Workplace Woes – Roze Knows®

Dear Roze:

I’m at a loss. Our son is getting a great college education but he’s lacking motivation when it comes to preparing for life after college. He’s a junior and was supposed to get a part-time job or internship for the summer that related to his major. I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing, but he’s one of those kids where he’s never had to work real hard to get decent grades and things seem to always fall into place for him.

I can’t deny we didn’t encourage him to do anything for his future during the summers of his freshman and sophomore years. Needless to say, we’re regretting that now.

Over the past six months, my husband and I have been talking to him until we’re blue in the face about his future after college graduation. He keeps telling us, “Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.” We have no idea what that means, and it’s impossible to get any details from him.

We’ve told him to make calls and send emails to the people who can either offer him some part-time work or an internship, or can place a call to someone on his behalf or know someone who can help him. We started telling him to do something over Thanksgiving and during his Christmas vacation. And when we learned he still hadn’t done anything while he was home for his spring break, we pushed a lot more. And we’ve always told him to take advantage of his college’s on-campus career services center. We’ve definitely paid for those services!

Part of me thinks my husband and I should back off so he learns to stand on his own two feet, but the other part of me wants to get it done for him. If he fails, I will feel like we’ve failed. And I can’t deny the incredible amount of money we’ve paid and will continue to pay for a very long time for his education greatly affects how we feel about this. We’re so frustrated and disappointed by his indifference.

What do you think we should do?

Mother frustrated with son’s indifference

Dear Mother frustrated with son’s indifference:

As much as I understand your desire to fix things for your son, I recommend you rein in the part of your brain that wants to be excessively involved. Heed the other part that tells you to step back and not make contact with the individuals he needs to reach out to. Oftentimes, we learn the most and get truly motivated by suffering the consequences from our lack of action(s). And I also think we are much more engaged and appreciative of something when we have to pay for it ourselves. You may want to consider having your son pay for some of his college education.

It is also important for you and your husband to have discussions with your son about his future. Talking to him about internship and job opportunities and sharing your ideas and providing suggestions as to how he can go after them are supportive and encouraging actions. I also believe you have every right to know how your son thinks he has his future “covered.” And academic institutions’ career development programs can be immeasurably helpful if students takes advantage of all they have to offer.

This quote from Ann Landers expresses my thoughts on this subject perfectly, “It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”

I truly hope things work out for the best.

© 2017 Rozanne R. Worrell

Workplace Woes – Roze Knows®

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