Wow, it gets deeper. By Anne Kadet:
Perhaps it was inevitable, given the track record of the American boomer parent. After coaching their kids through junior hockey, supervising their science projects and cowriting their college applications, a growing number of enthusiastic moms and dads are moving to the next challenge, taking on the job of job hunting. Of course, parents have always played the role of over-the-phone cheerleader before job interviews, and generations of kids have gotten their first job through one of Dad’s connections. But employers, job counselors and parents themselves say the help they’re offering these days can become a full-blown tactical enterprise, one that includes everything from filling out job applications and combing the want ads to picking up the phone and hounding recruiters who haven’t called back.
And yes, some parents even show up at their kid’s job interview. Stuart Friedman, president of Chicago consulting firm Progressive Management Associates, will never forget the time he helped a financial-software client interview candidates for an entry-level position. In walked not one but three well-dressed hopefuls — a fresh-faced college grad and his proud parents. Mom and Dad were on hand, the grad explained, to make sure he got “a fair opportunity to get this job.” Friedman says he tried hard to stifle his befuddlement: “You can’t sweat. You can’t show any reaction.”
But it’s not nostalgia driving the new parental involvement — it’s the lousy economy. Kids who can’t get jobs after college are returning home in droves, and their parents are desperate to get them working and out of the house. According to federal statistics, 14 percent of adults ages 20 to 24 are unemployed — far higher than the national rate, which hovers near 8.5 percent. And even the well educated are having trouble, with just 53 percent of recent college grads landing full-time jobs, according to a Rutgers University report. That leaves Mom and Dad picking up their kids’ tab for everything from cell phones to car loans — and in the process, more than a quarter of those parents are taking on more debt to do so. The grown child, meanwhile, becomes more dependent in more walks of life, says Boulder, Colo., career coach Kathryn Marion. If a young adult hasn’t learned to manage his or her time or balance a checkbook, she says, it’s unlikely they’ll have the life skills to land a serious job: “They’re not ready to be in the deep end without a rope.”