College Graduates & Their Parents


Students and recent graduates need a great deal of individualized career guidance and exploration to identify a target job function, industry and geography, and college placement offices simply aren’t staffed to provide the necessary amount of attention.

An increase in the volume of college graduates. With 1.5 million people graduating from college each year into a relatively stable, low-growth economy, it’s small wonder on why it’s becoming increasingly difficult to identify entry level work for each college graduate. Add the 2.1 million underemployed college graduates from previous years, and the challenge becomes overwhelming.

Advancements in technology take jobs overseas.

Domestic college graduates are competing with entry level knowledge workers overseas who are performing basic “knowledge” work in fields like accounting, software design, sales operations, logistics, and call center work for American firms.

Relative affluence is a de-motivator.

Most Baby Boomer parents were motivated find work by a desire to pay for and maintain a car on the road, earn “date” money and “get a place of my own” – as their parents often weren’t in a financial position to provide ongoing support. In sharp contrast, the relative affluence of today’s Baby Boomer parents often provides Millennial Generation graduates with everything they need – a car, and insurance payments to keep it on the road, health insurance (we’ve even recently legislated an extension of years for this support!), cell phone payments, spending money, vacations, and so on. So, what’s the rush to leave?

Misguided reliance on college placement offices and college professors to provide career direction.

The average US college/university has 9,377 students for each career consultant and spends on average only $85.00 per student per year on career management support (February 2011 NACE report).

Well-intentioned but misunderstood advice to”Follow Your Dreams!”

The result of this advice is almost a crippling level of indecision on the part of today’s graduates, as they fear that they have to live with a “wrong” choice forever.

THE SOLUTION - Clarity's Four Month Career Launch/Re-Launch Program
Patty Phillips offers beginning-to-end support through highly personalized one-on-one coaching over a four month period of time. The goal is to establish a clear career launch (or re-launch) goal and execute a targeted job search to achieve that career. More often than not, the biggest barrier to success lies within the early stages of the process - helping the graduate figure out exactly what he would like to do; what activities energize him and tap into his unique ability to add value to an employer. This is where Patty shines – working with graduates to identify relevant choices and ultimately narrow them down to the winning idea. Once a career launch decision is made, a tailored job search strategy is designed and executed together by Patty and the graduate, from development of attention-grabbing marketing materials through the trying process of networking, interviewing, negotiating and landing a position of choice.


What’s happening in your house? The adage that “looking for work is a full time job” remains more apt than ever. Expending energy looking in the wrong direction, or wasting time with on-line applications sent to a dark hole is unproductive, mystifying and disheartening. It’s understandable why graduates feel discouraged and sometimes end up back where they started – at home and in a part-time job. Today it is reported that up to 85% of college graduates move back with their anxious parents until they land a decent paying job – something that can take six months to several years to find. The annual cost of supporting a jobless graduate at home or in their own living space ranges from 25,000 - $40,000, not counting the opportunity cost of the graduates own delayed “real job” income. In many cases, the graduate ultimately “settles” for whatever turns up (‘this is just a job “for now‟). Recent Department of Labor statistics state that 37% of current college degree holders of all ages hold jobs for which a college degree is unnecessary. Droves of graduates are therefore under-employed.

Of course it’s easy to simply blame the sluggish economy for all ills, and wait for the rebound. In reality, the search for the right job remains challenging in strong and weak economies alike for the evergreen structural and socio-economic reasons already highlighted herein. What Baby Boomers and their Traditionalist parents experienced as the “normal” way of career choice has changed irreversibly. We can lament the unfairness of the job market but it is indeed the “New Normal.” Happily there is a proven way to meet and overcome this substantial challenge and turn it into a significant advantage.

To download a PDF outlining the cost of delaying a career launch, CLICK HERE.

  • Battery of skill and interest assessments, designed to triangulate on true preferences; In-depth interpretation and discussion of assessment results with the client, where functional preferences, strengths, weaknesses and work motivators are identified and challenged.
  • This session lays the groundwork for identifying potential functions and industries of choice for the graduate.
  • Exploration and research of relevant career paths;
  • Identification of ideal job function, specific industry and preferred geography;
  • Development of job search marketing materials, including résumé, networking profile, and LinkedIn profile;
  • Development of a job search strategy, including instruction and ongoing coaching on all relevant job search methodologies, including research, networking, informational interviewing and leveraging technology for maximum effectiveness;
  • Intense practice and feedback with mock phone and video-taped face-to-face interviews;
  • Access to relevant members of Patty’s personal network who can speak to the graduate about his/her function and/or industry of choice;
  • Coaching on all aspects of professional behavior, from appropriate manners and attire for the client’s career of choice to managing an informational interview with an important networking contact;
  • Negotiating the best offer; and
  • Coaching on the importance of proactive, engaged behavior and relationship-building after accepting the new position.