Parents Just Don’t Understand

DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince released the classic tune “Parents Just Don’t Understand” back in 1988, and if you’re like me, it quickly became your anthem during your teenage years.

During this time and for the next decade of my life, I was the smartest person I knew and didn’t think my parents had any of the answers to most of my challenges or problems. It wasn’t until I graduated college when I told them that I was amazed by how much smarter they had become after my four years at school.

For the last 22 years, I’ve been trying to engage with recent grads on how to find their first job and how to expand their networks. But after dropping my kids off at pre-school earlier this week, the Director said, “My son is going to call you—he just got back from Hilton Head and it’s time for him to find a job.” It was at that moment that I had an epiphany—I realized I had been looking at the engagement factor through the wrong lens. I was looking through the lens of a recent grad, not their parents’.

So, if you’re a parent of a recent graduate (congratulations!) and they’re not yet employed, here are some insights to help your proudest accomplishment (a.k.a. your child) find their first or next job and their way out of your house:

  1. Being on their phone is a good thing, especially if they’re on LinkedIn and migrating all of their personal connections from Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
  2. Their personal online brand will be brought into question, so it’s paramount to ensure you’re proud of their social media presence.
  3. Their resume should be one page (Education/Experience/Skills format) but they should have multiple versions for various opportunities, each speaking to specific strengths and experiences.
  4. You shouldn’t feel awkward or uncomfortable asking to share your child’s resume with a colleague, a friend, or a friend’s colleague for them to review and share with their networks. Pick up the phone or shoot them an email with your child’s resume and ask for a little assistance. This is the MOST IMPORTANT way to help.

Some people suffer from paralysis by analysis and/or fear of rejection, but one of the biggest compliments someone can give me is to entrust their child’s future with my guidance. It’s what I do when I leave my kids at school. And with that, I try to pay it forward as an organization, every-single-day.

Take it from me—Parents Just Do Understand!

Tim Tobin

Managing Director at Russell Tobin & PRIDE Health

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