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Mom, The Career Coach

How I helped my college grad get his first job

by Florinda Pendley Vasquez  |  2742 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

Our kids never fail to offer us new opportunities to help them learn something. Early on, it's walking; later, letter and numbers, reading, and games; science projects and book reports; driving and the college application process. Recently, my fresh-out-of-college, certified Gen-Y son enlisted my assistance in his search for his first "real" job. He just got his degree in electrical engineering, and I've been an accountant in the nonprofit sector for 20 years, so my help primarily consisted of advising on the process.

I've read a lot about how the work world is going to be much different for the "millennials," but Chris is getting started in a pretty traditional manner. He graduated in May, and left his college town a couple of weeks later - and didn't move back in with either of his parents, but relocated to his girlfriend's city. He had hoped to have employment locked in before he got there, but when the prospect he was pursuing fell through, he signed up with a temp agency the day after he got to town and started checking the online job-search sites for openings while carefully managing his graduation money. Resumes went out, he got some calls, interviews were held, and his first job offer came in yesterday.

To me, parenting has always been about helping your kids get the tools and the skills to be able to do "it," whatever "it" is, for themselves. And even though we'll be working in very different fields, my work and job-search history gave me experience that Chris could use. I wouldn't make contacts for him; for one thing, I don't have them (different fields, different cities), also, I'm not that interventionist; but there was plenty that I could still offer. We've discussed strategy and steps. I have proofed and revised cover letters and follow-up notes via e-mail, helped prep for interviews by going over questions and answers, and debriefed via IM and cell phone afterwards. I've sent links to useful articles and blog posts. I'm pretty sure the help I've offered was welcomed and appreciated - he hasn't necessarily said it was, but I know he would have told me if it wasn't.

Once he starts the job, I'll still be there at the other end of the phone or the Google Talk window. He'll have to fight his own battles with his boss, HR, and customers - and if it comes to that, he will - but if he wants advice on steps or strategy, I'll be glad to give it, asked or not. I've been a working mom for his whole life, and I'm glad that I can share the "working" part with him now.

About the Author

Florinda is a wife, mother, stepmother, blogger, and accountant employed by a Southern California nonprofit agency.

Read more by Florinda Pendley Vasquez

1 comment so far...

  • I'm not that interventionist, either. Perhaps that's why your son, like my adult daughter, still calls home to mom for support, someone to bounce ideas off, and even for advice!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MaryP on 21st September 2007