Don't Let Helicopter Parents Ruin Your First Internship/Job

Every once in a while we read something on the internet that leaves us speechless (not an easy thing to do) with shock. Today’s groundbreaking research from “The Journal of Duh” is that apparently some college students and new grads need to be told to not let your mom nag your boss for a raise or let you dad do your phone interview. Seems like obvious advice, right? According to some young adults (and their parents) haven’t gotten the message.

We love our parents. No one is more in your corner and wants you to succeed better than mom and dad. But college is a time of transition. As much as you’re still leaning on the parental unit, it’s also an appropriate time to start cutting the apron strings and making some of your own decisions, especially if you’re being raised by helicopter parents. says:

Of course, parents [can] offer valuable advice on everything from what to wear to an interview to how to deal with a bad boss. But, experts caution, the growing trend toward parents taking a very active role in their adult children’s careers also can really backfire.

For one thing, many companies are looking for independent thinkers who can solve problems on their own.

“If you want to [get] onboard quickly and you want to be a star right from the beginning, don’t bring your parents,” said JoAnn Corley, chief executive of the consulting firm The Human Sphere, based in Atlanta, Ga.

For another, Mom and Dad may not always have the best advice, especially if their children are in a different field or at a very different point in their careers.

“Sometimes parents will project onto their kids their previous work experience or their jaded experience with new bosses,” Corley said.

Jamie Seward, a regional recruiting manager with the engineering and technology division of recruiting firm Adecco, said parents can help their young adult children by being supportive and offering guidance in the job search process. 

If you want help with internship/job seeking tips and advice, a good resource is the UC Davis Internship and Career Center. For more crazy stories about helicopter parenting, please click on the link above.