BOSTON (CBS) – About six months have passed since the college commencement season, and many of those new graduates still don’t have good jobs. This situation can cause tension in a family as a former student still lives at home while conducting a job search.
Jennifer Zick has a new master’s degree and a lot of enthusiasm. Yet she still can’t find a full time position. “I am trying to get a couple of years experience in administration, pretty much anything,” she said with a laugh.
As graduation becomes more and more of a distant memory, it is not just students who are nervous. Their parents are often anxious too. “I mean it’s still a tough economy,” said new Regis College Graduate Darren Forest while attending a job fair. Forest knows he is lucky his parents appreciate this difficult job market, one that has young people with an unemployment rate of 13% compared to an overall rate of 7.3%.
Forest has this message for all those antsy parents out there: “I think that parents should always be encouraging and helpful because the second you start bearing down on your kids, it just makes them that much more stressful.”
The first step for parents in terms of keeping the peace is understanding that the times have truly changed since they started out a generation ago. Elaine Varelas, managing partner at Keystone Partners in Boston, said “It was a lot easier in the 70s and so I would really encourage parents to empathize about how hard it is to find a job, help your recent grad be very realistic about what kind of opportunities are out there.”
Varelas added that many parents have very dated ideas about job hunting today. For example, very few people find employment through the help wanted section of the newspaper anymore. “Parents may feel that the new graduate is spending time on a computer and is not looking for a job, but chances are they are looking for a job, and they are focused on building a LinkedIn profile, taking a look at job boards.”
Younger people sometimes need help moving beyond the computer, however. “I think that parents can help with their own contacts, too say, ‘Who do I know? Who would be beneficial for you to talk to?’ And they can explain networking to them,” added Varelas
Parents should also remember that the strategy that might have worked when it came to cleaning up a messy room will surely backfire here. “I would definitely avoid the nagging. I think that they do need support and I think that the former students are really looking for a plan,” said Varelas.
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