You have to learn to separate work from home or everything can spiral out of control
to help a traditional company make the jump into the digi- tal realm.
“Differences in opinion are a natural part of the process. You have to deal with it calmly with debates and discussions. And to be honest, 90 per cent of the time, my dad is right!” says Omar.
According to Aya, it helps that the family doesn’t bring work home. However, light discussions at the dinner table simply cannot be helped. “I’ve worked outside the company, but now I believe that there’s nothing better than working for the family,” says Aya. “We all have this common goal: to make the company thrive and take it to the next level. Who better to do that than your own flesh and blood?” control and influence how work is done. Moreover, you learn how to earn more and spend less — the hard way.”
Zeina says that some of these advantages give way to the myriad stereotypes about those who work under their fathers. And, as unfair as it is, sometimes the stereotypes can be true — there are always people who take advantage of a family business and their father’s good nature and feel a certain sense of entitlement. However, she also believes that most people do not understand the real responsibility that comes with working for your own business.
“People underestimate the stress of having multiple converging deadlines and the endless hustle to get new clients when you are self- employed, as compared to the luxury of being a regular employee and earning a salary without any headaches,” she says.
According to her, another common misconception that people have is that the same cordial family relationship finds its way to the workplace. In reality, working with your father means learning to separate the personal and the professional, which means absolutely no preferential treatment.
“In any family business, you shouldn’t go in thinking you’re working with family,” she says. “The atmosphere should be of one team where everyone is using their own unique skills and talents to help the company. In the beginning, we used to act more relaxed at work and boss each other around at home — but we’ve learnt to stop doing that now. You have to learn to separate work from home life or everything can spiral out of control.” SEPARATING HOME & FAMILY: Zeina Akkawi works as the MD for PAZ Marketing, with her father Gabi Akkawi ( above) being the CEO