Parents of College Seniors: Here’s A Way to De-Stress Your Holiday Break

As career coaches for college students and new graduates, our phone typically rings like crazy starting in mid-January.  Why you ask?  Because students, and here I am mostly talking about college seniors, have been home twice in rapid succession and for a sustained period of time.  As parents, you have had time with your student and you have seen little signs that they are focused productively on what comes after college.  Attempts to engage your soon-to-be-graduate in discussions are often met with mono syllable responses, eye rolls and tears or anger.

Your Student Knows They Will Get Questions About Their Future

Moving towards the holidays I can tell you that if your student is not productively engaged in career planning s/he dreads family gatherings.   Your daughter knows that Aunt Kim can be counted to ask her about her plans are after graduation.  If you have a holiday party it is the last place your son wants to be because certainly the father of your son’s best friend in 8th grade will want to tell them that that early best friend already has a job lined up when he graduates and will certainly ask your son what his plans are.

They don’t know how to answer these questions and try to avoid them at all costs.

This is when you call us. As they drive back to college after the holiday break.  As glad as we are to talk with you in January – we would love to help you and your student now, so that you don’t have miserable holiday seasons.  If we can work with your student now, we can have them actively seeking out these types of conversations because they understand that they should be telling EVERYONE what they are looking for so that EVERYONE can help them.  We know from talking with parents that the whole tenor of their relationship with their student calms down once their student starts working with us.  Parents report that get to go back to being parents instead trying to be both parent and career coaches.

We Help Your Student See Questions as Opportunities

In the networking stage of our Signature College-to-Career Coaching Program, we turn students into networking fiends, actively looking for the conversations that they were avoiding just a few short weeks ago. We promise they will at least have a placeholder answer to “what are you thinking about after graduation.” Even if they aren’t yet totally clear they will be able to say some version of “well I am actively exploring these two options – do you know people in these fields that it might be helpful for me to speak to?” They won’t be wringing their hands and saying “I just don’t know what I want to do after graduation.”

We know that it can be challenging to even have this conversation with them as it can feel like pressure. Often they will tell you that they can’t possibly focus on this until after graduation, but we know that they can.  Although it is counter intuitive, putting in four hours a week with us now actually helps them calm down because they are actually making progress versus just worrying about what happens after graduation.

We would be delighted to offer you a free strategy session and help you plan how to engage your student in the process. And…perhaps we can help keep your holiday season more joyful and less stressful while we are at it!

More good reads:

College Seniors: 3 Tips For Using Your Holiday Break to Jump Start Your Career

Small things your senior can do all year to build toward their career.