Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated by many and, what’s more, it’s always attached to a weekend, a period of time celebrated by nearly all. As we’re all likely to sit down next week at some table with family and friends, there will be lots of passing of food back and forth, and lots of conversation.
Seeing as it’s now November, and the school year is also well in hand, I thought it would be helpful to provide our readers with college-aged children a list of questions that need to be addressed to help our kids plan for their future – before too much time passes. These questions are intended to be conversation starters; it’s best to ask them with an open mind, without criticism, and to be prepared for a range of responses, from silence to lots of good discussion. And, by the way, don’t forget the mashed potatoes.
“Child of mine…”
“¢ What jobs do people with your major typically seek?
“¢ How available are those jobs, in what industry, and where in the U.S. (or elsewhere)?
“¢ What do those jobs pay?
“¢ How do you find out about them?
“¢ What does your college career adviser think of your likelihood of getting such a job? (I was recently asked by someone about how to get an internship to beef up his application to grad school but the young man was to take the GREs in two weeks. I was very direct with him – if he didn’t do well on his GREs, it might make more sense for him to find a job in another field rather than spend time in an internship in a field where grad school would be necessary but unlikely, unless he was prepared to take the GREs again and ace them. There’s no easy answer here but it’s a discussion that must be had!)
“¢ What have you done to prepare to get a job, other than taking the required courses? Are you a “good interview”?
“¢ What resources are available at school to help you land an interview? Can you find contacts to help you (in addition to well-meaning aunts and uncles who may not be able to deliver)?
So, there you have it – seven questions to accompany the turkey, the chicken, or even the brisket, and I’m sure you can come up with more. But, the important thing is to have the conversation, and as early as possible in your child’s college experience. There’s always time to make changes, but the sooner we address the need, the less urgent the need to change. And wouldn’t that be something to be thankful for?