What is my role as a parent in my child's job search process?

Choosing a career can be a stressful and confusing time. However, when a student has a supportive ear to listen, it can be a time of excitement and exploration. For a parent this means setting aside any preset agendas and truly listening. Try to see the situation from your son's or daughter's perspective and avoid giving advice unless asked. This is a fine line to walk for parents who have their child's best interests in mind.

When something has the potential to cause stress, it is easy to put it aside until later. Career decisions are often put off until senior year. To make a more insightful and beneficial choice, encourage your child to begin early. The Career Center is available to students and alumni. Encourage your son or daughter to start the career process in their first year at Dickinson. Meeting with a counselor early and attending relevant workshops can make a world of difference when it is time to begin seeking a job or graduate program.

Even in the age of technology, most students find their jobs through the art of personal connections. Through your own life experiences you have a multitude of connections with friends, family, colleagues, community organizations, and neighbors. Having your son or daughter talk with persons in fields of interest to them will help him/her to gain valuable information in making career choices.

This is the most enjoyable part. Sharing your own career story and those of others you know will alleviate some of the fear of the unknown. Students often get caught up in the thought that there is only one perfect career for a person. The reality is that the average person in the workforce today may have seven to ten job changes and three or more career changes. Sharing your career journey is likely to relieve stress from a potentially stressful process.