Make us your home page
Instagram
Jobs | New graduates

Smoothing the transition from college to career

Stacy Lieberman hears the same thing from recent college grads all the time. "My degree is in psychology; I don't know what to do. My degree is in history; I don't know what to do," said Lieberman, office manager at the Center for Professional Development, which is at the University of Hartford in Connecticut but serves the community.

Lieberman says her office often helps these callers, but she also suggests they check back with their own college career-service offices.

The most recent statistics from MonsterTRAK show that almost half of this year's graduates planned to move home upon graduation. (Last year's survey revealed that only 22 percent of 2007 grads expected to move home for more than six months, but 43 percent have extended their stay and have yet to leave because of limited financial resources.)

So how should young graduates get going in the job market, and how much should parents help?

Set some rules

Talk to grads about their goals and why they are home, then lay down some rules.

Michael Klein, a Northampton, Mass., career coach with a doctorate in psychology, says parents need to say, "Let's talk about why you're home and what your short- and long-term goals are. What is your purpose for being at home? Are you trying to save money? Let's talk about what that means."

Patience

Jeff Arnett, a psychologist and the author of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road From Late Teens Through the Twenties, said parents need to be patient with kids and realize what they are going through is typical. "They don't want to live there any more than you want them to live there."

Most, he said, move home for a transitional period of as long as six months or, at most, a year. He said the young adults want to make their own decisions.

Be supportive

Maureen Mulroy, associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut's Cooperative Extension Program, said parents should encourage grads but not find the job for them.

She said sometimes young adults become overwhelmed by their situation. In such cases, Mulroy said, kids can withdraw and even become depressed. If this lasts for more than a couple of weeks, she suggests seeking medical attention.

Most kids have a record of summer employment, and it might help to return to an ordinary, familiar summer job to give them some balance while they search for a career-related job, she said.

Narrow your focus

Annalisa Zinn, assistant dean for career services in the College of Liberal Arts at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, said history or English majors often feel as though they aren't prepared for anything. She assures them that they have many transferable skills: writing and analytical and research abilities.

She recommends that rather than focus on large employment Web sites, grads should pick a geographic area and go directly to the companies or other employers that appeal to them. Often it's helpful to go to the local Chamber of Commerce Web site for a list of all employers in an area.

Smoothing the transition from college to career 07/10/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 3:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Hartford (Conn.) Courant.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Higher Social Security payouts help Florida post a big jump in personal income

    Personal Finance

    Personal income grew 1.3 percent in Florida in the first quarter of this year, a four-way tie among all states for second-fastest growth behind Idaho.

  2. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and estranged wife Carole put Beach Drive condo on the market

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo on the market for $1.5 million.

    U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo in Parkshore Plaza on the market for $1.5 million. {Courtesy of Amy Lamb/Native House Photography]
  3. Trigaux: Task now is for Water Street Tampa to build an identity

    Business

    Adios, VinikVille! Hello Water Street Tampa.

    An aerial rendering of the $3 billion redevelopment project that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners plan on 50-plus acres around Amalie Arena.
[Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
  4. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena

    Tourism

    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]