Once your child has graduated college you can be forgiven in thinking that your hard work is over. However, it is important to know that support will be needed throughout their journey.
As many seniors graduate amidst the recent pandemic, some of them may need a little extra support and assistance as they embark on their post-college careers.
In the last decade, there has been a significant increase in young adults living with their parents.
In July 2020, it was found that 52% of 18- to 29-year olds were residing at home—a number which is higher than any other recorded data for this age group during or after the Great Depression when 48% were found to be living at home.
Losing independence is difficult after college for young people who have been accustomed to living on their own. So, expect some sort of adjustment period.
Young adults are more likely to be unemployed and in debt. With the average college graduate owing £35,000 in student loan debts, it’s no wonder they would want support from their parents during this uncertain time of transition.
The pandemic has created an already competitive job market, and parents may not feel equipped to offer any advice if their job is either on the line or they are also looking for new employment.
As a parent, you should expect some resistance or feeling alienated when your child comes home after graduating, but you need to support them.
Begin by asking your child what they want and how you can support their needs; this will set a precedent for the relationship moving forward.
This article will discuss six ways that you support your child after college so they can flourish as adults.
Note: We mention mental health is this article. If you or your child feel that they need to talk with someone, we recommend getting help from a professional.
Create a Plan
It's always a good idea to create clear boundaries and expectations moving forward.
Setting clear limits and boundaries with your child will give them support, show you care, and create a plan for the future.
You want to be open-minded in this process but also not too lenient or they may think it's okay not to try as hard.
This is about supporting their goals while also making it clear that support means you need to do your part too.
Are you going to help them with their job search or are you going to leave it to them to look for employment?
Don't forget, this is not the same person you sent off to college and they are going to handle support differently now that they're adults.
Their views will likely be a little different now which means you need to be more accommodating than you were before.
It's amazing what a little independence can do to support their personal growth and self-confidence.
After working for four years to get out of the classroom, recent graduates have a new task: adapting to an unpredictable schedule that doesn't involve structure.
Even though you'll want to encourage some sort of structure it's important for them to design their own routine.
It will be a lot easier for them to find their independence if they have some support from you.
Believe it or not, having a routine can help with stress, sleep and focus. Plenty of exercise can also help support their mental health.
Encourage healthy habits and support them as they create a routine that works for them.
Nurture Mental Health
Many young adults today report feeling stressed and anxious, which has only increased because of the recent outbreak.
Parents should be prepared to offer empathy and understanding during this fragile time.
In order to make the best use of their parent-child relationship, parents must also be available for open dialogue, observation, and validation; they must listen empathically so that both parties have a chance to express themselves.
If they are having a lot of problems, encourage them to seek help from a mental health expert.
Reinforce Other Interests
Youth who are not maximising their potential might be able to find fulfillment with hobbies.
Parents can support their children by suggesting they volunteer for causes that matter to them. This will really help support them during a time of transition.
Furthering civic-minded interests can lead to an opportunity to practice skills and network with prospective employers.
Doing this can also add to their CV and will make them a better candidate for their future job prospects.
Teach Financial Literacy
To avoid any problems with financial debts from a young age, it is important for new graduates to form strong habits Agree on a timeline, and plan for financial support, slowly phasing out aid.
Support their Job Search
For parents, the process of finding their child their first real job can be an exciting and terrifying endeavor. But, just remember there's no rush.
There are plenty of options out there for support, and you can take your time finding the best match.
Be involved in their job search as much as possible.
It will give them a sense that they have someone on their side rooting for them, and it also lets you review resumes together to discuss what skills would be beneficial to add or subtract from them.
Include them in conversations about the company culture and make sure they know what to expect before they walk into their first interview.
It will also help when you can support your child during these crucial moments, by reminding them of the things that made them excited for this opportunity.
Be strategic about the process. Offer to act as an accountability partner for regular check-ins or arrange assistance with a professional.
It usually takes a long time to secure a good job, but that amount of time can vary greatly depending on your qualifications, skills, and industry.
On average it takes around six to seven months to secure a job, but that can vary from two to 12 months.
Assessing career options
It is important to think of your adult children's job hunt as their career launch. It's never going to be easy, so just be ready for some frustration along the way.
If they adopt a narrower focus, your child should be able to make a more focused and competitive resume.
It's also important to be committed to professional development for their career success, which includes developing skills relevant to the new industry sector they are interested in entering.
Encouraging them to network means they start to develop relationships with people who might be able to support them in their job search.
70% of the jobs young people get are via a recommendation or referral. So, learning how to network is really important for their future.
Refreshing resume and cover letters
Checking their email address, updating the contact information, checking for typos or grammatical errors are all important steps to make sure they have a flawless presentation of themselves.
It's also time-consuming, but worth it!
Creating a digital footprint
If they can get into the habit of using a social media platform like Linkedin, they can get the support of their connections and make new ones.
It's important that they fill in the information section and bio so they can have a digital footprint to present themselves.
Parents who have seen success in their own careers may struggle to provide the same support for their children if they are struggling.
Help your children to make this transition by showcasing them, not comparing them.
First and foremost, be patient. They will eventually get there :)