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Career Advice for Grads: Follow in Your Mom's Footsteps, But Don't Let Her Come to Your Job Interview

Only 25 percent of working parents hope their children “pursue the same profession or career path as they did,” according to Marketwatch.

Marketwatch suggests, however, that “kids might do well to follow in their moms’ footsteps.” Female-dominated fields such as nursing and customer service are poised to experience the largest growth according to the U.S. Labor Department’s projections for 2008 to 2018. Male-dominated occupations, however, still “pay more than female-dominated occupations at similar skill levels.”

Jennifer Grasz of CareerBuilder.com says having a parent in the same field can be an asset for your career. “You have invaluable access to someone who can tell you what it takes to get your foot in the door and move up the ladder,” and that you gain “built-in networking contacts that can help you land a job.”

But the Chicago Tribune warns grads not to let parents get involved in their search for a job.  Though most parents are well-meaning in their efforts to help children secure employment, their assistance can often backfire.  Laura Egan, a 26-year-old computer programmer from Naperville, IL, tells a story about losing a job because of her dad’s “help.”

“I had an interview with an insurance company once, and the guy who would have been my boss told me my dad called him earlier that week and told him about my ‘entrepreneurial spirit.’ I was horrified. That pretty much ended the interview. I could tell I wasn’t getting hired right then and there.”

Stephen Seaward, director of career development at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, CT, emphasizes that employers don’t appreciate meddling parents. “Employers are having a nightmare with this. I’ve heard of instances where parents were calling employers on their child’s behalf and asking why they didn’t get the job or where they’ve called to negotiate salaries.”

Rule of thumb, grads: it’s okay to have mom or dad proofread your resume, but don’t bring them to the interview.

That is, if you get an interview.  The Baltimore Business Journal says, “while the overall economy and jobs market are improving slightly,” college grads may be relegated to jobs “at the mall, movie theater, restaurants and amusement parks. That’s because many of the entry-level corporate or small-business jobs that had been available to them in pre-recession years either have been cut or are filled by individuals who lost work elsewhere and needed a steady paycheck.”

Photo: jameskm03 via Flickr

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