Has your recent college graduate landed their first job yet?

Many parents are faced with the same reality that not all college graduates have a full-time job offer before, on, or soon after graduation. But now it is the fall, and they wonder why their accomplished graduates still do not have a job. They see their grown children frustrated with their career options post-college and their job search, and they worry about the permanent indentation from their college grad sitting on the couch.

A parent recently shared, “My son graduated and has been unable to find a job. I am worried about his well-being and his sense of self. He is very disappointed in himself and I don’t know how to help him.”

Another parent expressed guilt that maybe she was “too hands-off” and now it is hurting her daughter’s chances of landing an internship.

Parents tell us that their college grads are STUCK, and want to know how to help them.

Grads could be 3 months – or 3 years – post-college and they are struggling to find a job.

Covid proved to be a setback in career planning for the Class of 2023. The graduating class of 2023 is the first class to graduate where they have been dealing with COVID disruptions since Freshman year. They had fewer internships, and faced more academic and mental health challenges than pre-Covid grads.

Recent grads might have had a short-term internship post-graduation or an entry-level job for a few months, but things did not work out. Or they may have been a strong student with good college involvement and internship experience, but now they seem stuck, can’t motivate themselves, and seem depressed after months of rejections or lack of progress on their job search.

Why are new college graduates feeling stuck?

According to Dr. Julia Turovsky, a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders in young adults, seeming to be stuck is a common challenge. She shares,

Kids are stuck due to their failure to launch. They are staying in the adolescence stage of life much longer than expected and the transition to adulthood is delayed. Parents are allowing children to stay at home longer, stay on their insurance and keep them on the payroll. Parents need to encourage children to create structure to their day, set goals and live on their own. Young adults do not have a lot of motivation to search for a career when things are provided for them.”


Although Dr. Turovsky also believes, “parents are giving young adults what they need for too long” there are other complications.“30-40% of college students have diagnosable anxiety or depression. This makes it even more difficult to launch.”

One of the most common concerns from parents about their stuck grads is their lack of goals and unstructured time.

Dr. Turovsky observes, “Young adults have great difficulty operating without a structure. For 16 years, children were told when to study, attend class, eat, and exercise. Now the structure is gone and it needs to be self-imposed.”

What can a parent do to help “un-stick” their college grad?

As a parent, the inclination might be to lecture or nag your grad to get moving, but here are a few tips that may help them get un-stuck and find a job:

Create structure for your grad

One of the ways parents can help their grads is to work with them to create a structure for their daily and weekly lives. This is a skill and looking for work is difficult. Help them carve out time to get up, exercise, and job search. Recommend they go to a coffee shop or the library to dedicate scheduled time to the job search. They should also consider part-time or volunteer work to enhance their experience, but it should not interfere with their career search goals.

Suggest a mentor for your grad

If your young adult will not listen to you because you are “Mom” or “Dad”, help them find a mentor to speak with. This could be an adult family member, a friend with relevant work experience, or even a college professor. Sometimes the feelings of depression and anxiety are real, and getting mental health support can play an important role as well.

Encourage your grad to continue learning

If they are trying to get a specific career role but have been rejected for lack of experience, encourage them to take an online course or earn a certification that enhances their skill set. Also, volunteering at a business or shadowing someone at their work can improve exposure and learn about a specific role in their preferred career field.

A key focus of Next Great Step is to provide a simple, structured, step-by-step approach that enables young adults to get focused and feel confident about their abilities. We understand that new college grads are overwhelmed and intimidated by this process. We provide programs that help young adults figure out their path, pursue their interests the right way, and ultimately get unstuck. Our clients tell us our services have been a “game changer” to land the job.

We get college grads organized, and prioritize how they spend their time week to week on the job search. Over 90% of our clients have landed the job of their choice. Want to learn more about how we help grads get “unstuck”? Let’s Talk. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you further to see how we can help launch your college grad.

For clinical psychological support, contact Dr. Julia Turovsky. She is in private practice and can be reached at (973) 635-2444 or Turovsky@verizon.net

If you want to learn more about how Next Great Step helps students land the job they deserve, Let’s Talk or contact us at 973-577-6161 today.