eggs in a nest

Think back 20 years ago. You were young parents (or would be parents). Back then, you probably imagined that, once your children left for college, you would be empty nesters, free once more to pursue unfinished dreams and live where you wanted to live. Little did you know that just before your child entered college, the US economy would tank and college debt would soar, leaving many college students to face the unattractive choice of living at home during school or after graduation. This is NOT what we signed up for!

Fast forward to today. You have a 21 year old who has spent the last 4 or 5 years away at school, living independently with some of the best friends they will ever have. And because they are underpaid, underemployed or outright unemployed, they are now back home with you, sleeping in their childhood bedrooms for an undetermined amount of time. Much as you miss them and may want to nurture them, what you really want is to see your adult children to become economically independent, confident and fulfilled by their careers. And, much as they appreciate having low overhead and loving parents to shelter them, your children would rather have their independence and their social lives, too.

So what do you do when, 3 to 6 months after graduation and the big move back home everyone’s nerves begin to fray? Maybe you are agitated because the living habits of 20-somethings are incompatible with those of 50-somethings. Or because watching your adult children struggle to gain meaningful employment is painful on many levels (they’re highly motivated but aren’t seeing results or they’re lost and delaying taking real action). Diplomats and hostage negotiators sweat fewer bullets than parents contemplating how to give career advice to their grown children!

We plan to outsource career coaching for our OWN kids for just that reason!

Just as you probably couldn’t help your kids with their college essay or calculus homework without WWIII breaking out, you probably can’t help them with organizing their career search efforts. And if it’s been more than 5 years since your last interview, chances are that your own job seeking skills need refreshing. You wouldn’t attempt to adjust your child’s braces or cut their hair. You’d take them to a professional, right? So why agonize? Find a professional career advisor, preferably one with connections to the working world. Empty or full, your nest will be peaceful, positive and full of possibility.

The Not So Fun Facts:

  • They’ve got debt and they’re sharing it with their parents
    • 60% of graduates have student loan debt (@$30K on average)
    • 1 in 4 plan to share this debt with their parents
  • One year after graduation, most are unemployed, under-employed or underpaid
    • Just 46% of 2012/2013 grads are employed full time
    • Half of employed grads say they are under-employed
      (e.g., working in a job that does not require their college degree)
    • Half of employed grads earn less than $40K/year
  • They’re back—living at home
    • More than one third of of 2012/2013 grads live at home
    • This can place a strain on family relationships

Sources:
The College Board (2013–2014 school year)
Accenture 2014 College Graduate Employment Survey
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2013)

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