Teens see advantages of working in the family business

By Andrew Pankratz / Times-News Correspondent

 Family is the most important aspect of a family business, and Alamance teens appreciate that.

Burch Keck, 13, and Caroline Keck, 15, work at Keck Farms CSA in Union Ridge in Alamance County.

“Burch said he appreciates working with three generations of his family.

“It helps my family,” he said.

Working with your family develops close bonds. A common goal draws the family closer together.

Caroline and Burch Keck work the family farm in Alamance County. (Photo submitted)

“I love being able to celebrate with my family the success of the business and see everyone come together in joy,” said Krystjan Jordan, 18, who works at Alamance Kaffee Werks, which her family co-owns. “And when the business has its lulls, we still come together and help each other through them.”

Working in the family business also encourages teens to cultivate good relationships with other family members.

“It has positively affected me by showing me that blood runs thicker than water,” Jordan said. “I cleave to my family and try to always have their back because family is forever.”

A special benefit of working in the family business is learning a good work ethic.

Farming “has made me a hard worker,” Burch Keck said.

Jordan also said she has learned the value of working hard.

“My dad and grandfathers work so hard and have taught me that working hard is something that all bosses appreciate, and that if I work hard, I will get rewarded,” she said.

Another benefit of a family business is that usually you have a job if you need or want one. And sometimes when you don’t want one.

“My father being his own boss has positively affected me by always providing me with a job when I’m in need,” Jordan said.

Though similar, working in the family business and working at a summer job are not the same for teens.

Most obvious, perhaps, is that teens usually don’t work with family on a summer job.

Krystjan Jordan pointed out another big difference.

“Another thing is that summer jobs are temporary for the most part, whereas family business can be long term or short term, and easier to fit around … your schedule,” she said.

Caroline Keck said working in the family business “is more interesting” than a summer job.

Working in the family business also can affect plans for the future.

Learning professional skills often causes teens to pursue the family business.

Caroline Keck said that working in the family business “has made me realize what I want to do with my life.”

Her brother, Burch, agreed.

“It has made me realize I want to do agriculture,” he said.

This isn’t universal.

“My parents have made it very clear to me I do not have to make this business my dream,” Jordan said. “My interests do not revolve around the business itself. But who knows? Maybe one day they will.”

Andrew Pankratz is a homeschooled sophomore and a Teens & 20s writer.

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