5 tips to keep your unemployed graduate motivated

May 10, 2016

Is your newly minted college graduate meandering (read unemployed?)

As a parent of a recent college graduate, we feel proud. The cap has been tossed and the toasts have been made. The dorm supplies have been shipped or donated and your child is headed off to their first job with snazzy new shoes and a great new suit.  All is right with the world.  You’ve done your job. Your kid has launched. 

Or not. What happens if they haven’t landed yet and are headed home to start looking for a job? 

For 18 years your son or daughter has had a tremendous amount of external structure: school hours, teacher’s deadlines, meal times, play times, college registration dates, test and exam dates, and so on.  Now the structure has disappeared and things can get messy fast. Here are some ideas to keep them motivated:

TIP 1:  Help her create and stick to a schedule each day. Encourage her to get dressed every morning as if she were going on an interview. Help her find a space (preferably out of the house), to conduct her search.  Maybe you could ask for a small corner in your office where she can work once or twice a week. Maybe it’s a condition of moving back in for the first 6 months?  Ask us to share our “Launch Contract” with you if the conversation about this doesn’t go well.

TIP 2:  Work with him to develop a living budget, one that includes financial responsibilities (think rent), and suggest he sets up a Mint account to get organized and accountable.

TIP 3: Open up your Linkedin account, connect with your daughter, and teach her how to use the program in the most productive and professional way possible.  Read this article for great ideas and insights.

TIP 4: If it looks as if he is really stuck and has no idea what he wants and how to figure it out, buy him a copy of The Defining Decade, by Dr. Meg Jay. She makes some excellent suggestions, all of which are in line with the world he is stepping into, a world that can offer great opportunities but also scary obstacles.

TIP 5: If you find yourself micro-managing their search, step back and find a mentor to take them through the process.  Call us to see how we can help. 

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