Dear Career Doctor:
My nephew (age 19) can’t find a job. Because he cannot find a job, his mother has placed him on house arrest. His cell phone is disconnected, he can not use the computer and he can only ANSWER the home phone.
Doesn’t that produce a problem greater than not finding a job?
His Aunt B
You don’t give me enough information to know whether this is a case of a lazy teen taking advantage of his parents - or a parent who is being unreasonable, given the difficulties of the job market – or a family that doesn’t know how to conduct an effective job search.
If parents feel their child is taking advantage of their generosity and not trying to find a job, it is reasonable to stop paying for his cell phone and restrict his time on the Internet. However, since any effective job search uses the telephone and Internet these days, to not allow some outgoing calls on the family phone and not allow some use of the computer is utterly self-defeating.
Last week I gave some tips to a young person looking for a summer job. You might pass those on to your nephew. On the other hand, if he is looking for a permanent job, he might need career counseling, because most young people, even if they know what kind of job they want, have no idea about how to conduct an effective job search.
It sounds like your sister would not invest in private career counseling, so here are some places to get low cost help: if your nephew is or has been in college, contact his college career center. If he lives in Westchester (while this is the Larchmont Gazette, we get questions from all over the country and globe, so I never know) contact your library and ask about WEBS, a group vocational counseling program that could help him find the right direction.
You are a good aunt for trying to help the family out of this tough situation. Let me know how it works out.