How to Help Your Child Succeed After College

Craig Middleton

Graduating from college is an amazing milestone for your child, but the time after college can be full of questions. If your child doesn't have a clear plan for their post-college life, it can be very difficult for them to stay motivated. These are some tips to help your child succeed after college.

1. Start before they graduate

If your child hasn't yet finished college, they need to be working on a plan. With so many graduates competing for a limited number of jobs, they need to be ahead of the pack as much as possible. They should be formulating a plan for after graduation right away. It should start with an outline regarding what kind of career they hope to have. As they go further into their studies, they can become more focused on where to start and how they'll reach their highest goals. They should look for mentoring from professionals in their field. The sooner they start, the more prepared they'll be for their career.

2. Work on job search skills

It used to be that having a college diploma was like having a key to unlocking all kinds of job opportunities. Now, having a degree is only part of the equation. Finding a job means having credentials and being able to reach out to employers to show why they're the best person for the job. They should be trained in the art of crafting cover letters and impressing employers in a job interview. They also should know how to network with professionals in their field to help them get on the radar of hiring companies.

3. Help them find desirable skills

To help your child succeed after college, you need to help them develop skills that will make them desired by employers. Employers need people who aren't just hard workers but who also have what it takes to help their company succeed. Your child should have tangible skills that not just anyone can learn. This includes things like knowing how to code, being fluent in a foreign language, or having various certifications.

4. Boost their experience

Your child's resumé might not be massive as a recent college graduate, but that doesn't mean it should be barebones. There are ways to add to a resumé as an undergraduate. These include taking part in internships and volunteering. Your child might also consider taking a gap year. Taking a gap year doesn't mean slacking, as your child can expand their horizons considerably through a gap year program. Help them to find one that will put the right spark in their mind.

5. Encourage them

The importance of your child believing in themselves should not be taken for granted. Your encouragement has allowed them to succeed in a number of ways, from being able to ride a bike to getting their driver's license. Even if they've grown up, it doesn't mean your encouragement has lost any of its value. If they're ever feeling uncertain about their post-college future, listen. They may not realize just how much of a difference their willing to be vulnerable can make. You know that they have what it takes to succeed, but it never hurts to remind them of it.

There should be no hard and fast measure of success after college for your child. If they're doing a little better then they were the day before and are getting closer to reaching their goals, then that's enough. You should be encouraging without being too hands-on. Your child was able to use their determination to get through college, and that same determination can help carry them through their post-college career.