October 16, 2020
The current hiring landscape poses unique difficulties for young job seekers, and many have struggled to immediately and effectively launch their careers after graduation. For many parents of these early careerists, this reality has upset the expectation that a college education would immediately position their young adult(s) for a successful career launch.
In our work with early careerists, we not only help young job seekers get the jobs needed to launch their careers – we work closely with parents to guide them through their role in the process. Parenting a young job-seeker is a balancing act, as parents learn to play a supportive but not overbearing role in their young adult’s search.
Fighting back “failure to launch” fears and embracing the process of a job-search can be difficult for parents. Here are some ways that parents can earn “Straight A’s” supporting their early careerist through this challenging process.
Encouraging your young adult to take a Career Assessment can be a valuable way to help them generate focus and momentum in their search. This is not simply a personality test with suggested occupations – an optimal Career Assessment should be a professionally guided tool used by Fortune 500 companies, and can drive lifelong career development in addition to providing to targeted career matches.
Priority Candidates’ coaches weave the outcomes of Career Assessments into setting goals and preparing for stages in the job-seeking process. We use the assessment to identify an individual’s key strengths and weaknesses, and to help the client speak confidently about them. When used and coached properly, the assessment can identify roles within industries of interest that can be suitable targets for early careerists. As a result, the Career Assessment can be energizing and empowering to job-seekers who have struggled to articulate, and identify, the kinds of jobs and careers that are the right-fit to pursue.
We return time and again to the assessment outcomes. We use the results when mapping out target roles; and as clients prepare for interviews the report helps frame language around key strengths and areas for development. Additionally, when a client needs to infuse fresh energy into a search or is later considering grad school, assessment findings can help them re-imagine what the future might hold, and visualize different possibilities that will blend their skills, traits and interests.
It’s natural for parents to want to advise young job-seekers through the process – after all, many parents were once in the same position of trying to launch their career. However, it’s vital to understand the differences in context for these searches. Companies no longer flock to every campus recruiting job-seekers, and today it’s exceedingly rare for graduates to choose from a number of job offers. Skills training programs have changed drastically, and as digital natives today’s job seekers are expected to arrive at the office with a baseline skill set that will allow them to make meaningful contributions on day one. Even entry level jobs require work or internship experience, and the pool of applicants for these positions is more competitive than ever. On top of all this, today’s job-seekers are looking for work amidst an uncertain economy and an ongoing pandemic.
One area where a parent’s active engagement can provide a positive impact is networking. Opening your network to your young adult can help them make key connections that can potentially facilitate progress in their job search process – if done properly. Start small – suggest one or two people they could reach out to, rather than providing an overwhelming list of twenty names. If they have a successful interaction, you can make another suggestion. As your early careerist begins to build their network, you can model how to effectively do so –describe who you know, how you met them, what you have helped them with, and how you keep in touch.
Sometimes a young professional needs assistance in their job-search – this is not unusual, and not an indictment on their career prospects. They have not been taught or led through an effective job search process. Many of today’s young careerists have grown up benefitting from the structure of professional assistance in the form of coaches, tutors, college advisors, and private instructors in everything from tap dancing to computer science. Consider who can be an effective partner for your early careerists – somebody who can provide judgement-free accountability and informed, strategic advice. This could be a parent, a peer, another family member, an academic mentor, or a professional. Having a support team in place can make the difference in navigating the uncertain and overwhelming job-search process.
At Priority Candidates, our coaching model provides and entire team of industry-trained experts, who prepare clients for each stage of the process, including optimal development of their career tools, practicing and refining verbal and written messaging, leveraging powerful employer profiling tools, and bringing several perspectives to brainstorming the networking and job searching strategy. We have specialists who are trained to counsel on assessment outcomes and interview skills development. So, more than simply an accountability partner, you get a team of support leading the way.
It’s natural for a parent to be worried about their young professional’s career prospects. This is a challenging stage in life as they navigate the transition from school, an undefined job-search, and economic concerns exacerbated by the pandemic; and supporting them through this process can pose its’ own unique challenge. Exemplary parents we have worked with recognize the value of having someone to hold the job-seeker accountable and keep the process moving forward. They do not insert themselves into the process, but are willing to provide help when asked. And they are available as a source of support as their young adult navigates this difficult time. Remember, everyone has the same goal – a successful career launch; so it’s vital to stay on the same page and play your part in this complex process that is vastly different than it was for you when you sought to begin your career.