Jobs for Children

By Jane Wells from USA Today:

Remember when we were young, a million years ago, and we couldn’t wait to leave home and strike out on our own?

Two things have changed.

Our children can’t find jobs.

Our children can find jobs, but they don’t like them.

The good news is that more than half of recent college graduates say they have full-time jobs, according to Adecco’s 2012 Graduation Survey.

Still, about that same number claims parents are covering some of their living expenses, things like cell phone bills, internet access, food, and health coverage. Two percent of these college grads say their parents are footing their entire living expenses. That’s one in 50 kids (I think the real number is higher based on personal observation).

Some parents are not content to help pay the bills. They’re going to great lengths to help Junior get a job.

According to Adecco, nearly a third of parents are helping their kids find work, and nearly one in ten are taking them to job interviews.

But that’s not all.

Three percent of recent college grads say their parents have actually sat in with them during interviews, and one percent claim Mom or Dad wrote their thank you notes afterwards….

What are deal killers?

Nearly one in four say they would not take a job they were otherwise interested in if they could not make or receive personal phone calls at work. Twelve percent say they wouldn’t work at a place that wouldn’t let them check in on Twitter or Facebook. Finally, my favorite, five percent — one in 20 recent grads — say they wouldn’t take a job where they couldn’t shop online, and the same amount would say no to employment where they couldn’t check sports scores.

Oh, America.

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  • Well, I mean, what’s work if you can’t check Facebook or Twitter, or for heaven’s sake, check sports scores . . . or read blogs?

  • Joshua

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Who are these people? I just graduated on Saturday – I’ll only reject a job that doesn’t pay me money.

  • Joshua, hold out for sports updates.

    But seriously, congratulations!

  • Or as someone in the Alumni Office wrote in the New Testament they gave to us upon graduation many years ago, “Congradulations on your graduation.” It’s a treasure.

  • Bob

    Three percent of recent college grads say their parents have actually sat in with them during interviews, and one percent claim Mom or Dad wrote their thank you notes afterwards….

    I’m scared.

  • I hope our son, who just graduated on Saturday, too, resembles Joshua more than the survey participants! 😀

  • Phil Miller

    Well, I’m writing this comment from my work computer, so I suppose I can’t complain too much…

    I do think that it’s a bit unrealistic for employers to expect a person to sit in front of a computer all day and not engage in some of these activities. But distractions can be, well, distracting from getting work done.

    Personally, I guess I think that we need to get away from the idea that simply because you’re at the office doing office-type work that you’re actually being productive. It’s especially true for jobs that require creativity. It’s one of the paradoxes in the way human’s work. Often the most creative solutions come when you’re not really concentrating on the problem being solved. We tend to have flashes of insight when we’re more relaxed – i.e, in the shower, on a walk in the park, etc.

    I can see both sides. There’s always a tension between what employers and employees want. I do think that people are less hesitant to sign their life away for the sake of a company when they know that the company probably won’t be very loyal to them in the long run.

  • Drew Daniels

    I’ve seen this before and it bothers me. As a recent college grad I can’t say that I know any peers who would answer similarly to this. I feel like there are a number of articles out there demonizing 20-somethings nowadays about how lazy and immature we are, never mind the cost of education and lack of entry level jobs. These articles and surveys are holding a new generation up to some different ethic that 20-somethings don’t care for, most of us have no desire to settle down the same way baby boomers did. I had a full time job with benefits and gave it up to go travel in South America for half a year learning organic farming techniques, I don’t see settling down in the near future but it’s not because I’m lazy, just that we are in a different world and I view it much differently than my parents generation. It is very common in other countries that 20-somethings live with their family as they finish school and get started in life, I find this to be much more healthy than the nuclear family idea but odd that it is so looked down upon here. I also think that the parents sending thank you notes is just a part of the generation of helicopter parents and has more to say about the insane people raising us. I read an article recently of an australian nurse who worked in hospice and kept a journal of dying peoples’ regrets and the most common was “I wish I didn’t work as much/hard.” Our work days haven’t shortened in over 100 years as our rate of production sky rockets, I’m going to worry more about living rather than working a job that steals my life; and for me that means one that actually has real connection with people and healthy relationships with coworkers.

  • DRT

    My oldest finished his freshman year and is doing exactly what I think he should do. Bumming around at the beach, shacking up with friends and scraping to get by. Sounds like fun, I did some of that myself.

    But a graduate, not even sure what to think about that yet.

    I have one employee who spent 10 years after graduation basically doing crazy stuff all over the country and is now trying to start a career at 32 years old. It is a tough thing to start after that many years.

  • Another Josh

    I wonder how much the overreaching parental involvement is about parents’ insecurities/lack of trust in their child’s abilities to succeed on their own vs. the reality of a job market that is very tough to enter (maybe it’s some of both). As a practically unemployed thirty-something (aside for some freelance work that doesn’t pay much), I can attest that it can be very difficult, despite straight-A’s and 12 years of success and loyalty in an unrelated field. With a fresh technical degree on hand, I have been unable to penetrate into my particular field. Those few listings that are available insist on very precise (and sometimes odd) skill/experience combinations; pretty much none of them that I have seen would be considered “entry level.” I even had one hiring manager tell me a month or two before I finished my degree that they didn’t want to have to “train” me, and this despite the fact that he knew I had more experience than most of my classmates. And from what I’ve seen when looking at other types of jobs (usually out of curiosity), the same problem exists there, as well.

    I have spoken with folks from local organizations who (working with our state’s employment commission and local schools) help people get training and find jobs, and they agree with me 100% that the lack of jobs for people fresh out of school or training is difficult and frustrating.

    So any criticism aimed at kids with degrees but no jobs should take into account the current state of the economy and apparently common hiring practices.

  • Gloria

    I agree with one part of your comment; that is, what is the deal with crazy helicopter parents going to job interviews with their adult children and writing follow up thank you notes??? That is ridiculous. Let go parents and let your kids face these adult responsibilities. Quit enabling your children to be overly dependent on you!

  • RobS

    Us financial planners get to see the parents come into our office, and explain how they have debt, but can’t pay it off faster because they’re paying out a few thousand bucks a month (really) to help their kids out. It’s amazing the decisions people will make.

    I remember my dad in high school saying, “You want a car? You want gas for that car? You want insurance?” and I responded, “Sure thing, Dad!” and he said, “Better find a job.”

    It’s funny how we’re more thankful and more careful with things we work hard for. Entitlements and gifts usually don’t help people develop a true spirit of thankfulness.

  • michael

    What Drew (#8) said is what I think is the real story here:
    “I also think that the parents sending thank you notes is just a part of the generation of helicopter parents and has more to say about the insane people raising us.”

    I’d like to see some comments from the parents and recent grads on this statement.

  • DRT

    michael#13, mine have not graduated, but I think the writing of the thank yous and attending interviews is actually shameful.

    We certainly are not helicopter parents, when all of our friends were watching their kids do homework and insisting on micro-managing their school work we decided to let them sink or swim (well, we wouldn’t have totally let them sink) in sixth and seventh grade. Yes, they did have a down blip, but now they are much more independent and motivated, on their own accord.

  • It is no different than parents doing their third grader’s homework. My wife as a teacher sees it all the time.

    Yes there are very few jobs. But Yes people quit for some very bad reasons. I know someone who’s boss kept calling him the wrong name. After about the 8th time, he blew up at the boss stormed off and quit. After that the boss was willing to give him his job back and he refused. This is someone that has been quit or fired from almost every office in the area that does what he does. He has virtually no options, but his pride was more important. (By the way when pressed he talks about how the boss’ ego prevented the boss from learning people’s names. So zero acceptace of resopnsiblity)

  • This is totally consistent with Rainer & Rainer discuss in their book The Millennials.

  • DRT

    Adam Shields#16 wrote “It is no different than parents doing their third grader’s homework. My wife as a teacher sees it all the time.”

    When my daughter was in 1st grade they had a science fair. We spent time with her coming up with ideas, and assisting her, but it was all hers. Nearly all of the exhibits looked like parents work, except my Nikki. Hers was obviously the work of a first grader….and she won!!!!

    Optional reading, the actual experiment – The experiment was actually quite good. She wanted to know if which of 4 foods our horses preferred for a snack. So she got us involved, put 4 foods on a board held horizontally, and we allowed one horse at a time to walk up to the board and see which food it picked first. She did all the analysis, including a frequency distribution bar graph and did all the creative with her hand (and our coaching). The results were perfect, repeated trials, different horses, awesome.

  • DRT

    come to think of it, it had to be later than first grade, but she sure was cute 🙂

  • Luke

    I probably would have benefited from my parents’ help a bit when I set out in the job market, but they were like 8,000 miles away. I had no idea what I was doing.

    Not teaching your kid how to find a job or finding the job for them are both bad. There’s a middle ground for parents’ involvement somewhere.

  • JoeyS

    Ha, how many people are reading this while at work?