It’s Thanksgiving week. Whether your kids are home for school break, or your graduates are with you and celebrating the holidays, by spending time together the conversation will inevitably arise about the job search.

The Class of 2023 graduated 6 months ago and many are still looking for work.

The Class of 2024 is looking for a post-grad job and has 6 months to go.

And sophomores and juniors are thinking about internships for next summer.

We speak with families every day and we find that this time of year is a “pivot” point… either to motivate and ramp up the job search efforts or to take inventory of how the job search is going or what needs to change.

Grads and students often tell their parents, “I have it under control. I know what I’m doing with the job search.” However, parents observe their kids spending 2-3 hours every searching online job boards or applying to dozens of jobs on Indeed or Glassdoor and often do not hear back.

Or fall for a job scam.

Or maybe get an interview and then radio silence.

Parents and their students/grads know that something needs to change to break this cycle. As a career expert, and mom to a college junior and grad school student, I get it. My advice…find some quiet time over the holiday break to spend with your young adult to see what they are struggling with and how you can guide them best.

Ask these 3 questions:

1. What is the biggest challenge for your grad?

2. How is your grad spending time in the job search?

3. Is your grad seeking guidance from school or other resources?

1. What is your biggest challenge? This process is overwhelming and parents sometimes get frustrated with their grad’s perceived lack of motivation or direction. Isolate what is really holding them back. Is it the anxiety of preparing for an in-person interview? Do they stare at a blank page when writing a cover letter? Break down the area that causes the most concern and use that as a starting point to guide them and help give them confidence.

2. How are you spending your time? Understand what they have done so far and what is their plan or timeline. This can provide ideas of what to do next. Encourage networking calls or meetings with people who have a job that they are interested in. Recommend a certification course in a specific area to gain more skills. Suggest grads seek a part-time job or volunteer role during this time to maintain structure in their day. Or have them spend more time researching what potential roles are possible.

3. Are you seeking guidance from other resources? Sometimes the tension between a parent and child can cause both parties to feel frustrated. Seek out family or friends that your grad can speak with. Have your grad connect with a favorite professor or mentor for guidance. And when appropriate, seek guidance from a career coach or mental health professional. Your grad might need one or both.

We are here to help. If you want to learn more about how we help college students and recent grads land the job they desire, contact us for a Complimentary Consultation. Contact us at 973-577-6161 to learn more. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.