You encouraged your daughter to study abroad with the thought that she may take up international business upon graduation, and she came back fascinated by wine production. Now she’s working as an assistant manager at a local wine bar-a job she could have landed without a degree.
You sent your son to State U with the idea that something would click for him there, professionally- like it did when you went there. He graduated, but now he’s working in pizza delivery and you cannot understand why he seems content with his job.
What to do?
First, ask yourself why their contentment in their current role is upsetting to you.
- If it is because they are living at home, start charging rent and stop subsidizing their other costs as well.
- If the idea of not subsidizing them scares you, be clear with yourself about what this codependency is doing for you.
- If the thought of not actively managing your (adult) children makes you feel bereft or dislocated, ask yourself why.
Then, start to think of yourself as an advisor rather than a manager. Advisors, as opposed to managers, are a valuable source of timely insights because they:
- Bring insight to problems that the client identifies.
- Ask questions that help the client identify other problems/opportunities.
- Are viewed as a scarce resource because they are in demand with other clients/interests.
If your client (child) expresses discontentment with their current professional situation, ask how you can advise them vs. co-manage their career with them. There are many resources in career development to which you, their advisor, may point them.