What's your problem? Unemployed son

My son is struggling to find work two years after graduating.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Q: I'm worried about my son, who graduated two years ago and is still struggling to find work. Even in this terrible job market, although he often succeeds in getting interviews, he has never been offered a position. I fear that interviewers like him and his enthusiasm but might wonder if he'd be difficult to manage. He can often be uncommunicative and seem uncommitted. What advice can I give him?

A: About a year ago, I was invited to read a book called Job Interview Success - Be Your Own Coach by Jenny Rogers (McGraw-Hill Professional). I did - and am very happy to recommend it. If your son hasn't already seen it, do please get him a copy. Jenny Rogers is a well-known executive coach, has made an exhaustive study of those daunting occasions called job interviews and has a wealth of thoroughly sensible advice to offer. She's far from advocating a one-size-fits-all formula and she certainly doesn't favour that pushy, Young Apprentice approach, which must surely do far more harm than good. In essence, she helps people be their individual selves; but at their best - neither quivering with nervousness nor putting on an unconvincing act.

It's encouraging that your son is as successful as he is in being invited for interview; for far too many recent graduates, particularly in the current climate, that remains a distant hope.

The risk for your son is that his repeated failure to convert interviews into job offers will undermine his confidence, and that in turn will further damage his chances. You need to help him pause, think, read - and create a conscious break; a sort of half-time, for recovery and reflection. Jenny Rogers' book should be invaluable in helping him make a new start with new hope.

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