Helicopter parents often do more harm than good, especially when their sons and daughters graduate college and begin looking for their first real job. College professors complain about helicopter parents, but can’t do much about them. Hiring managers can. They won’t hire the offending parent’s child.
OfficeTeam, a temp agency that specializes in administrative staffing, interviewed executives for stories on some of the more unusual or surprising behaviors they’ve witnessed from helicopter parents during their child’s job search. These are definitely 10 ways to sabotage your child’s job prospects:
- “One parent wanted to sit in during the interview.”
- “A parent called a politician to push me to hire his son.”
- “A mother submitted her daughter’s resume on her behalf.”
- “Someone stopped an employer at a grocery store to ask that person to hire her child.”
- “A parent called to ask about a job applicant’s work schedule and salary.”
- “A parent called during the interview to try to push me to hire her daughter.”
- “I received a call from a father asking about the status of his son’s application.”
- “A parent came by my desk and told me that he expected his daughter to get preference for a position since he was a manager at the company.”
- “A mother called to ask how her child did in the job interview.”
- “A parent called to find out why we did not hire her son and why we felt he was not qualified.”
This doesn’t mean that parents have to sit back and not help their newly adult children at all. Why not pass on our wisdom, experience and contacts. Here are 5 ways parents can help their kids find jobs:
- Branch out. Networking is still one of the best ways to find a job. A parent’s friends and colleagues can help set up introductory meetings with employers and alert you to opportunities.
- Give it another look. Have parents review your resume and cover letter. They can spot typos and other errors and make sure the most valuable information is included.
- Do a test run. Conduct mock interviews with parents to practice responses to common questions. Ask for constructive feedback on your answers and delivery.
- Weigh your options. Use your parents as a sounding board about potential opportunities. They can provide a different perspective and bring up points to consider in your decision.
- Get encouragement. Looking for a job can be difficult, and it’s important to remain positive. Seek parental advice and support throughout the process to keep on track.
We all want to help our kids, but as they get older, we can’t do everything for them. They have hatched from their cocoon and must fly away. We can always offer to help them, throughout their adult lives, but that is all we should be doing. Even though they will always be our kids, they are not children anymore. And when it comes to finding jobs, doing too much will actually sabotage the desired result.