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#BoomerAdvice: Young adults mock job tips from mom and dad

This article was originally published on Yahoo Money.

After making “OK boomer” the universal kiss-off for older generations, young adults are now sharing some of the worst job tips their parents gave them under #BoomerAdvice on Twitter.

And plenty of it is antiquated.

When doling out advice, well-meaning moms and dads are relying on their own past experience when online job applications didn't exist, far fewer people had a college degree, and the average student debt was a fraction of what it is now.

The times, though, have changed.

“It's hard for parents because the job market was really different 30 to 35 years ago,” said Allison Cheston, a career advisor working primarily with millennials and Gen Z. “Some parents have been doing the same thing for their entire career.”

Some of the advice older generations are giving to recent graduates often reflects the hiring process of their time.
Some of the advice older generations are giving to recent graduates often reflects the hiring process of their time.

‘Pound the pavement’

Decades ago when baby boomers were entering the job market, the internet didn’t exist. Getting a job required walking door to door, passing out resumes. Now?

“Even if you can get your foot in the door,” Cheston said, “it doesn't usually work well.”

Cheston recommended having as many conversations as possible by networking, visiting events related to your career aspirations, and having informational interviews.

Pick up the phone

Another piece of advice: “Just call/go in and ask if they're hiring”

Dropping in might work if you’re applying for a job at the supermarket or a mall store – if they still exist. But you probably won’t get past reception if you cold call a major company you want to work for.

A better way in the digital age would be to keep a running list of companies of interest and check online regularly to see if they’re hiring.

And many job openings are not posted, so write a targeted email the company’s recruiters or HR department. Or connect with employers on LinkedIn if you feel you’re a good fit for the company.


Next is: “Be loyal to the company, they’ll be loyal to you.”

Of course, you should stay with an employer if you’re happy with the salary, benefits, and opportunities to advance — but you shouldn’t stick around simply out of loyalty. Companies, for their part, abandon loyalty as soon as the good times slow and cost-cutting becomes mandatory.

It’s also important to expand your skills, which may require job-hopping, so that you can be nimble as industries change. Job switchers historically also see faster wage growth than those who stay with the same employer, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Work and no pay

An unpaid internship is not a great opportunity, mom.

While you may think unpaid internships could eventually lead to a full-time job, companies that offer them are likely taking advantage of you, Cheston said. Even paid internships and longer-term contract positions are quite different from being a full-time employee, she said.

Transitioning from a temporary to permanent job is often quite tough. So, even if you get a paid work opportunity for a few months or a year, you still should work toward getting a permanent job from day one.

Paying debt is easy

Your parents are proud of your college degree. It’ll get you that great job, right? But they really want you to quit whining about your student debt the degree required.

What some parents may not realize is that college expenses have ballooned since their school days. Tuition and fees for a four-year degree have more than doubled at a public university and nearly tripled at a private one in the last 30 years, according to College Board.

“It’s such a different ball game when people owed a few thousand dollars. Now sometimes people owe hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Cheston said. “It ends up being an albatross for people’s entire careers.”

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