business and I wouldn’t want to strain a treasured relationship with sticky issues like whether or not I should do writing projects for free and whatnot.

What’s your stance on doing business with family and friends? Yay or nay?


Lori said...

I've done resumes like that too, Kim. My daughter, her boyfriend, the stepkids... it's a gift to them from me. They change things anyway and don't tell me (they're still under the impression that their college professors' 20-year-old advice is best), but I fix it when their changes aren't working.

Friends are different. I'd find someone else to handle the work. I don't think I could do it.

Also, I'd probably not work with friends of friends because that's a sticky situation.

Kimberly Ben said...

I tried doing projects with friends when I first started freelancing. Sticky is right!

Debra Stang said...

Hi Kimberly,

Great food for thought here. I usually avoid working with family/friends.

I got in a really sticky situation a few years ago when a co-worker asked if I could do a "light edit" on a manuscript that was...well, in a word, terrible. I told her as nicely as I could that it needed a little more time than I had available and suggested she find an editor online. Ouch.

Designed by Lena