The Best Graduation Gift You Can Give Your Children.


I have spoken on many campuses on networking for over a decade now and I have written many posts hopefully helping today’s young people become better networkers.

One of my most popular blogs remains Networking Tips for Young People and College Students Who Hate to Network.

I have also written on Why Graduates are Looking for Jobs in All the Wrong Places and Teach your Children to Network Well.

I believe that the new glass ceiling is the one encountered by today’s youth.

Besides my own children there are always been many young people in my life constantly.  My blogs have connected me with young people across the world who have reached out to me because what I wrote touched something in them.  I have used college students to help me with my consulting business ever since I started it.

So Graduation Time is coming up soon.  The unemployment rate among college graduates has been slowly declining but remains high.  Many students question the value of their college loans when they compete for jobs with the previous year’s graduating class who are still looking for jobs.

The best graduation gift you can give your children is your network and teaching them on how to be great networkers. I can tell you from personal experience your kids will initially not embrace it but as they mature they will see the value of networking.

One thing that young people learn to appreciate is the efficiency of networking once they learn it.  Young people love efficiency.  That’s why they cryptically text versus e mail because it is quick and fast.  They know that a Google search connects them with a vast network.

When their network builds and they see how a few calls can provide them with solutions they buy into its power.  They learn how a well resourced network can make their life easier and they like easy because they have lots to do.  Not really but I don’t want to get any texts from my kids.

The first thing you should teach your children about networking is that networking isn’t about going anywhere.  Networking is about being connected with the people around you not going to places.  If you want to be really good at something you have to do it all the time not once a week.  You need to connect with people all the time. You need to live your life with an attitude of engagement not isolation.  Networking is really about just talking to people.  You start doing that and you will turn your city into a village.

The worst thing you can do is to do it for them. I often get e mails from parents asking me to help their kids try to get a job or connect with someone.  They attach their children’s resumes. That’s not the way to do it.  I would rather have your kids connect with me.  That is the way they get empowered.

Also don’t try to teach them how to get a job based on the way you got your job.  You worked in a world where how long you worked at a company was seen as a value and something to be respected.  In the new world we make movies called Up in the Air.

Your children must also learn to master Linkedin.  The New Normal resume.  Share some of your connections with them to get them started.  Ask your friends to Linkedin with them.  Want to do something for them.  Pay for a professional photograph of them.

In the Old Normal, the old model was that your kids might one day work for you.  In the New Normal, your exit plan may be working for your kids. I am looking forward to it. The stronger their children’s network is the greater the chance that scenario could become a possibility.  We have all witnessed what happens when the world melts and the world will always be prone to it happening again.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Connect on Facebook

Watch his video on Why MBA Schools Need to Teach a Course on What to Do When You Get Fired.


2 thoughts on “The Best Graduation Gift You Can Give Your Children.

  1. Searching for a job is pretty hard, especially if you don’t know what you really want. Thanks to career confidential I’ve learned a lot and finally know what I really want.

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