It can be hard for parents of Millennials to let go. It is so hard that parents of this group of young adults – both Baby Boomers and Generation X – now entering the workforce have been labeled “helicopter parents” and now “snowplow parents.”
Likewise, it is equally hard for many Millennials, also called Generation Y, to escape their parents’ sphere of influence. The recession has only made matters worse. Tough economic times have forced many 20, 30 and even 40 year olds to return home. Recent statistics from the Census Bureau tell us that 49% of 18- to 24-year-olds live at home with their parent(s), compared with 35% in 1960. In 2008, 10% of 25- to 34-year-olds reported living at home. That is a 56% increase since 1970—such an increase that we now have another label for this generation: “Boomerangers.”
It’s natural for parents to care about their children’s future. But escorting your 20-something to an interview or acting as your child’s agent with the CEO or VP of Human Resources to negotiate his or her salary and benefits may be carrying the relationship too far. And parents – school days are over for your adult children. You don’t to harass your child’s manager over a poor performance review like you did your child’s teacher during his elementary and high school years.
As Millennials and their parents stress out about finding jobs, it’s the right thing to do to discuss options. And it’s not wrong for parents to want to hover like you’ve done for the past two decades. It’s just that there’s a limit to the value of your good intentions. There’s a fine line between taking a heartfelt interest and becoming a co-dependent in a non-productive relationship.
- Read over their resume to give you a fresh perspective, but NOT write the resume, word for word.
- Coach them on how to negotiate a salary offer, but DO NOT negotiate on their behalf, term by term.
- Brainstorm ideas for their job search, but NOT do the search, job by job.
- Practice interview questions with your child, but DO NOT serve as their reference.
- Alert your child to a local job fair, but DO NOT attend it with him (or worse yet, as his “agent”).
- Talk over the pros and cons of job choices, but DO NOT make the final job decision.
If you have done all of the above and your Millenial does not know what they want to do in life, get a copy of Strengths Finder and discuss with them their identified strengths. This will build their self esteem and confidence to get out in the big bad world and find a job they are capable of performing.
Photo Credit Brooks Gibbs.