- The White Paper reveals four different next generation career patterns and their characteristics:
Family Business Stewards
Stable and loyal
Stewards undertake prolonged employment in the family business after brief exposure to external work. On average, they start venturing relatively late and while working for the family business.
Family Business Visioners
Passionate and proactive
Visioners engage in venturing early while working in the family business. The least satisfied with their career despite tending to attain top-level family business roles.
Entrepreneurial and dedicated
Founders know what they want and step beyond their comfort zone early through external venturing.
Independent and adaptive
Explorers are open to moving across career boundaries. While early on, they prefer to work outside, around 70% return to the family business around the age of 30.
- The role of family offices no longer limits to only investment, but also a platform for next generation to develop their careers
- Separating out the family office as a unique career activity, four further career patterns were identified from the data:
Early Family Venturers
Evolve from full engagement in salaried work and/or education for around a decade to venturing while working and/or studying for about five years, then to a variety of career states including involvement in the family office, venturing, and salaried work and/or education.
Career Family Officers
Undertake salaried work and/or education for around a decade, followed by a combination of (i) pure family office work; and (ii) family office and salaried work and/or education in the second decade.
Stable Career Pathfinders
Show a stable career embedded in salaried work and/or education. They have insignificant exposure to family office.
Focus largely on venturing in their entire tenure, with minimal family office exposure.
- Rethink the in-or-out mentality in career decision making
Both next generation and their families should let go of “to join or not to join the family business” as the only career choices. More options are available, including venturing, additional education programs, or participating in family endeavors in other capacities, such as family offices, family councils, and family foundations.
- Be aware of critical life stages – timing matters
Older family business members can note the features of each career pattern to proactively recruit, develop, and retain the next generation at the right time. Members of the next generation interested in venturing should do so before 30, providing ample room to develop their venture(s) before other obligations arise as they move into the next stage of life.
- Create and communicate diverse career options
Families can clearly articulate and finance career and venturing opportunities. The family can also provide career coaching and/or mentoring to assist the next generation assess different options. Family offices can play a role here by offering new career opportunities, and by coordinating career development efforts in the family.
- Seek better understanding of generational differences on careers
Both generations should avoid thinking in terms of a “onesize-fits-all” model of a family business career and seek to reach a shared understanding on career patterns and individual needs. The next generation should define and review their own career goals at different life stages and create a corresponding success matrix rather than
following generic criteria.
- Include career development in the family governance system
Institutionalizing processes through the family governance system can leverage inter-generational family input better. Tailoring and implementing a career development process is a core task.