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The Outsiders

It's tough to be 'in' with your co-workers when you're the future boss.

This story appears in the December 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Being the son, daughter or other relative of a family business's leader can be a real dilemma when you're 20-something and eager to prove your worth to the family--but also want to be friends with your co-workers. You're still young enough that the business's future doesn't likely rest on your shoulders, and if you've joined the company straight out of high school or college, you're probably very interested in building friendships with the people you spend your days with.

But like it or not, unless you change your identity and your last name, you'll never be one of the gang. You can buddy up to your work pals during the day and go out with them for a drink at night, rationalizing it as team-building, says Paul Karofsky, executive director of Northeastern University's Center for Family Business in Boston, but that's not what's really happening.

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