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Helping Your Child Get Started: WWYD?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by doctorquant, May 31, 2016.

  1. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    So as I've mentioned in places, elder DaughterQuant (EDQ) graduated college last weekend. She majored in English at UT-Austin and just missed graduating cum laude. So, of course, she at present has no immediate job prospects. I thought I might put her/my/our situation out there for consideration and comment by the board.

    EDQ is very much her mother's daughter in her ability to compartmentalize and serialize tasks. By this I mean that she is quite capable of putting blinkers on while she is doing X and doing nothing but X until it is done. This can be a good thing -- Lord knows I could have used a little more focus over the years -- but it also leads to situations such as her largely putting off a job search until now. There was one gig that was right up her alley that she applied for earlier this spring, but after advancing to the final three she didn't get it. From then on, she poured her energies into finishing her studies.

    It's pretty clear that EDQ would like to at least try to put together a life in Austin -- she seems drawn to social work/church outreach, and there are lots of opportunities there -- so MommaQuant and I are pondering what we might do to help.

    Our tentative (and as of yet unrevealed to EDQ) plan is that we will commit to one year of tapered support. For the first four months we'll give her enough money to cover her basics (rent, food, utilities, etc.). We'll give her 60% of that the next four months, then 30% of that the final four months.

    I'm assuming that she can stay covered on my health insurance (she's only 22) and that her no longer being a student won't cause my family car insurance to go up all that much. We're also assuming that she'll re-up on her cheap 1BR apartment, and that we'll set her up with an OK used car (since I won't be around for repairs it won't be one of the family clunkers).

    I know, of course, that per the sj.com readership this assistance means that she'll never be able to claim credit for any future accomplishments. But besides that obvious downside, what might MommaQuant and I not be considering?
  2. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    She seems like a good kid, help her if you can. I don't know why helping your children is frowned upon by some.
    Iron_chet likes this.
  3. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Teaching your daughter to be accurate about other people's points that they are making, for starters.

    Instead of supporting her, save your money and have her move back home. If she really wants to live in Austin, then that can be a huge carrot that can be dangled over her. It'll be motivation for her to find a gig, and with her ability to put blinkers on, she should be able to accomplish her X, in this case, a job, fairly quickly. She'll be spending a lot of her time trying to find a job so she can get back to Austin.
  5. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    First, congrats on her making it through a public Ivy. She sounds pretty driven and ambitious.

    For this practical part, I'd say to, if you can, help her out with whatever she may need financially to start. It's a different world than when we started out -- there's opportunity but the expenses and college debt add up.

    (I'm a few years behind you on the chain. I've been having some conversations with our oldest, who is interested in some colleges that are out-of-state. I've said "go where you want but also consider becoming a resident of that specific state if you are serious about it". I did that when I went to college and was able to graduate debt-free.)
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    She has a degree in English and you are busting her chops because she doesn't have a job?

    Seriously, I think your plan is a good one. Is she aware and on board with the "tapered" aspect of it?

    Is she definitely "no longer a student?" Unless she find the perfect job, maybe some grad school classes or something focused on social work or religious studies would help?

    I think it is pretty common for kids to come out of school, thinking that degree is all they need to start on their career path, though.

    Good luck, doc.
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I would tell her to look hard at the big companies, especially all of the tech companies. They are constantly in need of writers and editors. Usually they have a lot of entry-level and junior jobs.

    I would not tell her she will be thrilled by the work. These are places that aren't looking for creativity and flair; they want subject-verb agreement and sentences that don't run on forever. But it will pay the bills, and it won't be bad work.
    amraeder likes this.
  8. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    DQ, I'm right there with you, though my daughter's situation is a little more settled, at least for the first couple of years by virtue of the fact that she's going to grad school. What I've told her is that I'll give her x number of dollars a month for housing and she's responsible for generating enough money for food/gas/utilities. If that means waiting tables or working retail, so be it. She has a couple of leads on jobs to that end, so I feel like it's working out.

    You've gotten her this far and she's done really well in college, so this probably goes without saying, but if your daughter wants to go into social work or some sort of ministry, your support is going to need to be much more than financial. Mrs. Novelist is in social work. It's a constant emotional grind in addition to other normal work-related stresses. I'm sure I've said this on here before, but she's a better person than me. Really, it's not close. I'd put my daughter in that category too.
  9. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    As someone currently working for a tech company, I'll second this advice.
  10. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Thanks for these tips, which I will pass on with great emphasis.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If she's good at focusing on a task and seeing it through, she also might eventually want to look into project management at a large company. It's a pretty good next step for someone good with communications and with making sure stuff gets done.
  12. JohnHammond

    JohnHammond Well-Known Member

    SJ.com justice warriors would have you immediately cut your daughter off.
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