Parents of Job Seekers

If you are the parent or mentor of a college-aged student, please hear me out.

I work with a lot of thirty-something-year-olds who are embarking on their first ever job search (with kids, a mortgage and a car payment).  They are stressed out of their minds because this is the first time in their lives they have had to write a resume or do networking meetings.  Right out of college their parents propped them up with a job so they never learned the skills to find new opportunities.

I read about a mom who tweets companies on behalf of her son.  I’ve seen a dad at a career fair with his daughter (true story!!) even interrupting her to talk about her strengths.

The point of parenting should be to grow a child who is capable of taking on adult tasks. Roald Dahl is known for saying, “the more risks you allow your children to take, the more that they are able to take care of themselves”.

What is my point? If you are parenting a student, don’t make calls on your child’s behalf. Coach your child on how to have an effective networking call or how to engage during an informational interview. If these are things you struggle with, hire a career coach to work with your student. If you give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.


  • Sarah Johnston

    I’m a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. I have relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and have had to execute job searches in completely cold markets (where I literally knew no one!) I have been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space in 2019, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

Sarah Johnston

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