Will my daughter find a job in her field after graduation?

Note: This is the second in a 4-Part Series about “Face Down Your Top Four College Fears & Help Your Student Succeed!”

This question requires a bit of a crystal ball and depends on a number of factors.

Students at the park

A primary factor is how diligently did your student look for a job both while in college and after graduation? Getting your résumé read can be challenging and dependent on factors out of the control of the applicant. But your student can enhance her chances of getting that all-important interview by:

  • Seeking out and taking advantage of internship opportunities during her college years
  • Finding chances to shadow someone in the career she is seeking
  • Doing informational interviews with professionals in her desired field
  • Taking advantage of the college career center to keep her résumé up to date and ensure it contains the elements that will attract prospective employers

Some colleges require students to present an up-to-date résumé to professors at the beginning of every course they take. This forces students to learn the constructs of a résumé, to go through it with a career professional and
to keep it current by adding each honor, job and enhanced skill as these are acquired. If your student has not done this, feel free to call us for help.

Watch for Red Flags Along the Way

What if you don’t see your daughter progressing toward a career while she is in high school and college? First, try to determine what is keeping her from doing the things she needs to do to become independent and employable.

And try to avoid some of the well-meaning roadblocks I see parents putting in the paths of their student:

  • Is she afraid of her looming independence?
  • Is she concerned that she cannot make it on her own?
  • Has she been given the opportunities to both succeed and to fail, or have you protected her from this?
  • When you speak with her, is your focus on her intellectual growth or on her social growth?
  • Is she subliminally receiving messages that your goals for her are different than those for her brother?
  • Does she know how to keep a budget or do you pitch in when she runs short?

Foster responsibility by helping your high school student plan her budget, and making your financial expectations clear before your student leaves for college.

Tell her exactly how much spending money you are willing to put into
her account each semester and what you expect her to do if she overdraws that amount. The goal, of course, is not to enable the behavior by adding more money to the account, but to expect that she will do something to earn money to offset the overdraw. There will be no advance on next semester’s deposit.

One of my students could not understand why she was not free to park in front of her residence hall even though it was clearly posted as a no parking zone. Soon after she brought her car to campus in her sophomore year, her parents began to see $10 parking tickets added to the quarterly tuition bill. After warning her of the consequence, rather than pay these fees for her, they opted to take the fee out of her next allotment.

She was incensed until she was willing to accept that the rules applied to her as well as to everyone else on campus and that she could not change them because she didn’t agree.

These are life lessons that responsible adults have to learn; without consequences, there is no growth!

Watch for Part 3 – Can I Afford to send Him to the School of His Dreams? Our answer may surprise you!