FROM a young age, the feeling of expectation that I would enter the family business has been at times overwhelming.
There is no doubt a stigma lies within the agricultural family business sector - that of generational succession.
This expectancy is an inherent feeling, which many young people across the industry may endure.
Discussing the expectations we either put on ourselves or that are placed on us by our families to enter the business can be difficult.
On completion of tertiary studies or higher education, by nature we have a tendency to revert to the familiar environments we know, and that can often be returning to the family farm or business.
People may suggest there is no pressure to enter the family business, but the feelings of responsibility and attachment to what we've become accustomed to still exists.
A common phrase that relates strongly is "you are a child of the business".
This can be interpreted in several ways - personally I understand it to be conveying the message you will one day parent the business.
The sense of expectation is likely to occur at different times for each person, and to a varying extent. Nonetheless, the feeling holds a permanent place in our hearts and minds.
For myself, this impression of expectation has never been driven by my parents - instead it is self-imposed.
From the moment I began considering what career path I would follow, I was encouraged by all people, especially my parents, to discover and learn as much as possible.
Many people in agricultural-based degrees have the security of returning to a family business or farm upon the completion of their study. An outsider looking in, may deem this fortunate.
But the toughest decision we make in our early life can be the choice of returning to our comfort zone or stepping outside what we know.
It begs the question, how do we as children of the business combat the feeling of an anticipated return?
Continual conversation with family members is a significant step in reducing any feelings of isolation and helping gain a clearer understanding of what is and isn't expected.
However, it is discussions with present and past university peers that made me realise in most cases nowadays, it is not anticipated that the next generation will return to the family enterprise, rather it is expected they will explore past it.
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