Why a third of young people turn to parents for career advice and help finding a job.

May 23, 2013

With nearly a third of young people turning to parents for career advice and asking for help finding a job. It raises the question what kind of career advice are they asking for and why are so many needing to turn to their parents for help.

Here are three pieces of career advice graduates ask their parents for.

Young people aged 18 to 30 are on a slow road to independence with nearly a third of turning to their parents for help to find a job.

According to a Co-op report, this age group increasingly relies on parents for everything from cash to pay for essentials like food, clothing and birthday gifts to advice to help them choose a car, a home and a bank.

But the most popular requests for help from 18 to 30 year olds, after transportation and help with chores like ironing, are for education and study support (not so surprising) and to find a job (a little more surprising). Twenty-six and 27 per cent respectively do so.

The report says a third of young people feel financially dependent on their parents and unable to support themselves without help from family and friends. As we near the completion of the first academic year since the increase in the cost of university places (now in the region of £60k, or 250k with a public school education), requests for parental support will no doubt increase but the figures released by the Co-op can also help us to understand what kind of advice jobseekers are asking their parents for.

1. Competition for graduate jobs

Young people have said they feel there is a lack of opportunity in the jobs market and increased numbers of people competing for each job. The Co-op quotes figures that show that there are more than three jobseekers per job vacancy across the UK: Graduate Coach believes this figure is hugely inflated when it comes graduate level vacancies, with around a whopping 160 applications for each position advertised.

2. Graduates struggle to find a job that matches their degree

The report paints a picture of jobseekers turning to their parents for help because they are finding themselves either in the wrong career or job, or because they feel they are earning thousands of pounds less than they expected to after graduating.

The report shows that 16 per cent don’t feel they have a job that matches their qualifications yet, 18 per cent are unhappy in their present job, and 35 per cent said they found it difficult to get their first job as an adult to match their level of education. It shows that finding the right job is a skill in itself.

3. Graduates don’t feel they are being paid enough

When it comes to the amount young people are earning, they complain that this is up to £7k less than they expected to earn following graduation – although a study by the Education and Employers Taskforce showed that this is often due to unrealistic expectations over the levels of pay a graduate can expect for different types of jobs.

4. What graduates are really asking for is help to find the right job

All of the above can be summarised by this: graduates need specialised support to help them find the type of jobs that reflect the level of educational investment they have made. The right job. One in 20 (five per cent) are currently completing an unpaid internship to try to develop the skills and experience prospective employers see as essential so that they can step onto that career ladder but the competitive nature of our graduate recruitment market shows that as many as 31 per cent feel stressed about trying to find a job. As well as help to find the right internship so they can develop the essential skills and experience they need, graduates clearly also need help with other job finding skills like CV writing, company research skills and interview skills.

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