Are Young People Relying too much on their Parents to Find them a Job?


New research released by CV-Library this week has revealed that over half of 18-34-year-olds have been helped by their parents when applying for jobs. 57% have admitted to getting their parents’ help with writing their CV.

While it’s natural to ask for help and advice from friends and family throughout the recruitment process, are young job seekers becoming over-reliant on their parents? Or are parents getting too involved in the careers of their children?

Do ‘helicopter parents’ need to take a step back?

The helicopter parent trend has been taking over in recent years. Helicopter parents are those who take an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their children. While it’s inevitable that parents will want their children to have successful careers, some are taking things too far.

6.5% of under 18s admitted to taking a parent to a job interview with them, that’s 1 in 20! While this age group may only be going for part time jobs and work experience, is it ever acceptable for a parent to come to their child’s job interview?

It’s not only under 18s that are relying on their parents. Some graduates too, attend university careers fairs accompanied by Mum or Dad. While young people may need a nudge in the right direction or advice on their options, this really is too much.

This overbearing parenting doesn’t stop at the job search either. CV-Library’s research also revealed that 16.7% of 18-34-year-olds have had their parents call in sick to work on their behalf, while 7.4% have even relied on their parents to deal with their boss for them, e.g. asking for a promotion, a pay rise, time off etc.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments: “The fact that many are using their parents to get involved with some of the difficult conversations, or meetings, is worrying. Nerves can get the better of even the most confident of people, but it is best for candidates to try and brave interviews by themselves, as this will help them to come across as a more mature, professional, individual to prospective employers.”

Do young people need to learn to stand on their own two feet?

It isn’t just overbearing parents that are the problem here. The lack of confidence in young people is also significant.

A quarter (27.7%) of this age group think businesses should make allowances for candidates who bring their parents to an interview with them, with nearly two-thirds (60.5%) stating that if they were in charge of hiring, they would hire someone who brought their parents to an interview.

The majority of UK workers (84.9%), however, see employees who involve their parents in their working lives as unprofessional. Young people who allow their parents to have a lot of influence and to be more involved are only damaging their careers.

Finding the balance

What’s key here is finding the right balance. Parents should not be actively involved in their children’s work life. Offering advice and taking an interest is fine, but don’t overdo it.

On the flip side, young people need to establish their independence and build the confidence to manage their own careers.

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