Monday, November 20, 2017

Helicopter parents on their child's job hunt

Helicopter parents can be over-protective of their adult children, even as they try to join the workforce.

Some employers say the millennial generation can be hurt by the people who care about them most.

"I have a very active family," says Malcolm Bennett, a senior at the University of Illinois Springfield. "I'm looking for pretty much anything to get started in the workforce," says Malcolm.

With the tight job market since the great recession, young job seekers often have partners: helicopter parents.

"My mom has literally picked out career paths," says Malcolm. "That doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to listen to her."

The Career Development Center at UIS helps students prepare for the job hunt.

"It's great to have the parents help," says Katherine Battee-Freeman, the director of the Center. "But we don't want the students to use the parents as a crutch and not understand how to do it themselves."

Counselors say parents play important roles in helping with documents, building their child's confidence and coaching for interviews but helicopter parents hover too close.

"I've heard horror stories," said Battee-Freeman, "Of parents being the one calling the employer and saying, are you going to hire my student or when are we going to hear back from you."

"Parents can, with the best interests of their child at heart, impact them negatively," said Josh Britton, a staffing expert with Express Employment Professionals in Springfield. He said some parents have done all the phone calling, interview scheduling, even filled out the job application.

"The message that sends to employers is that the parent's going to be involved anytime something of significance happens on the job," said Britton. "Whether it's positive or negative."

Back at UIS, Malcolm Bennett appreciates all the effort and money his family put into his education and job search and says it has added some stress. But he's most thankful for the way they let go. "My family's kind of hands-off," said Malcolm. "After we get you through the door, it's your chance to shine."

This story appeared on WICS Newschannel 20 on November 17, 2017.

Watch the entire story online.