When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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It's exciting to know that your child is (or soon to be) a recent college graduate and eager to start his or her career.
However, it's not so exciting to see your brilliant child lounging on your couch a few months after graduation, still waiting for that perfect job to come along. Both parent and child need to be aware of how important it is for your child to have the right attitude to start out in the world.
To the Parents
If Junior comes back home to live after graduation, you need to make it known right off the bat that it's only temporary, and establish some guidelines. Junior should help around the house or get a temporary job until he/she finds something full-time. When he's not working, he's setting up interviews, sending out resumes or calling potential employers. Don't feel bad about Junior working hard ... it's not summer vacation! He doesn't have to work 24 hours a day until something comes up, but he should not sit around waiting for an opportunity to fall in his lap either.
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He must go to it.
As a parent, be very careful that you don't become an enabler. If Junior gets to stay in your house, eat your food, not pay rent, and goof off while waiting for "the perfect job", then that takes away from his need to work hard and accomplish something. Setting a deadline for being out on his own doesn't mean you don't love your kid; it's quite the opposite. It means you love your child enough to hold him accountable so that he will be a productive, working adult in the real world.
To Junior, the Job Seeker
As far as the job seekers go, employers want to see someone who has a burning drive to work hard and succeed. If you go on one interview every couple of months and show no signs of breaking that trend, they won't be impressed enough to offer you a job. Don't let such valuable time get away from you. Be active in your job search. You get out of something what you put into it, so if you don't work hard to find a job, what are your chances of being hired?
Once you become employed, you have to be willing to pay your dues. That usually means starting at the bottom and working your way up. Some people today think that you step out of college and into a corner office with a high salary and a prestigious job title. That doesn't happen. You usually start out on the bottom rung, work for a while and gain experience, and gradually move up in the working world.
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Every job has something you won't like, be it some paperwork or having to work some late nights. What you want is to find a job where you love the work itself. If you find that, you can have a bad day or a bad week, and you'll still be fired up about going to work the next morning.
Now go out and hunt down that job where you can put your skills to great use!
Learn more about working in your strengths with Dave's recommended readings.
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