Questions from the Front Line (Soon To Be College Grads)

I offered up some time to soon-to-be college grads to go over their resumes and their job search strategies.  In addition to yesterday’s post about job search tips for the students, I wanted to share some of their feedback and concerns.

And really, this post is for their parents. Number one issue was that parents are micromanaging the job search process and that’s stressing them out.

  • PLEASE take a step back and let your student do their own job search.  Please stop telling them how things were done when you were that age, and just what to do in general. Ask them if they are confident or comfortable with how they are doing it, and let them go.  Things may be different than the last time you job searched as a new college grad.
  • If you offer to take them shopping for new interview clothes, only give advice or suggestions if they ask.  Don’t just volunteer your thoughts.  Pants are shorter, dress sleeves are optional, no one wears pantyhose, skinny ties are back, and not all positions require those crisp blue suits.
  • Set up a schedule to check in with them if they are moving away from home for their first job.  Don’t call during business hours and give them space.  Let them come to you if they are lonely or want someone to talk to.  Let them figure out how to be a young adult on their own.
  • Don’t order groceries for them.  Let your student figure out what they want to eat, how they want to cook at, and how much they want to spend.  They need to start learning how to budget, save money, be strategic with their finances and negotiate compensation. 
  • If you are going to use your contacts to get interviews for your student, be upfront with both parties if there really isn’t a job available.  This seems to be the biggest let down for them.  Almost like they weren’t good enough even when their parents referred them.  It mostly sounded like they are what we would call ‘informational interviews’ but the student didn’t know that.
  • Let them share when they are ready.  It hurts extra hard when they don’t get the job and see that look on your face.  Give them time to process. 

And as one student pointed out, there are reasons he does things.  He likes to wear sunglasses when he walks into a building because he doesn’t want to be squinting and have to adjust from so bright to maybe dark lighting.  He knows it bothers you, you tell him every time he gets out of the car with them on.  He hears you.  Now let it go. Let him grow.  😊

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