Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Generation Limbo: How Can We Help?

Recently, I read an article in the New York Times, entitled, “Generation Limbo: Waiting It Out”. This article spoke to a common fear I hear among parents- that your child will be unemployed after college. In this economy, more and more students are struggling to find work after they graduate. So what can we as parents and educators do about this?

Unfortunately, neither you, nor I, nor your student can change the current employment market for college graduates. What we can do is re-educate ourselves and our students about the uniquely different job search strategy and mindset required for the 21st century. Here at Wake Forest, we are educating students that a college degree doesn’t guarantee you a job. Students must possess professional competencies, such as emotional intelligence, leadership and entrepreneurship. Most importantly, they must go after opportunities rather than waiting for opportunities to come to them. As twenty-seven year old Geo Wyeth mentions in the article, “You have to make opportunities happen for yourself, and I think a lot of my classmates weren’t thinking that way. It’s now become the equivalent of setting up your own lemonade stand.”

I love the lemonade stand analogy, because it speaks to our mission here in the Office of Personal and Career Development: We are empowering and educating your students to take responsibility for their career development, internship, or job search as early as possible. Students must take an entrepreneurial attitude and approach to their careers-whether they want to work or go to graduate school. Parents, encourage your students to visit our new and improved office on the second floor of Reynolda Hall. We guarantee that they’ll be impressed and motivated to start moving forward on their career journey.

We can’t predict what the economy will do. But by working with us, we can predict that your student will have a direction and plan that they’re motivated to pursue.

Category: Rethinking Success