Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Get a Job

My son moved in three months ago and has yet to find a job. He is 22 and has a degree in education..I think he could find something. I keep trying to get him to look for work but he either stares at the computer all day or watches sports on tv.

Thank you for your question, my friend. What’s a parent to do? Just when you thought your chicks had grown and finally spread their wings they wind up back in the nest. I have seen reports that indicate that this situation is becoming more common as the economy wavers and the job market tightens. You say your son is 22 with a fresh new shiny degree. The education field can be a difficult one I which to find a position. Of course, I can only speak from my outsider’s knowledge of the education system in the US. As I understand it, most, if not all, states require a teaching certificate in addition to the degree, assuming he wants to teach. Then, in a climate of budget cuts and "doing more with less" one has to find a school district that is actually hiring.

This reality does not, however, excuse one from actively pursuing gainful employment. From the tone of your statement I will assume that the hours spent staring at the computer do not involve useful things like polishing his resume, perusing education related employment sites or the like. Here are a couple that I recommend:

Take it from me, a world champion lay-about, sometimes it is all a matter of motivation and momentum. How does one get the horse to drink the water? One has to find the will within oneself to take the first steps. Sometimes this requires a little nudge from our loved ones. I have, fortunately, had the tigress to chivvy me along when I get too lazy for anyone’s good. Continue to be supportive and encouraging; but, don't let him rest on his laurels. Don't be accusitory or demanding. Just ask him how many resumes he posted that day, or how many positions he applied for. Be patient, but don't let up on him. If he really wants to pursue this as a career he needs to treat the job search process as a job in itself. Set goals with concrete deadlines and benchmarks. Commit to a course of action. He may not be able to find a job in his chosen field right away. I would encourage him to look for other employment in the meantime, even if it is just a part time position bagging groceries or whatever. One thing job search gurus will tell you is that it is easier to find a job if you already have one.

Ask a tiger.

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