If you have a Graduated, Returning Offspring With No Useful Plan (GROWNUP) under your roof this summer, here are 5 tips on how to avoid banging your head against the proverbial brick wall:
1.Avoid A Clash
Mum/Dad – take your foot off the parental pressure pedal to get a proper job… for now. Your GROWNUP has probably had a demanding final year at uni (at least that’s his/her excuse for having no place on a grad training scheme!) That is not to say your GROWNUP should stay in bed all summer. But jumping from education to the world of work is daunting for some and inevitably means change and a period of transition. Focus your energies on the following steps instead.
2.Set short-term goals
You probably won’t relish the additional laundry and higher food bills that come with a GROWNUP, but these may be minor worries compared to your angst over the possibility they may slip into an unstructured and unproductive summer. Explore short term goals for the summer with them. What do they want to achieve? Get fitter? Learn a new skill? Work and save towards an overseas trip? Volunteer (and build skills)? Put a timeframe and action plan around such goals to encourage motivation.
If your GROWNUP lacks confidence in where to start their career hunt or feels simply blinded by the vast amount of information on grad careers then encourage them to think about it a different way. Get them to consider who they are as a ‘brand’. What do they have to offer the workplace and what do they do well? Answering these questions will point the way to a fulfilling career path. Forcing a square peg into a round hole will end up in a demotivated and unhappy employee further down the road.
Remind your GROWNUP that doing any kind of work will build valuable evidence of their capabilities which they can use to make themselves attractive to employers. They will utilise key skills that employers always need: teamwork, communication, problem solving, adaptability, planning and organising. This could be paid or voluntary work. Alternatively, if they have the ‘wanderlust’ and cash to go travelling for a while then support them in this. Some of the best skills evidence I’ve heard is of graduates volunteering overseas, going well outside their comfort zone and building precisely the skills I’m looking for in new recruits. The interview zips by as they tell relevant, detailed stories of their experiences.
5.Have A Back Up Plan
If your GROWNUP continues to feel ‘stuck’ then consider a career coach. Through exploring your GROWNUP’s key drivers and motivators, as well as their main skills and strengths, an experienced coach will question, encourage and guide them towards identifying their own preferred career path and give them the confidence to go out and get the job. A key advantage of using a coach is they are not the parent of the GROWNUP. There is no emotional investment in the discussion. The GROWNUP can think more rationally in a coaching environment. Later on, the coach can also support them on writing a quality CV, and preparing for interview to give them the best possible chance of securing the job they want.
This graduate gives sound advice on why and how work experience for 1st and 2nd year undergraduates is so essential:
An experienced executive coach writes here about her top tips for making a career move:
Saw this really interesting article today in Huffington Post about your final year at uni: