Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

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HenryHoover
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Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby HenryHoover » Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:44 pm

I am gently boiling inside.

My brother in law who never holds back advertising his 'pretty high up' status in the City is refusing to give my son any work experience. His own sons have both had lots of opportunities, including recent ones, but when my son approached him his reply was 'not appropriate right now with COVID etc'...

I am sad for my son but mostly seething that he could be so unhelpful. I want to find the best way to constructively explain how important this could be for him.

Any suggestions would be hugely welcome. Many thanks.
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betterannabel
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby betterannabel » Thu Dec 02, 2021 9:52 am

BFF had a similar issue recently. I didn't have the heart to tell her but it was clearly because her sweet son was, to put it mildly, not the sharpest knife in the drawer (sometimes we're not even sure he's in the drawer).

We all indulge in nepotism on occasion but sometimes it's a bridge too far. Some family members are not worth risking a Thursday invite to La Dame De Pic...
vivre rire l'amour
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Ramaboo
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby Ramaboo » Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:27 pm

several large firms these days have a 'no work experience for friends and family' rule. It's to stop/slow down the perpetuation of privelege and nepotism. It was completely not allowed at one place I've worked at, then at another there were ways around it if you really insisted.

Covid has probably given workplaces a very convenient excuse to stop it altogether.

That said, you asked for a favour, he said no. He's allowed to say no??
 
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dudette
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby dudette » Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:56 am

I’d be inclined to take a chill pill. Firstly it’s much better for your son to find his own work experience than just rely on an uncle with a good job. Secondly your brother-in-law is probably telling the truth. I know a lot of firms are cutting back on work experience. It’s really hard for the kids and hopefully things will improve and while I can see why you’re cross it’s just the way things are at the moment. Why don’t you ask your bro-in-law if he knows of any firms that are doing it and then your son can approach them directly.
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Kirstie’s Mom
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby Kirstie’s Mom » Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:59 am

I worked in the City and was very high up . The city now frowns on nepotism. Should your son want a job I suggest he goes to the various websites and apply for internships there. It is no longer a case of so and so’s son/daughter being able to swan in and do filing so their CV looks good . My daughter had to apply along with everyone else . It was good for her to get the role on her own and since she had a different last name , HR didn’t know until I told them ( after she was selected).
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Commonalité
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby Commonalité » Mon Dec 06, 2021 1:44 pm

It may be very unfair or just out of his control, but possibly the most important thing is supporting your son to take a ‘no’ with good grace, resilience and practicality - that’s probably more valuable than one insight into one firm. Helping him keep perspective, and look on ahead for something else, and see life won’t always just happen. Or even maybe think beyond what is cousins might be doing. Particularly if your BIL is being unfair, taking that as an opportunity to look beyond slightly toxic behaviour and not allow it to get him down ??
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Thanks
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby Thanks » Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:09 pm

Christ alive. Another spoilt privileged brat incoming. As a previous poster suggested, your son learning to accept a ‘no’ (possibly for the first time in his life I would guess) would be a far better gift to him than being handed some work experience on a plate. Get him to do some research, reach out to communities himself and find his own placement, and meanwhile maybe you should find something more worthwhile to simmer about.
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SWtastic
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby SWtastic » Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:09 am

I was on the receiving end of an attitude like yours - it's incredibly entitled and you clearly don't like your BIL much so I'm not surprised he's not entertaining giving your child an opportunity, even if it's within his gift.

I worked for a large media organisation and was asked from time to time if I could host work experience for the children of friends/relatives.  Initially I was able to help with some of them but then, quite rightly, the whole work experience system was taken over by HR and had to go through them.  It was somewhat of a relief as some of the teens were frankly embarrassing in their attitude to an opportunity that others would have given their right arm for and I felt it was more about the parent being able to boast about where their child was doing work experience, rather than the child actually wanting to do it there.

Do your child a favour and let them organise it as it will be much more meaningful for them.  My own teens sought out their own, getting a few knock backs along the way, and both now have paid holiday jobs at the same organisations.
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Moonlightdawn
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby Moonlightdawn » Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:55 pm

Hi

I can see why you and your son might be hurt but setting up internships through family ties is antiquated and unjust. Nepotism often raises conflict-of-interest issues and has a toxic impact on the workforce. This is why many big city firms are changing their approach and making them more transparent (as in you have to actually apply through a fair process).

Similarly to a previous poster, I've been on the receiving end and can't tell you how utterly frustrating it is to be lumped with a senior client's son or daughter or a boss' teenager. Half the time they have no desire to be there and their presence puts everyone on edge. Not only do you have to find them tasks to do (which often don't add any value as they are too young and inexperienced to do much else), you also have to ensure they are looked after and will ultimately say nice things about you to their mum and dad.

Why not encourage your son to look for work experience himself? Get him in the habit of selling himself and preparing for interviews. Encourage him to volunteer and get skills in other ways.
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Melwatk
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby Melwatk » Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:29 pm

If I were your son, I’d take this as a wake up call. Access to a senior executive in a competitive industry is a rare privilege, yet he doesn’t seem be able to understand how to drive value out of such a close family relationship...whether it’s mentoring or solid career advice or coaching to close the gap preventing him from being seen as city material...
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Ksr2021
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby Ksr2021 » Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:44 pm

Totally agree with those who've said it is very common for work experience placements to all go through HR these days. If family member asked me (partner at top US law firm), the best help I could offer would be to look over their form and give them some pointers / chat with them about the industry and the firm. That is the kind of help I think you can realistically and politely request. It is unreasonable to resent a failure to do more. Especially in Covid times when many firms are not running placements at all!

Also agree with others saying this is not only fairer for society as whole, but also better for your son to explore and drive opportunities himself.
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HenryHoover
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby HenryHoover » Tue Dec 14, 2021 12:24 pm

Thanks for those direct replies. Maybe I have slightly misjudged the situation and expected too much. I have helped my son write an email to ask for help with his CV and covering letter.

@Thanks a bit harsh, I have spent years being a back stop for childcare for my BIL and his family and I would have hoped that he might have been forthcoming with some of the suggestions that others have made in terms of how he might be able to help.
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Starr
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby Starr » Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:22 pm

Nepotism is frowned upon, but oh so rampant. Former BBC employee here and know many who swanned in via family. It really should be stopped, its terrible.
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EHMorris
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby EHMorris » Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:43 pm

FWIW Covid and the restrictions around it have genuinely altered some work experience programs/the permitting of outsiders in to office spaces. Perhaps there's some genuine reason there. 
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csiszeronas
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Re: Brother in law refusing to help my son with work experience

Postby csiszeronas » Thu Dec 16, 2021 1:16 am

Covid has probably given workplaces a very convenient excuse to stop it altogether.
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