Helicopter Parents: Now It's Job Search

<p>I agree with post 17, and that's where my influence ends, as well. </p>

<p>I do sporadically forward job listings if something catches my eye, but generally I don't engage in the job search as a campaign, because I feel (from experience) that this is also part of the learning experience: one's own passion for a job or "the" job is what fuels that personal search and what energizes the interviews. Also, searching for openings on one's own broadens the candidate's understanding of his/her own skillset, allowing the imagination to work overtime and search peripherally. </p>

<p>I generally feel it works best if I limit my suggestions to types of job sites or roles. But they do often ask for my advice -- regarding a job listing itself, and definitely their resumes. (Naturally ;))</p>

<p>Boy, I will admit that I've been tempted at times, due to sheer exasperation at the lethargy when it comes to the job search, and the procrastination. But not only do I not believe in helicoptering as a principle, I also think it would be counterproductive.</p>

<p>I have from time to time forwarded ideas for summer jobs. Not once has he taken me up on it.</p>

<p>Can't imagine meddling in the process, though. That's just over the top.</p>

<p>Forwarding job listings or helping the student prepare for interviews seems fine to me.</p>

<p>Contacting employers directly is absurd.</p>

<p>Is it helicopter parenting to say, "If you don't get a job this summer I'm going to jump off a bridge"?:)</p>

<p>Is it helicopter parenting to say, "If you don't get a job this summer I'm going to jump off a bridge"?
^^^
Ha ha ha! No, that's excellent parenting but better and more effective is "If you don't get a job I'm throwing everything you own off a bridge". </p>

<p>Then you might see movement. ;)</p>

<p>My in-law works for in the HR department for a big company. He said the parents of recent college-hires often call the kids' managers to complain about their annual reviews.</p>

<p>I feel bad for the kids.</p>

<p>^^^^Oh my God. I would absolutely tell any parent of an adult employee that I do NOT speak to parents or anyone else about performance reviews or any other aspect of their employement. Period.</p>

<p>agree with Marian and calmom....very interesting article though, especially this year......</p>

<p>my daughter is starting a very coveted paid internship in a couple of weeks that she pursued on her own (we know NOBODY in her industry)......she told us that everyone she knew at school that had internships this summer, paid or unpaid, had gotten them through connections of some sort.......</p>

<p>To me, this is not surprising in and of itself, but rather makes me ask the following question:
What happens to the kid without any connections from a no-name school (or even a top one)?</p>

<p>^^^ Having connections in this economy is everything! My son was up for a paid summer internship in his field. After the deadline to apply had passed, he was told he was the only qualified candidate and they would be in touch later in the week. When he had not heard back by early the following week, he called them, only to learn they had hired someone else. The person they hired, although he had missed the deadline to apply, knew someone in the department. Its not what you know, its who you know!</p>

<p>I asked my son to check in with me periodically and let me know the companies he was applying to...since I have lots of contacts and might be able to hook him up. The past HR Director at one of the companies is an old friend and I reached out to him. He reached out to his old buddies with a recommendation. Not sure but it might have been the small boost that he needed to help him get the job (although I'm sure he did a great job on his four interviews...lots of practice from last summer when nothing came through!). </p>

<p>This is a tough economy. I don't think there's anything bad about parents forwarding job listings, giving some advise, providing connections. Most of the kids I know who got internships last year got them through parental or family connections. 2009 was a particularly horrible year and 2010 is not much better. So let's be real. But there's a limit, and in this article, some of have crossed it.</p>

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<p>There were a ton of STEM internships for this summer and the main inputs are transcripts, previous internships, research experience, letters of recommendation and essays. Our son is at a noname school with no connections and applied for two internships and was rejected for one (outside his field), accepted at the second, and offered another internship unsolicited.</p>

<p>I don't think the issue when it comes to a kid making connections and networking has to do with whether or not it is a "name" school. This can be done coming from any school. My kids were never "recruited" for jobs at their name schools. Rather, they have networked with peers from school, professors, and so on. This could have been done at any college. </p>

<p>One of my D's has several jobs (is in the performing arts). I can think of a couple of her jobs where she was hired by professors who are also professionals in her industry outside of the college. I can think of a couple of her current jobs that she got through peers who recommended her for the job. Likewise, my D has turned down some jobs she can't fit in and has recommended her friends for the positions and they have been hired. </p>

<p>I can think of one paid summer internship my other D did in NYC in her field during college where she heard of the firm through a girl she had roomed with when she studied abroad who went to a different college. That girl had worked at this firm after graduating. She put in a word for my D. My D contacted the firm, had an interview, and was hired. </p>

<p>The research job my D has this summer overseas, is one she created herself. She worked with a PhD student at her grad school who has since graduated and is a professor now at this renown university. She wrote him and asked if she could do research for him this summer. He didn't have the funds but wanted her. She applied to a private foundation who is funding her entire summer. </p>

<p>The job she has next year is for someone in her field whom she worked for last summer. She had researched people in her field, and found this person who was doing the kind of work she wants to do and had written him and he offered to hire her that summer. She now wrote him and asked if she could work for him next year, not as an intern, even though there is no position she'd be filling as he is the only professional in the office. He liked her work so much, he is hiring her and paying her salary and she created her own position. </p>

<p>These are are just a few examples. </p>

<p>As a parent, I see nothing wrong with if you come across listings or resources, to pass them onto your kid. For example, for my kid who is an actor, I tend to read the Equity audition notices (I have much more time online than she does) and if I see something interesting, I may copy and send it to her. I'm not directly involved in anything. As well, my kids have had me proofread resumes and cover letters only because they asked me and I think having a second reader is a good idea and they know I am experienced with that. They have found all their own jobs and have created many jobs themselves. I don't think "name" school has had to do with that.</p>

<p>Sooz...it sounds like your kids have done it right. </p>

<p>I think it can be tough when a kid don't seem to "get" the idea of networking. I see many students who are more comfortable applying to jobs online and not sticking their necks out. Call it laziness, immaturity, lack of experience, shyness, whatever, hiding behind a computer is not a good way to get a job! As a parent, the options seem to be to give advice (sometimes viewed as nagging) or walk away...neither seems to work very well!</p>

<p>Researching the career centers at prospective schools is a good idea. </p>

<p>Our son got 2 of his 3 internships and a full time job (starts next week) by going through the recruitment process at his school. His parents have absolutely no useful connections. Our son worked hard at this: he took full use of the services offered by the career center, made appointments to meet with professors to get advice and resume reviews, applied for tons of jobs, interviewed repeatedly for those that granted an interview, etc. </p>

<p>It was stressful. It took a lot of time and and required a lot of juggling with coursework and projects. He did not get the job he wanted, but he did get a good job.</p>

<p>
[quote]
What happens to the kid without any connections from a no-name school (or even a top one)?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>My daughter just finished her junior year at a school that is not quite at the top but has a recognizable name. She has no connections in her field of interest.</p>

<p>She applied for every internship she could find that matched her interests -- using on-campus recruiting, company web sites, and Internet job boards. She completed 38 applications and interviewed for about 8 positions (I forget the exact number). She expected to have to apply to even more internships, but she got an offer for a position she liked before Spring Break, and she accepted it.</p>

<p>I call this the saturation bombing approach to job or internship hunting. If you can't have quality (i.e., networking), you have to settle for quantity -- getting your resume and cover letter into as many hands as possible, using as many avenues as possible.</p>

<p>It may also help to be willing to accept unpaid internships (controversial as they are). Prior to the paid internship she will be doing this summer, my daughter had two unpaid internships in previous summers in fields somewhat related to what she will be doing this year. Her best references are her former supervisors at those two internships. Recommendations from them helped her get this summer's job.</p>

<p>
[quote]
For example, for my kid who is an actor, I tend to read the Equity audition notices (I have much more time online than she does) and if I see something interesting, I may copy and send it to her.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Soozie, I'm right there with you. However, I do think this is the sort of thing that some people would criticize. It's always bad when someone else is doing it, but perfectly reasonable when "I" am doing it. I also have a couple favorite websites bookmarked that I watch for auditions for my performance major son. Like you, I have more available time to scour the web. My oldest works for the government; many years ago, I sent him the link to the jobsUSA site, but he found the job on his own (and several others that also made him offers). I sent my D links to a couple summer camps. She wasn't interested in them, but it spurred her on to her own search to find the camp she worked at last summer, and again this summer. (Perhaps I can take some credit for the note I included in my email: If you don't find a job this summer, I'm pretty sure you will NOT enjoy living at home.)</p>

<p>If sending links to kids is helicoptering, then "whirr, whirr, whirr."</p>

<p>Fortunately, the employers have all treated my kids well, so I haven't had to get further involved. ;) (Just kidding!!!!)</p>

<p>Binx, in my case, if I happen to send my kid an audition notice I saw, it is NOT instead of her own efforts. She is in no way depending on me for anything as far as work goes. I simply am choosing to send something I saw if she is interested or wants to ask her agent about it. She doesn't ask me ever to do anything of this sort. It is never a substitute for what she is doing as she is working round the clock at things she found entirely on her own that I had nothing to do with. Still, I think parents are a resource. If I read something of interest to my kids, I always pass it on. But it is like an "extra" on top of their own efforts. They aren't depending on me in this regard. It is more like passing on something I came across if they are interested and if they are not, that's OK too. I can't get them a job. I have no contacts in their fields. So, I am not networking for them. I like to be informed about their fields of interest as it interests me and so if in my own efforts to keep updated, I come across something, I don't see what's wrong with passing on the resource or listing I came across. I can't imagine in a million years getting involved in applying for the jobs or any direct contact with their job hunting, etc.</p>

<p>if S is looking for a car, I tend to pay attention to the car ads in our paper. I even browsed Auto Trader on line during long conference calls. When he was apt. hunting in another town, I noticed the rental ads here at home. I am interested. Nothing more sinister than that.</p>

<p>I forwarded some car info to him. The rest was up to him. If he were looking for a job nearby, I am sure I would be noticing job postings. </p>

<p>This seem pretty normal to me. Taking it any farther? No.</p>

<p>Our kids do come to us for advice, however. For example, recently, one of my kids needed to communicate with a boss about being paid for her services as promised and never was. She wrote a draft of the letter and asked us to look it over and see what we thought. (btw, she is about to pick up the check for retroactive payment) In another recent example, when she asked an architect if she could work for him next year (not filling an existng position), he asked her her salary requirements and she discussed with us how to come up with the amount she needed and how to negotiate that. She then took care of it all on her own. He ended up offering her more than she asked for. She valued our input, however. In another instance, my other kid had a communication with her "boss" and needed to articulate something that was a little tricky for her and she wanted to discuss it with us first and she did. She then composed a letter all on her own and sent it to the people she is working with on this project. She forwarded us a copy AFTER she sent it and it was written most effectively on her own. But she wanted support in figuring out what it was she was going to tell them. So, that's where I see parents fitting in.....background support and advice if asked for. Not the people who do the job hunt, apply, or have any contact with employers.</p>

<p>mafool....I've done the same.....I've sent along apartment listings. They also have looked on their own. They do all the finding of the apartments and lining it all up (none are in our region) on their own. Being an additional resource that doesn't supplant their own searches, is OK in my book. Being directly involved past sending them a listing for an apartment, car, etc., is not really appropriate in my opinion.</p>