Working with family or not?

Hello everyone and thank you for visiting this topic.

I just graduated as a software engineer and I am working in a company in my local country. For a while now, I started wanting to get out of my third world country and live in a a better place.

After doing some research on the internet, I placed Tokyo as my dream city where I want to work and live for at least a few years. It is a very difficult place, considering Japanese companies are harder to get into if you do know the japanese language and you are not located in Japan.

My uncle has an IT company with offices in Tokyo and my older brother has been working there for a few years. When I was young and when my brother just joined the company, I wanted so bad to join him there and I was looking forward to it. But that’s not the case anymore now and here is why.

My brother is someone very hard to get along with. He is short-tempered, dominating and spoiled. In a short period, he had an argument with most of the team working there in Tokyo, including his direct manager and even my uncle, the CEO of the company. We did not get along at all since we were kids because we are very opposite in our attitudes and he always looks down on me.
Whenever he faced problems in work and in the company, due to his attitude and lack of experience in the professional life, he always calls my parents and tells them that the company is trash, that he is being mistreated and does not hesitate to mix it with some lies ( For example, he once mentionned that they are forcing them to work extra hours and that is not allowed in Japan. On the contrary, working extra hours there is pretty common in their culture ). I hated that kind of attitude because he made them worry each time he called.

The last time, he was nearly fired from the company. That’s how much he is a pain to deal with. However, everything ended up well for him and he stayed there. Because of these problems, my father became more and more thankful to my uncle for letting my brother stay in the company and giving him the chance despite his spoiled behavior, but that exceeded some limits.

My father always talks to me about the company and proposes to talk to my uncle to make me join. I didn’t really like that. At the very least, I wanted to see how I will do in a company I am not familiar with and where I don’t have the advantage of being the nephew of the CEO. Plus, my uncle did not really offer me a job or an internship by himself, so I thought that maybe he got fed up with making family members join and yet my father always brings it up and started to indirectly pressure me.
My brother on the other hand keeps calling me and warns me not to come to the company otherwise I will regret it because it’s full of trash managers ( it was almost like a threat ).

It was a mess and I hated the company before even joining it. At the time, I was not obsessed with the idea of working abroad.

Now, I started to want to try out what it’s like out there. When I told my father that I wanted to work in Tokyo in a different company, he told me that I should consider another countries because my uncle might get upset if I go to Tokyo without joining his company, which pissed me off like hell. It’s not like I am doing him any harm. I just want to detach my professional life from these family matters because my father proved to me that he does not know how to draw limits between work and family.

In some way, I think that there is a chance that I am overthinking this and that I should join my uncle’s company in order to make my dream come true. Maybe I should stop caring about what my brother says, my father says and will say if I ever decided to leave the company. But I really want to avoid these conflicts.

I’m stressed out whenever I think about all of this and I have nobody to talk to about this topic. my friends are young like me and are still studying. I tried talking this over with my father and I regret it because he is trying to please my uncle and that’s it. Last thing I want is to take advice from my spoiled brother. So I ended up here.

What do you think of this story and what would you do in my place ?

Thank you so much for reading this topic.

Hola @ haikyuu2022 it really is a complicated but interesting situation, what I would do in my situation is to take things slowly and not work where your relatives, first of all because work can not be mixed with the family, always ends in a fight, second that if it does not catch your attention then simple, look for other alternatives and do not stay stuck in a single possibility, greetings! :v:t2:

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I’m going to say a few things here (not all of which will be consistent with each other, just throwing them out there):

  • You should avoid working in a toxic environment, if you can.
  • Sometimes it can make sense to work with family/relatives. But if you know you won’t get along with them, it’s probably better to avoid doing that.
  • That said, nepotism isn’t good either, and may not be a good move for your career. Do you really want to work at a job that you gained through nepotism, instead of through your own hard work & merit?

As someone who’s Asian-American, I understand the pressure that Asian parents can have. But ultimately you should do what YOU want to do. Don’t try to please your parents or other relatives. If that means striking out on your own and working in a different country, then you should do that.


I would suggest you should follow what you mind is telling you. You told your brother is a difficult person to get along with, so the problem is not you uncle’s managers. The problem is him. Please think wisely. Take a few days and give an answer to your uncle. You decide your future. I’m sure going places my friend.

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There are a few things that can be generalized and “stick out” from the information you have given.

  • The work environment at your Uncle’s job sounds toxic. This includes your brother, who it sounds like you know well, along with whoever he deals with, or deals with him. If your brother creates a toxic work environment, odds are this is not a unique situation, and the entire company may have other “toxic” qualities, or at least allow for toxic employees.
  • It’s understandable to want to avoid conflict, but be careful if avoiding conflict results in you making decisions that you don’t actually agree with. Avoiding conflict is a short term solution that could potentially lead to longer term problems if not handled correctly.
  • If splitting up “family matters and professional matters” is a priority to you, then I’d communicate this to your father. This might be unwise depending on your relationship with your father, but ultimately it should be your choice on which path you take.

I personally would look for other companies within Tokyo to work for, if that is your goal. As you mentioned this may be difficult, leading you possibly back to your Uncle’s company, and your toxic brother. My main concern would be getting that job, working with a toxic company/employees, which would ultimately make you unhappy even though you’re working where you want.

There are plenty of other companies in Tokyo that you could work for. I’d hope your father would understand, and respect your decision to “forge your own path”. Because ultimately if you can get a job in Tokyo away from your brother, that is an accomplishment in itself. Hopefully it is less toxic than whatever work environment your brother creates, but this isn’t a guarantee. But if you could make the move to Tokyo with another company on your own, I don’t see why you couldn’t do it again if the job you find isn’t to your liking.

Making the move itself might be difficult, and it might also be sensible to take your Uncle’s job offering for a short term to get situated. From there you can then maybe move onto other opportunities. This however, might also not be seen as respectful, appropriate.

I would take all of my advice with some considerations. I’m an American, so I don’t fully understand the culture of working in Japan beyond a high level, such as knowing companies can demand long hours, heavy commitments from their employees. Its also possible some of the advice I have given isn’t appropriate for your situation, such as going against your father’s wishes and recommendations, and ignoring your uncle’s opportunities he can offer you might be disrespectful. So do make your own choices about the specifics, but generally focus on what you want, and not what other people want for you.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building :+1:


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