Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Une Entreprise Familiale

I’ve just been reading the air freshener can in our bathroom (as you do) and discovered that the makers of Glade use the above as the strapline for their company. The can reads – Johnson, A Family Company, Une Entreprise Familiale.

This is a timely discovery I feel, since in two weeks Park Lane Research also becomes more of a family concern. Adding to the team, which already includes my wife, Claire, will be my daughter, Sophie, who has just graduated from the University of York with a 2:1 in English Literature.

I have to confess that this has not been an easy decision from a dad or daughter perspective. I don’t want to be seen as someone who only offers ‘jobs for the boys’ (or in this case, girl); and Sophie doesn’t want to be seen as someone who’s run back to her parents for a job.

The reality is that the appointment of Sophie makes sense in all kinds of ways. She’s perfectly capable of finding her own way in the world and will continue to do so no matter how long she remains working with me. But the jobs for which she had started applying matched perfectly with the kind of role which I need doing here.

So what started out as a tricky decision slowly became something of a no-brainer. I get a bright, intelligent graduate whom I already know quite well (!). She gets a job doing something she already knows a lot about, which should act as a platform from which to launch her career in marketing or even marketing research.

We’re gradually both getting over the idea that we might feel guilty about this new arrangement – it’s a mutually beneficial situation and it’s one which will help Park Lane Research move to the next level.

The irony of it all is that when I started the business nearly twenty years ago I decided I couldn’t work from home because we’d just had a new baby. Now that same baby has grown up and she’s coming to work at the office with her dad.

And if it’s worked for Johnson and Glade, why shouldn’t l’enterprise familiale work for the Hawkers too?
Welcome aboard Sophie, you’ll be great, and here’s to the next twenty years plus!