How to Help Your Kids Find Meaningful Employment – 12 Tips for Parents

Written by Jean Giroux; Edited by Sandy Vandermeulen;
How to Help Your Kids Find Meaningful Employment – 12 Tips for Parents

It has often been quoted that “there is no love stronger than a parent’s love for their child.” With the goal of raising happy, health, successful adults, we do everything in our power to create opportunities that will allow our children to have many doors open to them in the future. Sometimes the intent to be helpful can inhibit a child’s ability to become confident, independent, resourceful and successful. While the process of finding employment can be challenging and discouraging, allowing them to find and maintain the job helps them develop the skills they need for the numerous career changes ahead. We have outlined some tips that will allow you to show your support while also promoting independence during the job search and career planning process.

  1. Be a ‘sounding board’. While you may be inclined to try and “fix” the problem, helping your child to develop problem-solving and conflict resolution skills will better equip them to retain employment.
  2. Provide unconditional support from the sidelines. Helping with transportation, interview clothes and networking opportunities is a great way to support them while still promoting independence.
  3. Refer them to appropriate community resources. Staff at local employment agencies are qualified to provide sound, current recommendations regarding how to get noticed in a competitive job market.
  4. Encourage your child to become involved in school and community activities. Networking with others and trying new things will assist them in deciding what they enjoy and expose them to future opportunities. Cooperative Education and volunteer placements provide experiential learning opportunities.  
  5. Support your child’s choices. They may feel pressured to be involved in the family business or follow in your footsteps. While this is flattering, a career decision is very individual and has a direct bearing on job satisfaction.
  6. Promote the value of entry-level jobs. Starting at the bottom provides a good understanding of how things work, provides insight into employer expectations and allows your child to better position themselves for promotion opportunities.
  7. Provide constructive feedback regarding your child’s social media habits. Their online image has the ability to either open or close doors to academic, scholarship, employment and promotion opportunities.
  8. Understand that today’s job market is very competitive. With online applications, social media scrutiny and high academic expectations, finding employment can take time.
  9. Encourage them to get a driver’s license as soon as possible. So many employers request a driver’s licence, even when it may not be an obvious part of the job.
  10. Avoid accompanying your child when they are distributing resumes or attending interviews. It is imperative that they be viewed as independent when applying, obtaining and sustaining employment.
  11. Help your child understand that failing is a natural part of life. It builds character, resilience, coping skills and serves as a teachable moment.
  12. Most of all, promote work/life balance. Even though looking for work can be a full-time job, it is important to balance job search with interests and hobbies.

For more assistance with your job search, book an appointment with a Career Counsellor at EPC or check our Workshops & Events section for upcoming dates.