Graduation season is quickly approaching, and many college seniors hope to land that perfect job. Research from the Wall Street Journal shows that first post-grad jobs can affect a young adult’s career for nearly a decade and impact a grad’s long-term salary. Furthermore, half of college graduates end up in a job where their degree isn’t even needed. 

So how do parents fit into all of this? Do they fit into this? How do parents help their kids navigate this major milestone? 

Beth Hendler-Grunt, founder of Next Great Step and author of The Next Great Step: The Parent’s Guide to Launching Your New Grad into a Career shared tips for parents on two NBC News Daily segments on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.  Here are excerpts from the interview.

NBC News Daily

Vicky Nguyen: So, for many parents, it’s been decades since they’ve had to look for a job after college. What is your advice for them on how to advise their grad? 

Beth Hender-Grunt: This is not what we all planned. Parents think their students will go to college and graduate with a job. It’s just much harder than expected. Parents need to enable their grad to have a strategy. Their grad needs some real tools to be able to figure this out. Help your grad with clarity on:

    1. What are your skills? What are the top one or two or three skills that you’re great at? Maybe your student wrote for the student paper in school and is a great writer? Or they conduct research for a professor, and enjoy research? Figure that out and the story that they can tell to validate that.
    2. Who do you want to bring your skills to? Use the 10/10 strategy. Pick ten companies that are of interest to you, and then ten people that are doing the job that you aspire to.

Morgan Radford: One of the common things you hear is college grads being told, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and you’ve got to network.” I struggled with that because I was intimidated. I didn’t know powerful people. So, the only thing I knew was to grit and bear it and try to do my best. But now I realize how important it is to build those relationships. What do you tell kids about networking?

Hendler-Grunt: I know there’s a lot of fear and intimidation. “What if they don’t like me? Or what if I don’t have something good to say?”  They don’t need to reach out to the president of the company. Have them reach out to someone who attended the same university, and graduated two or three years ago. Many alumni are willing to connect because they all went through this same job search process. People do want to help young adults. LinkedIn is a great platform for this.

Nguyen: Let’s talk about this idea that your grad is going to have a face-to-face interview at some point. What are the best ways to prepare and do parents have a role in helping their kids?

Hendler-Grunt: As a parent, ask yourself if you are helping or hindering. We encourage parents to help but not take it too far. If you want to proof the resume to make sure there are no mistakes, or if you want to do a mock interview to ensure they’re saying it correctly, great. But do not show up in the interview. Do not call the potential boss. We need to let our kids have this experience. And if they fail, that’s part of the process of how they learn and how they grow from these experiences. 

Radford: What about kids who are not ready for a 9 to 5 job? What are their options? 

Tips for Parents to Launch Their Grads

Hendler-Grunt: Everybody’s on a different cycle. Everyone thinks that they need to have their career path figured out. But that’s not true. And it comes at their own time. Think about what your student is drawn to. What are their skills? They don’t have to have it figured out. They need to talk to other people and be curious about it. 

Ms. Hendler-Grunt was also featured in a second segment discussing the same topic with hosts Kate Snow and Zinhle Essamuah. You can watch both segments here.

As parents and grads navigate these challenges in the job search, Next Great Step is here to support you. Want to learn more about how we help students and grads land their internship or first job? Let’s Talk or call us today at 973-577-6161.

Or get the Amazon #1 Best Seller, The Next Great Step: The Parents’ Guide to Launching Your New Grad into a Career.

Congratulations to the families of the Class of 2024!