The joy of a son or daughter’s graduation from college (no more tuition to pay!) can quickly turn to anxiety when your new grad doesn’t land his or her first job right away. The job market for recent graduates is tough these days, but that’s no reason for either you or your child to lose hope.
Here’s how to give your son or daughter a gentle nudge and reclaim your empty nest:
Set some ground rules. When your child moves home, agree on your expectations. You may want to discuss such issues as rent, chores, and general behavior, as well as a timeline for finding a job. Don’t be dictatorial, but don’t make home life so comfortable that your kid has little motivation to move out.
Offer reasonable assistance. You don’t want to do everything, but you can work with your new grad on job-hunting tips. Review his or her resume (don’t write it yourself), discuss strategy, and help your child set a definite direction.
Encourage networking. Networking gets your new tenant out of the house, and it expands his or her chances of making a contact that might lead to a job. Make a few introductions of your own to get started. And remember that online sites like LinkedIn and even Facebook can be useful networking tools, so don’t assume that time on the computer is just about playing games.
Boost morale. The job hunt can be long and difficult, so don’t let it get your child down. Remind your job-hunting child about his or her past successes; express your confidence that the right job (or at least a “starter” job) is out there.
Don’t nag. Chances are your adult children are just as eager to get started with their post-college lives as you are to have your house back. Keep up with their progress, but don’t hound them about what they’ve done today. As long as they’re making a sincere effort, give them the support they need, not constant criticism.