A mother called me regarding help for her son who graduated from college in June. She asked if I was a recruiter and could find a job for her son. I explained what I do as a resume writer and career coach. Then I cautioned her that few recruiters place new college graduates. Those who do usually recruit on campus before graduation. The mother then told me that she and her son wanted to find a recruiter because that would be the easiest way for him to find work.
I’m sure this mother loves her son, but she’s doing two things that are not helping him. First, she’s pushing him to follow a passive job search. That path doesn’t work for most people. It’s especially hard for new grads. Worse still, she’s the one making the calls and trying to find a job for him. That’s his responsibility. What she is doing may be an act of love, but it is one that will hurt her son’s career. He needs to do the heavy lifting and take charge of his future.
My young clients (35 years older and younger) all tell a common story: They worry about being able to pay their student loans. For the past five years or so, the common struggle of getting a good early career job has been compounded by low wages. The worried refrain I hear from new and recent college graduates made me pay attention to an article posted on Bloomberg: “Why Most Popular Cities Are Out of Reach for Young Professionals.” In most of America’s sexiest cities new and affordable housing is not being built at a pace that will let young people live in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston.
The article did point to an interesting exception to this rule: Chicago. The Windy City is building new housing at double the rate of other popular cities. While not the most affordable on the list, Chicago remains a decent option for both buyers and renters based on a survey by Zillow.
This article is odd and encouraging to anyone watching Chicago’s current mayoral campaign. The conventional wisdom is that the city is broke, that jobs will disappear if the current mayor is not re-elected. The charts in this article paint a much brighter future. Chicago seems like a great place for young people to build their careers without getting gouged on their mortgage or rent. As someone who has lived in the city for more than 25 years, I hope this is true.