Family Life

Family

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Helicopter parents go to new heights

If you’re having a hard time letting go of your grown children, a new study has found that you’re not alone.

 Due to the competitive marketplace and downturn in the economy, more parents are finding new and increasingly aggressive ways to get involved in helping their child secure a job – and it’s not a good thing.

 “We’ve been finding that parents are becoming heavily involved in ensuring that their recent graduate or university-aged children secure job opportunities,” says Anaar Dewjee, a Division Director at OfficeTeam, which developed the recent survey. Conducted by an independent research firm, the survey is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,300 senior managers at companies in Canada and the United States.

 “We found that parents are phoning or emailing the hiring manager directly after their child attends an interview,” says Dewjee. “Some parents escort their child to the interview and wait in the lobby and others try to attend the interview and have a presence during the process. This level of involvement and aggressive outreach can actually hinder their child’s opportunity to secure employment. We want to see enthusiasm and initiative from the potential hire; not their parents.”

 Interviewing is a skill that everyone needs to master on their own, Dewjee explains. When a parent is too involved, it can negatively impact their child’s confidence and be a distraction in the job search process.

 “When a parent oversteps their bounds, we encourage them to be respectful of our need to interview their child independently,” says Dewjee. “We also explain the interview and hiring process so that they understand how it works. We know that all good parents want to support their child and help them through this often-stressful time, but there are more beneficial ways to do this.”

Here is how she suggests parents can better support their children as they interview for jobs:

–> Educate your child about networking, making phone calls, and using social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, to connect with employers in their field of interest.

–> Go online with your child and help them review information about the company to which they are applying for a position.

–> Help your child prepare for the questions that may be asked in an interview.

–> Role play so that your child becomes comfortable with his interview skills.

 “These tips will benefit your child more than being in the interview with them,” says Dewjee.

a man carrying two children

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