Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Helping Your Child Post College

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | May 30, 2017 12:23 AM

For decades, the appropriate path for teens to take after high school was to attend college and later to land a great job on their own. Financial support and assistance after college was often not needed, and college grads could easily stand on their own two feet. However, the situation has drastically changed. Many college grads are unable to find a job in their field. Those who can land a job often earn a mediocre wage that barely pays the bills. Student loan debt may be sky high. The bottom line is that many college grads struggle considerably. As a parent, you understandably want to do what you can to help your adult child get his or her adult life established successfully, and these tips can help.

Offer Your Child Career Guidance Without Overstepping
It is understandable that you may want to help your child land a job, and you may have exceptional interviewing skills and great people skills. However, there are only some aspects of the job hunting process that you reasonably should get involved in. For example, you can help your child to locate job fairs to attend and job openings to apply for. You can assist with revising his or her resume and cover letters as well. However, you should never go with your child to a job fair or an interview. The employer should only deal with the job applicant, and the job applicant should be seen by the employer as being a fully capable and independent adult. 

Provide Your Child With Moderate Financial Support
The cost of living can be exorbitant in some areas, and your graduate may be saddled with student loan debt and have a mediocre income at best. There are ways that you can provide your child with financial support without encouraging dependence. For example, if your child moves back into the house with you, he or she should contribute financially in some way to the household budget as well as to the chores. You could also encourage your graduate to live independently and to find a roommate to pay some of the housing expenses. Each graduate may have a unique situation, so be flexible with how you structure assistance. In addition, only provide financial support if it is truly needed. It can be challenging to watch your child live meagerly, but remember that this is an age in life when young adults must learn to support themselves.

Give Support Without Encouraging Dependency
Some young adults are both financially and emotionally dependent on their parents. You may view this as having a close relationship with your grown children, but it is healthy to have some boundaries and lines as your child reaches adulthood. You can offer assistance reviewing his or her budget, and you can provide money-saving advice and tips. When holidays and birthdays roll around, buy your child useful gifts or gift cards. If your child lives close to you, invite him or her over for Sunday dinner each week. This small gesture can save your child much-needed grocery money. 

Encourage Independence
Many young adults are closer to their parents than in previous generations, and it can be difficult for both sides to cut the ropes of dependence. However, as a parent, you should avoid trying to micromanage your child's life. Avoid learning about all of the minute details of your child's day. It is acceptable and even beneficial to only inquire about the major events in your child's life at this stage. This holds true if your young adult has recently moved back in with you after college. 

As a parent, you may have many unpleasant and stressful memories of your own young adult years. It is understandable that you would want to help your child move on to a successful and happy adult life after college. While there are some steps that you can take to help your child, there also should be some distance. Each situation is unique, but these tips can help you to determine how to parent your young adult child after college.

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