Parenting on Purpose

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It used to be that when kids went to college, they had a good chance of graduating with a job in addition to their degree. Today, this is usually not the case. In fact when speaking statistically, most college graduates will not have a job ready and waiting for them after graduation.

As scary as this can be for both parents and your graduate, it is an opportunity to help coach your son or daughter through an important life transition — from college student to working citizen. By helping your child through this transition period, you will both benefit from a closer relationship and develop skills which will help with future transition periods.

It’s important to talk to your son or daughter about how it feels to be ready for the work force yet not be employed, after all the time and effort they put into getting their education. When my own daughter was in this transition period, she described it to me as being a little scary, nerve-wracking, and uncertain. Talk about feeling stressed, right?

When your children are in this position,one of the best things you can do is encourage them to tap into their Internal Guidance System (IGS). The IGS is the gut feeling and heart space within them. The IGS keeps everyone safe and moving towards what they want to achieve in their lives by helping them feel their way through choices.

In addition to encouraging the use of their IGS, another way you can coach your children through this time is to ask them questions that help them check in with their IGS. Ask them what sounds fun to them and what they are inspired to move toward. There will have been many things they studied in the process of getting their degree that can offer clues.

My daughter received a degree in English and Creative Writing and wanted to find a job that allowed her to write, as she’s an amazing writer. Writing gives her much pleasure and is one of her creative outlets, so this choice didn’t surprise me.

While I knew that my daughter loved to write and was good at it, my job didn’t end with supporting and encouraging the pursuit of that career. My support was present when she had doubts and also felt uncertain of her next step. For some kids, discovering what they love to do might have happened in one class that was part of their general education requirements or was an elective; it had nothing at all to do with the area where they actually achieved their degree. Keep in mind, some kids graduate without knowing what career they want to pursue. The process of your support remains the same.

Continue to help your son or daughter talk about what they like to do. This can lead to seemingly unrelated interests or it may fine-tune what they’ve already expressed.

You may be surprised to learn that your children know they have some skills, but aren’t sure how they can apply them in a real job. Allow them to tell you about their aspirations and fears. Keep in mind that they’ve been students for their entire lives, and unless they worked during high school and college, getting a job is a new experience for them.

Help your daughter determine the criteria she has for her dream job, even if she doesn’t know what that job will be. What kind of money does she want to make? Where does she want to live? These are ideas of what she wants in her job and in her life in general beyond her career.

Reassure your children that they don’t have to have it all figured out. These things come as people grow and gain experience. By having a starting point, they’ve expressed their desires in a way that the Universe can create said desires for them.

This is one of the most important things for both you and your son or daughter to remember. In order to create the lives they want, including that first job, they have to stay in a positive place of expectation. This means having fun so they can be open to receiving their inspiration.

Encourage your children to consider how much fun they will have at a prospective job. Some parents struggle with this concept, but it might help if you think of having fun as a tool to maintain a positive expectation, which then allows them to attract their dream jobs.

If they become too stressed and are focused on the fact that they don’t yet have jobs, then they’ll struggle to get the lives they desire. If that happens, they might just end up living with you a lot longer than you had planned. Help them stay positive!

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© 2015. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

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