My 22-year-old son has no direction – What can I do to help Him?

Feb 12, 2021

Since returning home from university, has your son’s lack of direction been holding him back? Are you beginning to worry about his career prospects and general wellbeing? If so, you have come to the right place. In this post, we will share advice on what to do if your son, or daughter lacks direction. 

A distressed mother of a 22-year-old son, who had graduated from university just over a year ago contacted us for help. She proclaimed “My 22-year-old son has no direction!”

She explained that since graduating and returning home, her son has no direction and has struggled immensely to find a job. Whilst he remains active during the day and has managed to secure a few placements, they haven’t led to any job opportunities and she can see how this is starting to take a toll on him. If you can relate to this mother’s story, rest assured that you are not alone, and help is available.

#1: Hire a Graduate Coach

Hiring a professional career coach who specialises in graduate careers will help your child to find direction and discover their career path.

Up until now, there is a high chance that your child has never received personalised careers advice that has helped them to make informed career decisions. Even if they went to the careers centre at their university, the help would have been generic and surface level.

In the words of Bill gates, “everyone needs a coach”. A graduate coach will help your son or daughter to:

  • Work out what career is right for them
  • Identify the employability skills that they have gained through extracurricular activities or work experience
  • Produce an achievement-based graduate CV
  • Work on their personal and professional development
  • Regain their confidence and self-esteem and more.

Here at Graduate Coach, we have a wide range of products and services to help your son or daughter to find a graduate job, from interview coaching to books, online courses and one-to-one career coaching.

Read our post on Expert Advice for Parents of Graduates Looking for Jobs

#2: Tap into your network 

Photo by The Coach Space from Pexels

If you have any professional contacts that you have acquired during your career, reach out to them and see if any of them will be able to offer your son or daughter some work experience a referral.

Alternatively, you could ask various members in your network who work in various industries to have a chat with your son or daughter. Their varying perspectives can help them to find some direction in terms of their career.

#3: Encourage your son or daughter to gain work experience

If your son or daughter left college with a string of good A-levels and graduated with a good degree classification from a top university, you may think that they are set up to get a good graduate job.

However, a degree alone is not enough. Even if your son or daughter has a very strong academic record, it does not guarantee them a graduate job. It simply will not differentiate them from the hundreds of thousands of other applicants who meet the minimum academic requirements.

When graduates realise this upon graduating, it can leave them feeling disorientated. They feel as though they put in a lot of hard work throughout their studies, and that it has amounted to nothing if they are unable to find a job. After all, during their entire academic career, great emphasis will have been placed on passing exams and getting good grades. However, in the real world, greater emphasis is placed on how much value you can add in the workplace.

Graduate employers are actively seeking out graduates who have varied work experience under their belt. Ultimately, they want graduates who can articulate and demonstrate their employability skills.

Past performance predicts future success. If your son or daughters CV does not demonstrate what they are capable of in the workplace, they will struggle when it comes to finding a graduate job.

Work experience can help them to find direction

Encourage your son or daughter to gain work experience. This will immensely help them to gain direction with their career. As well as boosting their employability and enhancing their CV, it will help them to work out what it is that they like and dislike doing. This will help them to make informed decisions based on their interests and skills.

Types of work experience:

  • Shadowing
  • Internships and virtual internships
  • Placements
  • Volunteering

#4: Encourage them to pursue a range of activities

Bridging the gap between education and employment is not easy and many graduates struggle. It takes some graduates months and others years to find a good graduate job that they enjoy.

Encourage your son or daughter to keep themselves busy during their job search.

As well as searching and applying for jobs, encourage them to take online courses, and virtual internships.

Pursuing a range of activities will help them to find direction and also help them to establish balance.

Does your twenty-something-year-old son or daughter need help to get a graduate job?

Here at Graduate Coach, our coaching products and services are specially designed to guide graduates who feel lost and need career direction to get onto the career ladder and thrive in life.

Whether they graduated last year or several years ago, we help young adults to transform their career prospects.

Featured photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

The Seven Secrets of Success

Land your graduate level job

Download your free copy of our guide that reveals the seven secrets of success when it comes to landing a graduate job.

  • Learn seven things you can implement today to enhance your job search strategy.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the graduate job market.
  • Find out how you can find your dream job with guidance from a graduate coach.

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