If your twentysomething is struggling with career issues, you likely feel ill-equipped to help. You might be right. Unless your own experiences have schooled you in the way the New World of Work operates, realize that some part of the way you understood careers has radically changed. More significantly, you now are experiencing that the college to career transition is no longer the sure thing it seemed to be. This book is designed to help you help your twentysomething.
Despite the radical change in college to career transitions that have occurred in the last few decades, parents still tend to conflate the college decision with the career decision: “Once we get Johnny off to college, he’ll figure out his career.” This misguided thinking was never quite right. Even in the go-go 80s and 90s, colleges did a lousy job of career preparation. But the work world revolution of the last few decades has exacerbated the problem. Economic realities—not an extension of helicoptering parents—have created the need for greater parental involvement with career issues.
I run The Learning Consultants, the largest private educational consultancy in Connecticut. The number of parents who have called seeking advice for their college-age children has multiplied exponentially in the last ten years. Those that live far away and would prefer not to meet virtually would ask, “What can I do for my children?” That’s what this book addresses. What can parents do to help their children find happy and successful careers?
Why the enhanced need for career advice from parents?
I started providing career counseling services before The Great Recession of 2007-09. Even then, most of our recent college graduate clients had experienced some form of post-collegiate misery. The problem for those clients was the mismatch between their career path and their particular interests, values, and preferences. But the career crisis for young adults has been magnified exponentially due to the restructured post-Great Recession economy. There is a far greater need to not only find a career match among many options but to simply find a career building job.
Moreover, the resources to parents and children alike on the subject have been scarce or ineffective. The disconnect between our educational system and career choice has never wider. Few twentysomethings have wise adults in their lives, outside of their parents, who can guide them. This leaves parents as the continuing source of guidance in their lives.
This book will help you help your children.