The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tell Your Adult Children Seeking Jobs the Truth About Your Career Arc, Parents: The Five Minute Response

The job market out there is incredibly unfriendly in America to the new job seeker. It is particularly frightening for the recent college graduate saddled with serious debt looking for that first job in the chosen field while the clock is ticking to begin loan repayment (no tsk tsking here about how "back in my day we worked through college and took no loans" ... this ain't the same world and these aren't the same prices).

If you did your job as a parent well (and I'm sure you did noble reader of mine), you shielded your children from the terrifying ups and downs of your career arc as best you could. They didn't see you sweat over lost jobs, changing career paths, dwindling opportunities for raises, promotions, benefits, and all the rest. Your children have a false image of your career (unless you are one of the truly blessed few who has had a smooth career ... does anyone still have that ... no, really, I don't want to know) as being a smooth, calm arc of choices well made and paths thought out well in advance.

This vision of your career path is poison for the child struggling to find that first toehold on the career path (that near vertical cliff these days). Their job is hard enough. Finding that first job is often a soul crushing experience that raises doubts about who they are and what they've chosen to do. That false vision makes it worse. Help them. 

Tell them the truth about the trials and tribulations you faced in your career ... and those you continue to have. Tell them of the long, sleepless, doubt-filled nights. Let them know you understand where they are. Better yet, let them know you've been there and you managed to move forward. Give them hope and truth instead of that dangerous illusion. The facade you erected when they were little to keep them innocent and carefree needs to come down now.

And that's the five minute response. 

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