Tracy and Jake with a dog

I’ve gone into franchising with my 18-year-old son – Tracey’s story

Like so many people, Tracey and her son found themselves disillusioned and suddenly out of work as the horror of Covid started to unfold. Following 27 years of loyal service as a senior paralegal at the largest law firm in the world, Tracey was let go with no notice whatsoever. After two years studying at college, her young son Jake couldn’t get his construction career off the ground. Time to think about doing something new.

The concept of having a job for life might be something our parents or grandparents lived by, but the reality of today’s job market coupled with the challenges of a recovering economy have revealed that idea to be very fragile indeed. Tracey spend nearly three decades in the same specialist area of employment law only to find that one day, her service and vast experience was no longer needed. “Shock doesn’t cover it,” Tracey says. When the rug gets pulled out from under you like that, it can leave you thinking what was it all for?

“I used to get up a 6am, walk the dogs and if things were running well, have an hour long commute to Birmingham. I’d get in an hour early just to get on top of my to do list. My work was interesting but so demanding and targets, target, targets. I would often travel to tribunals all around the country which meant long hours and a lot of stress.”

Tracey wasn’t enjoying her work anymore and following a very nasty spell of critical illness in the early part of 2020, she came out of it feeling life was too short to keep slogging away in a profession that had taken everything from her.

Tracey’s son Jake was struggling to find work too, not just because of Covid, but because for so many young people trying to get their foot in the door, that elusive first chance at gaining industry experience just wasn’t happening:

“Jake didn’t know what he wanted to do and was rejected from everything he applied for as he had no experience. Since we joined the WLP family, he has changed before my eyes.”

The opportunity for this mother and son to pair up in business came by chance. They saw an advert placed by a neighbouring branch and realised there was a We Love Pets territory available right on their doorstep.

Tracey and Jake have never worked together on anything before so it has been a learning curve but one they are really excited about:

“We both respect what each of us is good at and get really excited when we get a new enquiry. Jake loves telling me what to do! I’m rubbish at IT and he just rolls his eyes. That said, so far we are accomplishing lots of new things together.”

Not everyone can make a business partnership work with a family member but for Tracey and Jake it’s going well, as Tracey reflects:

“I think you have to be like-minded and understand that you are working as a partnership. I don’t treat Jake like a child and he doesn’t rib me about being old. We tease each other obviously. It comes down to having a common interest and passion. Not stressing about what might or might not happen and to plan a strategy and future possibilities.”