Employment Success Starts at Home: Preparing Your College Student For a JOB

Debi Yohn asked:

When we parent well, everyone will reap grand rewards. The fruits of parenting college students will be harvested in the seasons that follow the college years, when the formal education is complete. While there is an ease of parental controls with college students, there continues to be a need for guidance that is as meaningful and as valuable as it has ever been.

Parents can help make their maturing young adult children more employable by teaching them core values, such as responsibility, accountability, independence, and respect for others. These values will make them a more attractive hire for prospective employers in their future. Their parents are their role models and teachers.

It is a good idea to encourage your children to practice their social skills with adult family members and friends. At home, where they feel safe, is a great time to practice adult social skills. Learning to communicate well with adults and hold a conversation will pay off later. I encourage parents to expose their children to adults and expect them to behave appropriately. These interpersonal relationships can be building blocks. It also builds self confidence. Later this confidence will reflect in reduced anxiety during job interviews and new situations with people they do not know.

Confidence reflects in future relationships. Internships, community activities and volunteer situations are additional ways of enhancing relationship experiences. Your maturing child may also discover some great people outside their normal circle.

Parenting College Students – Making Them Independent

Some students need their parents’ encouragement to be more independent during the high school years. Parents can teach their children independence by expecting their youngsters to be responsible for themselves. This process begins in the early teenage years. It results in the transformation of children from being completely reliant in preschool to relatively independent young men and women by the time they are off to college. This is a good thing. When you do your job right, your children will leave home.

Parenting college students becomes an easier task if the students have been given responsibilities. Daily living skills and financial responsibility are key. Prospective college students should be taught to do their own wash, to prepare simple meals, to clean their own room space and to budget money while living at home. They can learn from their mistakes while they have a safety net around them. When they are on their own, they are secure in knowing they have daily living skills.

Having a daily routine is extremely important with college students. When they have a routine, getting up and going to work every day is not so shocking. Going to classes every day is one kind of routine but getting up and going to a job every day is a different experience.

Parenting College Students – Communication is a Key to Employment Success

Good communication skills are essential. The goal of a graduate is to be employable and to find a job they enjoy. After practicing proper communication with adults at home, speaking with advisers and professors in school, interviewing will not be so daunting. A graduate will need to shine above all the other applicants when it is time to apply for jobs. A confident graduate will be able to sell themselves. An employer is looking for skills but they are also looking for the right personality.

A child learns all kinds of skills in the family. They learn the core value of respect for others. They learn kindness. These skills will be reflected in the employment interviews and later in the day-to-day interactions with their supervisors and their peers.

When communicating with adults, good body language is essential. Some practical suggestions are: maintaining good eye contact during a conversation; having a firm hand shake is important for both boys and girls again keeping good eye contact; having slow clear speech in an audible tone shows confidence.

A child learns these skills at home and by observing others. Expose your child to situations where they can both practice these skills and observe these skills. In a non critical way, you might speak to your student in private and have them practice certain situations that will benefit them later. Make it fun and light. Also remember to comment when you see them practicing what they have learned.

The life skills you teach are invaluable. These skills will help your student to build their resume. Expose your children to different situations and different kinds of people. Help them grow as a person.

These are some simple steps to help your young adult child become more employable. Parenting skills with the goal of increasing their social skills is a tried and true winning strategy for future job success!


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