In ever-increasing numbers, older children are staying at home with their parents or are moving back home after struggling to stay afloat on their own. Many parents have taken the appropriate steps to help their children set goals and boundaries about moving home. Some of them find that their older child is less than willing to look for work. So what do you do when your 30-year-old son won’t get a job?
30-Year-Old Son Won’t Get a Job
Here are the first things you should do if your adult son won’t get a job.
Assess The Situation
Before you make any drastic decisions, you should assess the situation. Consider how long your son has been living with you. Did he recently lose his job? Has he been actively looking for work? These are just a few of the questions you should consider when thinking about what’s happening with your child.
It can often look like someone isn’t looking for work when they are on their computer all day. Keep in mind that most jobs these days are found on the computer. Things are different now and it’s not likely your son would find a job by going to a restaurant to ask if there is an opening or by taking on odd jobs.
Discuss Your Concerns
The next step is to discuss your concerns with your son. Have you respectfully approached him and asked him what his plan to find work entails? If the conversation went well and he seems like he has a plan, then it’s probable that you can just give it some time. However, if he doesn’t seem to have a plan, that is cause for concern.
In addition, make sure you take the time to lay out what your expectations regarding his living at home are. Your son may be simply unaware of what you expect of him. Communication is key when it comes to adult children. Having open honest conversations with your adult child will get better results than lashing out.
Factors To Consider:
If there is a lack of jobs in the area where you live, you may have to consider that your son is looking for work, but is having difficulty finding a job due to a lack of available work. This is a situation where you can come up with ideas together for how to find work, such as whether he has access to a vehicle that he could use to commute to a job further away or possibly change careers.
Job Searching Plan and Follow Through
If you have asked him about a plan but your son and he doesn’t have one, now might be a good time to encourage him to create a detailed plan to look for work. If you are available and willing, you may help him create this plan. Once he has a plan, the next biggest step is whether or not he is following through. Is he actively looking for work several times a week? Does he regularly check for new job opportunities? Does he follow up on emails and interview requests?
Mental Health and Disability
If your son has mental health issues or a physical disability that makes it difficult for him to sustain work, you will need to consider this when deciding what to do next. Your son may not feel like he can find a job that will cater to his needs and that might make job searching difficult for him. Indeed, he could become depressed when he doesn’t find suitable offers. Helping him to plug in with a therapist or caseworker can help him to take steps that he previously found too difficult. With this point, in particular, patience is key.
What To Do When Your Son Simply Refuses To Look For Work
If you have tried all of the steps listed above, you may have an additional challenge if your son simply refuses to look for work. You may need to make some tough decisions if your son simply won’t.
Step 1: Consider how long you are willing to let your son live financially free in your home. Consider whether caring for him is making it difficult to support yourself. Does he pay any expenses? Do you provide him with all of his food, necessities, and housing? Are you dipping into your retirement fund to help him?
Step 2: Decide what expenses you want your son to pay and when. Come up with a plan that lists out the boundaries and expectations you have for your son to continue to live at home. You both need to sign this agreement. The agreement needs to be something that will work for you so that you don’t have to go without the things you need or dip into a retirement fund meant to help you live your life comfortably later in life.
Step 3: Give your son time (as per the agreement) to look for work and pay the expenses he owes. It can sometimes take many months to find work, even when a person is diligently searching. This step is a good step to stop and evaluate whether or not your son has followed through and met your expectations. If he has found a job and is now paying for some or all of his expenses, you may not need to follow any further steps.
Step 4: Draft a rental agreement that is signed by both parties. A rental agreement protects you in the event that he decides not to look for work. Additionally, it can show your son that you are serious about him paying for his expenses. If he acquiesces to the agreement, then you can continue to see if he will look for work to pay the rental amount you require.
Step 5: If he won’t commit to pay his portion of the expenses or do the work to find a job, as a last resort, you may have to start the eviction process. Unfortunately, if your son has lived with you for more than a specific period of time, you may be subject to tenancy laws. You would need to hire a lawyer and find out what your options are. No parent wants to consider this as a step. The reality is that at some point you may not have the money or resources to be able to continue to support your son.
Hopefully, after reading this article you have some ideas about steps you could take to work with your 30-year-old son who refuses to find a job. I think the key is making sure that you are open to listening and working with your child as he may have concerns that he hasn’t felt comfortable opening up about. But given all of that, if he isn’t receptive to your concerns you may have to take some difficult actions to make sure you can live your life and support yourself.
As a parent, it can be difficult to reconcile that you have needs and wants for your own future. Sometimes, it can even feel selfish to put yourself first. However, once your son is at an age where he should be caring for himself, it’s okay to put some of your needs first.