Helicopter Parents: Now It's Job Search

<p>MSNBC.com is reporting that the new area for overbearing parents to help their kids is in the job search process:</p>

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I recently received a call from the mother of a Ph.D. student who was applying to jobs on behalf of the daughter and thought there was nothing wrong with it,” he said. “The mother asked for suggestions for what jobs she should apply to on behalf of the daughter and I told her none.”</p>

<p>...Parents are also popping up at job fairs with their children.

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<p>From Parents</a> go overboard to help college kid get job - Careers- msnbc.com</p>

<p>Apparently, once a parent has the helicopter controls in hand, it's hard to give them up.</p>

<p>Wouldn't that be a turnoff to potential employers?</p>

<p>Wow, it only gets worse.... what's next? Helicopter parents in serious romantic relationships?</p>

<p>That all is hard for me to relate to. I'm the parent of a 21 year old and a 23 year old who are out of college. Every job they have gotten for the summer or after graduating college, they got without any involvement by us. They got them on their own. They do their own networking. To go a step further, they have often created jobs for themselves. One of my kids has both a summer job and another one for next year that she created her own positions by contacting individuals she wanted to work for. We don't live near our kids, nor are in fields related to our kids. We are always here for advice and support but they obtain jobs on their own. I don't see why all kids can't do this. Once out of high school, they are adults. They should network. They should apply to jobs or create their own. It doesn't mean parents might not give advice or answer questions or proofread a resume or cover letter. But the kid has to own the process. I can't see an employer who would take kindly to any direct involvement by a parent!</p>

<p>I had a parent call me to ask about the status of her son's application for a part time job. The job involves working with a group of employees <em>and</em> the general public. When I gently suggested that perhaps her <em>son</em> should actually be making these phone calls, she went ballistic on me. </p>

<p>(My logic is that if the kid can't ask me directly about his status, he won't be able to approach a stranger in the store. I don't care if it's his first job, I need to see a bit of outgoing personality. It's OK for mom or dad to inquire about potential openings at this level when they are in shopping or run into me at the coffee shop. It's not OK for them to come to the interview and to make the follow up phone calls. )</p>

<p>Anyway, Mom went ballistic and there's now a post-it note on the kid's application that will remind me that this is one kid that I NEVER want to hire.</p>

<p>That sounds like a plot from "Everybody Loves Raymond." That didn't end well either!</p>

<p>Why did she go ballistic?</p>

<p>Anyway wow, if you can't look for jobs yourself by the time you graduate college then you're in for a very very jolting wake-up call. Christ, I got my first job when I was still in high school without any help. If you gotta enlist mommy and daddy's help then you probably should never do something like take out a mortgage which requires quite a bit of responsibility to keep up on.</p>

<p>If I were an employer and an applicant's parent was handling the whole process, I'd tell them to take a hike and throw the application in the shredder.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Anyway wow, if you can't look for jobs yourself by the time you graduate college then you're in for a very very jolting wake-up call. Christ, I got my first job when I was still in high school without any help. If you gotta enlist mommy and daddy's help then you probably should never do something like take out a mortgage which requires quite a bit of responsibility to keep up on.

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<p>I agree. I never had help of any kind from my parents for any job I got EVER, even my first babysitting jobs or high school job at the mall or any number of the many, many jobs I've worked in my life. I just can't imagine how anyone could think it would be good for their kids in the long run to be doing this stuff FOR them, particularly after COLLEGE. Good grief.</p>

<p>Wow. The best thing for these young adults is for the employers to tell the parents that
1. they are not doing their kids any favors
2. the kid will have to look elsewhere because the parent has poisoned the well</p>

<p>If that doesn't work, I don't know what will.</p>

<p>I will do anything and everything to help my son land a job in this economy; I will let friends, relatives, my dentist, my accountant, my doctor (well, you get the picture!) know that he is looking. On other hand I am not going to do anything that would hurt his chances such as direct contact with a prospective employer.</p>

<p>My son does not have the advantage of going to a top tier college or university. Doors will not open for him because of the name of his school. He has excellent grades in a technical field but I am not operating under the fantasy that the economy today is anything like it was when I graduated. My parents did not assist me in any way but I was able to land a full-time position fairly quickly. The economy was robust and I was a graduate from an Ivy League with decent grades.</p>

<p>Now I see Vtech and UVA grads struggling to get full-time employment. My son will graduate from VCU (not a well-recognized school) shortly so you'd better believe I am going to help him!</p>

<p>I do think certain kinds of parental help are fine. Networking with close friends if the kid knows and approves should be fine. Forwarding the occasional job posting, too, perhaps.</p>

<p>I can't imaging a parent running interference with employers, though. I've hired lots of people over the years, and don't think I ever had to deal with the parent of a potential employee. That would definitely be a black mark.</p>

<p>My guess is that some of these helicopter parents are happy empty-nesters worried about their offspring becoming "boomerang kids" (who return to live at home after not being able to find employment).</p>

<p>Helicopter parents didn't just come about now. 25+ years ago as an young associate, I over heard my boss on the phone explaining to someone's parent as to why his son didn't get a very good bonus. The son was fired some times later, and the father called up again to inquire. Back then I didn't know it was helicopter parenting, I just thought it was bizarre.</p>

<p>As a hiring manager I'd flag this kid's file with a big DO NOT HIRE. Because I suspect even if snowflake was hired, the mommy interference would not stop there.</p>

<p>She went ballistic because I had the audacity to say "I've hired some of the kids I need and still thinking about the rest. But (and this was said very gently) I would like to let you know that your son really should be the one calling me to inquire." And she went ballistic over that constructive criticism, which I offered because I'd hate to see the kid never get a job because Mommy is messing up his life.</p>

<p>This is for a minimum wage retail job of 10 hours per week, that might end up, if the kid is spectacular, paying $10 hr for 20 hrs a week in future summers. I did wonder if perhaps the family was in quite desperate financial straits and she was doing everything she could possibly think of to get a little more cash coming in.</p>

<p>
[quote]
what's next? Helicopter parents in serious romantic relationships?

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</p>

<p>I think that's where all the moves were first developed (cough, cough): Romeo and Juliet. Or, the six wives of King Henry VIII of England (Divorced, beheaded, died; Divorced, beheaded, survived). These also didn't end well, and the parents were far too involved in the negotiations.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Wow, it only gets worse.... what's next? Helicopter parents in serious romantic relationships?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I know of at least one mom who picked out and bought the engagement ring for her son to give to his fiancee.</p>

<p>I can't imagine what she's thinking of that ring, "How romantic, my MIL picked it out just for me!"</p>

<p>There's plenty of behind the scenes help that parents can give. Parents can check internet job listings and let their kids know when there seems to be an opening; they can also provide informal networking leads. (By "informal" I mean through people they already know or meet through their ordinary daily lives, as opposed to going out looking). But its the kids job to follow up on the leads or job listings -- and I think once a parent passes on info to the kid, the parental role is done.</p>

<p>This is no worse than parents simply giving money to their kids to support their kids in their various life endeavors. Parents simply paying their child's rent/car payment/CC/etc.</p>

<p>From the article,
[quote]
With job prospects for new college graduates at historic lows, some parents are using their contacts, connections...

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<p>How is this news? The fact that a few parents have poor boundaries is also not news.</p>

<p>I wish they would change the title of the parenting books section at bookstores to the more honest, "Parenting: You're Doing it Wrong!"</p>

<p>I gave up proof reading my kids essays when they were in grade school- they did a better job than I could- heaven help them if they had to depend on me to find them a job!
made me giggle to think about it though.
;)</p>