career advice

Free-loading adult son not ready for adulthood

Q:

When my child was six, his father died in an accident. I have always tried my best since then to give my child anything he needs. Today, my adult child has received and spent a mid sized inheritance, lives in my basement, doesn’t help with expenses or the household and is happy with working weekends while playing video games the rest of the week.  What should I do?

A:

A bit of painful truth for you - The fact that your grown adult child lives in your basement and is not motivated to work is partly your doing.  You are enabling him by allowing him to live for free and be under employed.  You failed at influencing how the inheritance was used.

Here’s what to do. 

Time to start the adulthood training.  Your goal is to make him a self sufficient adult who eventually supports himself and moves out of your house. I would suggest phasing this in.

Budgeting.  A course would help.  But also explain to him how things in the household are paid for.  Where does your income come from, how much are the mortgage, electricity, internet, heating expenses.  Give him an idea of how much these things actually cost.  Ask him to be a financial contributor – he is an adult and should be helping out his mom.

Start charging rent. Start low and move it up to market rates.  Show him the how much rent costs in the neighbourhood.  The rising rent and household expenses will likely push him to the conclusion that working 2 days a week doesn’t cut it.  (If it did then everyone would be working only 2 days a week)  Why should you work 5 days a week while your adult son works 2?

Housework. Ask for help around the house.  Law need mowing?  Painting required?  Household tasks should be shared. Allowing him to have responsibly and be a contributing member of the household increases confidence and self esteem.

Day-to-day life skills training.  I have no idea if you cook and do his laundry, but if you do, its time to make him to do these things himself.  This one is easy.  Show him how to do his own laundry and then simply stop doing his.

Education.  Encourage him to further his education. Trades, college, certifications are all great ideas to at least get started.  A possible arrangement could be – if he’s studying/in school he lives rent-free.  If he’s out of school, he should be working full time and should contribute to rent

How to deal with "sketchy" previous work experiences

Q: My previous work experiences have been at "sketchy" companies - adult video store, liquor store.  Do I include these on my resume?

A:

You should tailor your resume to the job you are applying for.    Emphasize skills that the hiring manager is looking for.  For example if you are applying to be a writer, emphasize the writing skills you used in your past job.  If you are applying to be an office manager, emphasize your organizational skills.

With this in mind,  if you are applying to be a daycare worker, church leader or anti drunk driving advocate then you should probably leave these experiences off.

If you are applying to a retail position, or an office job at a company where alcohol sales or adult products are not frowned upon, include the experience.  You could potentially list your previous position on your resume as “retail sales staff at local small business” and only give the actual name of the business if asked at an interview.

When discussing your experience, the actual products the store sold or the store itself are less important and don’t need to be the focus.

More important is demonstrating the value you brought your previous employers. Talk about the experience you gained in customer service and how you ensured that customers were happy.  Talk about how you understanding merchandise stocking and store management.   Give examples of how you helped to increase sales. Demonstrate you are good at dealing with people, getting along with co- workers, getting stuff done, etc.