my mom is pushing too hard on my job search, I can’t do the work fun scheduled just for me, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. My mom is pushing me too hard on my job search

I am 22 and I recently got a part-time position at my old school, which is a good start since my resume doesn’t show a lot of experience. And with the pandemic happening, it’s harder to find a job with good pay.

My mom is pushing me to find more jobs, but I keep telling her that I need more experience in order to find a good paying job. Also I actually have a YouTube channel, where I make a decent amount of money on the side, but she keeps on insisting that it is not a job. We would always have this conversation and I understand that she is worried. She is more worried about health insurance and benefits. I honestly have no idea what to do, and I am getting frustrated. Also, she will push me toward a career that I studied for (which I have no interest in because my parents told me to find a career with a high job position). I am living with them rent-free, so it gives me time to save money to move out, but honestly, it’s like I am talking to a brick wall. Right now, I’m just focusing on getting experience, but there are no benefits. I am under my parents’ health insurance until I am 26. My mom tells me to just find work.

It sounds like your mom wants you to find full-time work with benefits so she can stop paying for your expenses, including your health insurance (which can be expensive). It’s reasonable to expect you to actively work toward that at 22; if she sees you being content with a part-time job and the YouTube channel, neither of which provide insurance, she’s likely calculating that she’s going to be covering your expenses for a lot longer. She might care about that because of the costs themselves — all the money she puts toward you is money she no longer has herself (which is fine when you’re 17 but often much less fine when you’re 22) — or she might care because she figures it’s time for you to be independent.

As long as she’s supporting you, she does have some say in your financial decisions. At a minimum, you need to put up with her regularly wanting to talk about this (I’d be Highly Annoyed if someone I was supporting financially took issue with me wanting to talk about the plan for bringing that to a close!) but you also need to consider that she might be telling you the current plan isn’t acceptable to her (and since she’s financing it, that matters). If you haven’t already, I’d have a really straightforward conversation where you say, “I’d like my plan to be X, which means I’d rely on Y support from you for Z amount of time. Is that something you’d agree to?” If she doesn’t want to, it’s better to get that out in the open, rather than these conversations where she’s pushing and you’re resisting and no one is quite saying it. (An alternative, of course, is to cover more of your own expenses, which would give you more room to manage your professional life the way you want.)

2. I’m too large to participate in work fun scheduled on my behalf

One of the perks of my job is that the owner of the business always makes sure we make time to do fun things while on work/business trips. If we go to a conference or industry event, he always looks for entertaining things we can do as a group while we’re there. We’re a *very* small team that attends – the owner, one other manager, and myself.

The owner takes our likes and dislikes into consideration when choosing activities and gets our buy-in. Great, right?! For example, on one recent trip the other two wanted to go to an amusement park filled with rollercoasters and thrill rides. I’m terrified of heights and get motion sick. The thought of the slowest, most basic ride makes me terrified and sick to my stomach (so I was able to cite these factors, instead of the fact that there’s also no way I would fit in the ride seats). They were bummed but agreed we’d find something else. I told them I don’t want to be a wet blanket – go and have fun! I’ll drink a cold beer and take pictures of you guys and enjoy reading my Kindle in the shade. They did, and everyone was happy. Win-win!

Now we’re planning another trip and the owner is looking for fun activities. He’s kindly looking for things he knows I would enjoy so I can participate this time, too. He found a few activities that do look fun. The problem is, I’m 99.99% sure I’m too fat to fit into the required equipment! Go karts and 360 VR gaming rigs sound amazing, but they aren’t designed for very large people.

I know you’ve addressed issues with team-building activities that aren’t inclusive to people with disabilities or other impeding factors, but it’s not like I can anonymously bring this up. We’re a team of three. I’M HR! I’m also the only person who won’t fit. I’m glad that they’re so unconcerned about my weight that it isn’t a factor on their minds, but I don’t want to have to announce to everyone, “Sorry, I’m too fat so we can’t do that fun thing, either.” I can’t make a lame excuse. He went out of his way to pick things he knows I would enjoy. I just hate the idea of having to point this out. Is there any other option than just biting the bullet and directly addressing this?

Ugh, I think it might be easiest to just say it. You could come up with a different reason, but it sounds like it might come up again on future trips and at some point it’s going to be less uncomfortable to say it than to keep thinking of reasons. A one-time “it’s so thoughtful of you to seek out something I’d enjoy but that equipment isn’t designed for my body type” will ultimately be easier than dragging it out.

Any chance you can find some things in the city that you and the others would like and suggest them at the same time? That’ll let you move the conversation right along to “how about this instead?” and it’ll ensure the next thing works better for you.

3. Candidate submitted application materials using our logo, font, and brand colors

I’m hiring for a branding/marketing position, and one of the candidates submitted their cover letter, CV, and application materials on documents they created themselves to mirror our letterhead/brand conventions, using our logo, font, and brand colors. It is very unsettling, maybe a little presumptuous, and actually a little bit confusing — it looks like the Alligator Loki version of our own internal documents.

Have you heard of this before? Is this a thing now? Can we stop it before it takes off? I don’t want it!

Yeah, this has been around for a while. It’s not much of a trend, fortunately — but occasionally some misguidedly enterprising candidate decides to try it. It’s sort of the job applicant version of wearing school colors for your college admissions interview … but worse because, as you note, in this context it comes across as presumptuous and strange.

Moreover, while it’s a bad idea for anyone, it’s a particularly terrible idea for someone applying for a branding/marketing position, because you’d expect them to know that you can’t use someone’s logo without explicit permission.

4. How am I supposed to contact a friend of my dad’s?

I recently moved to a new city. My dad, a retired executive in his 80s, asked me to look up one of his old friends, who he knows through business. The friend is younger and is still active in his field, he has a public-facing director level position at a large agency. When my dad first asked me to look this guy up, I thanked him for the contact and left it at that. I didn’t plan on reaching out since it seemed like kind of a distant connection. But he’s since brought it up a few more times and finally asked me directly to contact this man and pay him a visit, because he had been a good friend to my dad and is really nice.

How am I supposed to do this and would it even be welcome? Am I supposed to invite this guy to lunch and say … what exactly? My dad asked me to come see you because … reasons? Or do I drive to his office and just knock on his door to say hi?

This contact and I work in similar industries but not in a way that we would be likely to overlap organically (I’m a writer and he works in public relations, but in two completely unrelated subject areas — think travel and medicine). So maybe it would be smart to meet him, but maybe it would come off as an imposition or some weird attempt at networking for me to ask him to meet me or whatever.

It’s not like this guy is a really close friend of the family who has come to visit us in our old city — more like a business contact who helped my dad out in the past and was super nice. On the other hand, maybe I am just overthinking it (would not be the first time) and this would be a good guy to know in my new city.

It’s not going to seem weird if you contact him; people do this sort of thing all the time. And there might be professional benefits to connecting with him; he might have contacts or job leads that could be useful, or he could just give you helpful info about your new city, or serve you the best dinner you’ve ever had in your life, or introduce you to your future spouse. One never knows.

That said, do you want to contact him? If not, you don’t have to! But if you do, all you need to do is send an email (don’t just show up!) saying something like, “I just moved to Skull Island, and my dad, Zeus Mulberry, urged me to contact you. I’m currently looking for work in X and would be grateful if you have any advice on ___ (fill in with whatever makes sense — like firms to look at or avoid, or so forth) but mainly I just wanted to say hello since my father speaks so highly of you.”

If you already have a job and aren’t looking for work, change that to whatever makes sense for the context — trying to get a better idea of the city, meet people as you settle in, etc.

5. Wrong link

I just had to share this story after seeing your mortification posts. It’s something that I remember every so often and do a full body cringe.

I returned to a job (after being away about 14 months) to a new role with more responsibility. I got off to a good start but the imposter syndrome was strong.

One day I had to share a link to a webinar we had recorded. It was supposed to go to everyone in the organization so I shared it in the collab tools and about 600 people got the email with the link. Maybe a half hour to an hour later, I got several emails because instead of a link to a webinar, I sent this.

I am still mortified and I break out in a cold sweat when it suddenly occurs to me. I was convinced for a couple of weeks that I’d be fired but people were good humored about it.

I was literally just introduced to this video the night before I got your email, so I was delighted when I clicked your link. Thank you.

{ 648 comments… read them below }

  1. ENFP in Texas*

    LW#1 – If you’re not going to school, you should be paying SOME sort of rent to your mom. And if you have to take menial job to pay rent, that’s part if being a grown-up.

    1. Orb*

      They have two part-time jobs and say they’re making ok money, I don’t think they need a lecture that working for money is part of being an adult. They’re already doing that.

      Paying rent to family is a highly cultural issue. Some groups think grown kids should always pay rent to family, and to others that is an unacceptable or highly embarrassing practice. Maybe we can head off a 50-comment thread of people arguing about whether or not this person should be paying rent to their family by agreeing that if their family wants or needs that, they should be willing to do it, but that they are not inherently doing something bad by not having an arrangement like that.

      1. MK*

        Also, it doesn’t sound as if that is the mother’s concern. If I was concerned about a child not being financially independent to the point of bugging them about it, it wouldn’t appease me to be handed some rent money every month.

        1. pleaset cheap rolls*

          My first few years working full-time in my hometown my mom both wanted me to move out and also was charging me rent (about 2/3 of market rate with mainly free groceries – so not a lot but also not nothing). That made it hard for me to save for a deposit for my own place. Hahahaha.

          1. Green Beans*

            Which is why a lot of people end up in very crappy, no-deposit apartments or multiple roommate situations when they first move out. It happens.

            1. pleaset cheap rolls*

              I ended up in a terrible apartment with 1 to 2 roommates. The roommates were OK – the terrible apartment was not. Got out of that after a year or so to a decent place with roommates.

        2. Lady Catherine de Bourgh*

          Yes it doesn’t sound like “cover some of your expenses” is the core concern here. It sounds like mom is more worried about the LW’s ability to launch out of the nest and perhaps their “oh it’s fine, I have a YouTube channel” mindset.

          Right now, in the US at least, there are tons of jobs out there and it’s not clear how long this boom is going to last, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the mom is worried about LW missing out on this opportunity.

          1. Quickbeam*

            In my area (midwest US) jobs are hanging off trees, begging for workers. It’s an ideal time to grab a full time job with benefits.

            1. Allypopx*

              Interesting! I’m in the northeast and while there are jobs, I wouldn’t necessarily say full time jobs with benefits are making up the bulk of the market.

              1. NoviceManagerGuy*

                Depends where you are, I guess – I’m in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania and there’s hiring ads all over the place.

                1. WIManagerLady*

                  Hiring doesn’t equal full time with benefits though. I’m in Wisconsin and lots of places are hiring, but they’re primarily part time and lower wage jobs. Think gas station, grocery store, etc.

                2. Environmental Compliance*

                  WIManagerLady – I am also in WI, and we have nearly 300 jobs open at my company alone that are full time, significantly over minimum wage, with good benefits. We are needing to pull in people from over an hour away to try to get staff in this area, as we’re not even the only company in this boat. There’s another manufacturing company by us that’s at 40% agency temp staff just so they can run.

                3. DataGirl*

                  It also depends on what kind of job you want. Manufacturing/automotive, shipping, logistics etc are often full time, with benefits, and pay more than minimum wage- although not necessarily a ton more, and all are desperate for workers right now. Hospitals are also frantically hiring non-medical jobs like food service, janitorial, patient transporter, etc- some part time but there are full time positions available too. Government jobs in fields like sanitation, postal service are desperate. But if someone is only looking for white collar office work then that may be harder.

                4. SaffyTaffy*

                  @NoviceManagerGuy yeah, ads for cashiers and waitstaff, nearly all part-time. I see the same ads. The benefits thing remains a giant problem in Pennsylvania.

                5. My 2 cents*

                  In my IS department alone we have at least 60 full time, benefited GOOD jobs posted in a healthcare organization. So they are out there.

                6. The Starsong Princess*

                  70 new full time, entry level jobs at my company this month. These are jobs with benefits and a future.

              2. FormerTVGirl*

                I’m in New York City and it is RAINING jobs here. I’ve never been contacted by so many recruiters in my life.

              3. Wandering*

                Agreed. Hiring signs all over, here, but most are for very part time staff. And by very part time I mean ten to fifteen hours a week, with open availability. Full time ads are primarily for mid to senior people, mostly with specialized trading, eg electrical engineers with ten to fifteen years of experience.

              4. too young to die, too old to eat off the kids' menu*

                I’m in NYC and it sort of seems like it is, at least in my little bubble.

                I’ve never received – or even heard of anyone in my industry below exec level receiving – a signing bonus in my entire career. Suddenly it seems like a standard part of the offer because so many companies are literally fighting over talent.

                1. Spreadsheets and Books*

                  Agreed. I work for a major household name company in NYC and in my particular department (somewhere around 2K people, which is less than 10% of the company), we have dozens and dozens of open positions – all full time with benefits, many entry level – right now.

            2. Queen Anon*

              In my section of the Midwest the jobs that are “hanging out trees” are fast-food and other low paying jobs, notions an adult can support themselves on. Yes they’re paying more than minimum wage but $11.50/hour isn’t enough to support oneself, even in the Midwest. (Especially since the types of places that are hiring try to avoid offering full time schedules and real benefits.) People talk a lot right now about lots of jobs going unfilled but, at least where I live, it’s not what it seems at first glance.

              1. Joielle*

                Same here, in a large midwestern city. Yeah, you could get a job, but not necessarily a full time job with benefits, and it’s CERTAINLY not a given that the job would be in your field or would help develop your career.

              2. Laney Boggs*

                Yeah, I’m not sure where this mindset is coming from. I’ve been job searching since January and gotten 3 callbacks.

                1. SaffyTaffy*

                  @Laney Boggs it’s just confirmation bias of underlying presumption that poor people are lazy.

                2. MassMatt*

                  It depends on your location, field, and skills/experience. In my area the market for highly skilled jobs remained pretty tight even at the worst of the pandemic. Restaurants, hospitality, travel etc were devastated but are coming back strong now, but yes a lot of the jobs for the latter are part time with few if any benefits.

                3. anonymath*

                  No, it’s an enormous mismatch of workers and jobs. I too am working to hire and we’re fighting over talent as well. But we are fighting over a small pool of IT/techy people. Yes, we’re starting some training programs as well though those will take time.

              3. quill*

                Yeah, admittedly I left WI over six months ago but there’s never (in my industry or anything adjacent) been a lot of jobs on offer that pay a living wage, have insurance, and aren’t either prohibitively far away or looking for skills and certifications I don’t have. The fact is that employers like to say that jobs are growing on trees but it’s almost never jobs that would get someone out on their own supporting themselves.

                And a recent grad may not be getting 11.50 an hour at a warehouse job. That’s night shift / experienced in warehouse or manufacturing pay whenever I would get job ads. There’s also the reality that LW may not be physically fit enough for some of the jobs on hand, or they involve unacceptable risk for LW.

              4. Lily of the field*

                I live in the South, I make $11.26/hour currently, and I am making it work. You do what you have to do.

            3. Anon4This*

              I’m in DC and a general survey of my peers says we have a lot of full-time-with-OT-and-benefits office jobs that we can’t fill fast enough. I have 7-9 entry-level positions (FT, benefits, training provided, some WFH available) open right now because we are so busy I desperately need reinforcements for my existing staff. I’m trying very hard not to badger my recruiters because I know they’re drowning, but I need people. The competition for experienced staff is worse.

        3. Mallory Janis Ian*

          I know had been reminding my twenties-aged offspring that their stay on parental insurance ends when they’re 26, and my only concern was that they were able to find a job with benefits before then. They both work full-time and I’m not concerned about their self-support in other ways, but I do know that it’s a big deal to be uninsured and I didn’t want them to find that out at the last minute because I didn’t forewarn them. Who knows what the job market will be like as age 26 approaches for them, and what health concerns might spring up between now and then, and . . . I don’t know what-all else — I just want them to be secure when I’m no longer able to assist in that particular way.

      2. Smithy*

        Across my 20’s and even for a time in my early 30’s, I had periods of time living with my parents. They were all transition periods, and I did come from a family where “paying rent” would have greatly irritating my parents because what I was supposed to be focusing on was finding a path out of the transition where I’d no longer need to live with them.

        This was always easier when there was a concrete plan, and the period of time in my 30’s (which ultimately was only a few months) was the easiest because I enrolled myself in a vocational program run by a nonprofit. Before moving back in with mom and dad, I had been living/working overseas and while I was ready to be back in the US, didn’t want to work in my parents city. I had no networks and by that time had figured out my parents were clueless about my industry. While having the vocational counselor also genuinely helped in the job search – it was worth its weight in gold that every time my parents asked me job questions, I could say “my counselor said to do X, so I’m doing X.”

        It may be that the OP would benefit from a vocational program focusing on running a small business because the YouTube channel has that potential. Or whatever else. Either way, it’s my top recommendation for both helping gain professional clarity while having a different answer to give mom.

        1. Splendid Colors*

          The Small Business Development Center is a department of the Small Business Administration with branch offices across the country to support small businesses. The services offered vary greatly, but now that most of the training is virtual, you can sign up for good classes in any region–not just your own. There are also lots of small business development nonprofits, many of which do online training these days.

      3. Rayray*

        I agree. I’m 32 and lived away from my parents for years. I moved back after my longtime roommate moved out of state. The whole point is to save money so I can maybe afford to buy my own place but housing prices have just skyrocketed the past year.

        As far as the health insurance, I’m always surprised how many people I know of that actually stay on till age 26. OP is still young and getting settled into adult life, but if it’s that big of deal to their parents, there are less expensive plans they can but theirselves if needed, this is assuming they don’t have many health issues at their young age though.

        1. Blaise*

          If it’s an option, it would be an odd choice not to take advantage of it. Jobs that offer you benefits give you the option to take a stipend instead if you turn down the benefits. I did that until I turned 26 and got an extra grand a year or something until then

    2. Ana*

      Also they might be “paying rent” in house work. I know I did that when I was unemployed and had to move back home to my parents. Cleaning, washing, cooking. We all agreed on that and were happy as long as I lived at home.

        1. KRM*

          The exact arrangement is up to the people who actually make it. I lived at home for a few months and didn’t pay rent because I was saving for an apartment downpayment. If the parents feel they don’t want to charge rent, that’s up to them for whatever reasons they want.

        2. MCMonkeyBean*

          There is no “should;” everyone has their own arrangements that they are comfortable with. If the mother is not comfortable with the current arrangement then that’s something they’ll need to discuss but certainly they don’t need some random strangers on the internet dictating their family dynamics…

        3. Green tea*

          Maybe you misunderstood. It sounds like Ana was doing the lion’s share of chores in her anecdote, not just pulling her own weight.

        4. brighidg*

          Forcing family to pay you rent has to be one of the weirder punitive measures that boomers invented.

          1. Temperance*

            Yep. The same parents whose parents kept them home (without rent) until marriage, or gave them the downpayment for a home pulled that ladder up behind them.

            One of my proudest teenage moments was fighting my mother on paying her rent; I argued that if I had to pay her rent, that would mean I was a tenant, so I could a.) make demands on her as a landlord and b.) would be exempt from all housework and childcare, unless she wanted to pay me.

            I was 16 at the time. I’m a lawyer now. lol

          2. Rayray*

            I kinda agree. I mean, it’s one thing if the adult child is a deadbeat and doesn’t even try to find a decent job because those people do exist, but if someone is just trying to save money, why not help them out? I’m an adult who moved back home which I though it would NEVER do. My parents don’t charge me rent, but I absolutely help with chores, cook dinners, and contribute to the household without needing to be asked.

            One thing I have heard of that I really like though is charging rent but then putting all that money away and giving it back once the person or couple have moved out.

            1. TardyTardis*

              I know someone who is 50, not physically disabled, and always has good reasons for never having a job. For over 10 years. I tried to help him out and discovered he didn’t really want to be helped.

          3. Harper the Other One*

            Well, it’s also a way to make sure you don’t get into unsustainable spending habits. If my first full-time job had been at a time where I had no housing expenses it would have been a HUGE adjustment to pay a third to a half in rent/mortgage.

            My partner and I plan to ask our kids for some rent if they live at home, so they get used to a realistic budget, but put it into a savings account to give them when they move out so they’ll have a pre-made emergency fund.

      1. Riley and Jonesey*

        Yeah, I wouldn’t charge my kids rent if they needed to be home in their 20s. But I’d definitely expect that they’d take their fair share of chores and contribute a cooking with ingredients they got themselves, like your situation Ana.
        The OP sounds like they have a part time job (so, great! something which will build their CV) and the youtube channel is bringing in money.
        Probably the ‘rent’ I’d be charging though in an unspoken way is that I’d definitely be expecting them to figure out when and how they would ‘launch’. I wouldn’t care if it was working in fast food and living with a bunch of friends in a stinky apartment, or going across the world to pick fruit. I’d want them to be active in a plan to leave home and to not get sullen if I ask them about their plans.

        1. That Finance Guy*

          I would charge them some rent, but just stick it in some interest bearing account so they can use it later down the line. It isn’t so much the money, but getting them used to a regular monthly payment. When you move out, that is a requirement, so might as well get them used to the idea while they still have a safety net :)

        2. Boof*

          Yes, if my kids are still at home in their 20s because they can’t afford to move out (vs they can but everyone’s happy to live together) my biggest concern would be what is their gameplan for being independent? Even if they were trying to launch a youtube career that might be ok if they gave me a clear business plan and timeframe at which to reevaluate / call it quits if it isn’t taking off.

      2. KayDeeAye*

        Back when I first got out of college and moved home for a bit, my parents and I agreed on my paying “rent” by working X hours per week around the house. This wasn’t just picking up after myself – of course I did that, too – it was contributing by doing the chores that needed to be done. Some weeks it was mostly housework, cooking, etc., but other weeks I did special projects such as repainting the spare room (note: painting a ceiling is hard) and cleaning out the garage.

        It seemed/seems like an equitable arrangement to me.

      3. NotAnotherManager!*

        This is what I did for my aunt when I first graduated from college with no job, in a recession. My mom had no space for me (nor the money to support another person), and my aunt did. I cooked, cleaned, walked the dog, and was good company. She missed me when I got a job a few months later and moved. :)

        I had no money to pay rent. Literally $0. I applied to food service jobs with no call backs/offers. (That’s why I was living with a relative rather than on my own.) I did buy my aunt a very nice washer/dryer set years later when hers died as a thank you for hosting me when I was broke and unemployed.

    3. MusicWithRocksIn*

      When I was fresh out of collage and still on my parent’s insurance I had absolutely no idea that it was actually costing them money for me to be there. I was young and naïve and thought that the employer just paid for all of the insurance regardless of how many people were on it. Insurance was never really something that I had to deal with, and no one ever filled me in, one of those weird gaps in knowledge between being a kid and an adult, helped along by the fact that my family never ever talked about money (to me). It wasn’t until I had my own full time job and was looking at a breakdown of what I was making and where it was going that I realized how much of the insurance I was paying for, and how much more I would have to pay for a family plan. I could be wrong, but this letter sounds a lot like how I thought insurance worked at that age.

      1. anononon*

        yeah, same– I didn’t understand what portion of benefits comes out of a paycheck until I had my first full-time, salaried job and had a rude awakening.

      2. too young to die, too old to eat off the kids' menu*

        At 22, I somehow thought insurance just… automatically covered everything. No paperwork needed, no deductible, no co-pay, no premiums, and all insurance plans were created equal. Basically, ‘insurance’ was a term for your job covering all of your expenses, and either you had it or you didn’t. Idek how I logiced that one.

        In my (maybe?) defense, I was generally a very healthy kid, so it wasn’t something I saw much of growing up. And in both college/grad school, that basically was how it worked as long as I stuck to my University’s – actually amazing – health services. Even when I busted my ankle, the sports medicine specialist and PT were 100% covered.

        The reality was the rudest awakening ever.

        1. Dust Bunny*

          When my mom was a teenager, so many people she knew had [specific health insurance company’s plans] that she thought it was government health care.

          I’m old enough that the extended age rule didn’t apply and the cost of health insurance was one of the #1 factors in my drive to find a better job. Paying for my own was almost putting me in debt every month, and the plans weren’t even very good (I remember getting a sinus infection and a doctor’s visit–during which she basically just listened to my description and agreed with my self-diagnosis of a sinus infection–and a Z-pack cost me $98. With insurance. In the early 2000s).

          1. NotAnotherManager!*

            I am old enough that I also came off my mom’s insurance the second I could no longer provide the full-time-student verification letter from my university (around 21). I forget sometimes that 1/3 of my team is still eligible to be covered by their parents’ healthcare plans.

        2. KaciHall*

          I was on my parents insurance through college, and it was the only support I got from them – I was paying co-pays and prescriptions, they paid the premiums. And counted me on a dependent on their taxes because of it.

          I found out two years later that their insurance had a family option they used. It included two parents and children. Same amount for 4 kids or 5, so I actually cost them nothing those 4 years and got them a decent amount back on their taxes. It’s been 16 years and I might still be a little salty about it.

          1. Rainy*

            A friend of mine back in university was the oldest in her large (quiverfull) family, had been self-supporting since her teens and was paying money from her part-time jobs into the family pot, and when she finally made the leap and moved out, her father, who had never filed taxes on time in his life previous to this, filed the second he could so he could claim her as a dependent. She tried to file her taxes in February and her forms were kicked back because of it. She came to me and said “what do I do?” and I said “there’s a number on the letter they sent you, you call it and tell the person on the other end that your dad fraudulently claimed you as a dependent and let the wrath of the IRS descend on him like a blazing hammer of justice”.

            So basically, this is absolutely not the first time I’ve heard of this and I’m sorry your parents were exploiting you for tax purposes.

        3. NotAnotherManager!*

          Both my spouse and I were uninsured for large portions of our childhoods, so we didn’t know how it worked but from the other side. In his 30s, he didn’t realize that he needed to check to make sure the specialist his primary care recommended took our insurance, and we ended up with a large bill for out-of-network services because he assumed anyone recommended took our insurance. Expensive lesson.

          My first full-time employer offered benefits sessions, including one that explained the ins and outs of health insurance, for which I am forever grateful. It taught me so many things that I didn’t know and I am not sure my mom did either. But, definitely also a rude awakening on the costs of healthcare.

        4. Tamarack with a phone*

          It’s how some of the universal (or quasi-universal) health coverage systems in various parts of Europe work: people in standard, full-time employment pay a universal, fixed percentage X of their salary into some health coverage pot. Thir employer typically adds a similar percentage (and both count into the total cost of employing you). The dependents that the law or relevant regulations allow to be covered under your coverage change nothing (or almost nothing – there can be tax implications, additional effects on exemptions – let’s say, in first approximation nothing) about this either for you or your employer. This is the one arguably socialist bit about this.

          Paradoxically, right now in the US, what I pay, or even what I would pay if I added my spouse (which I couldn’t do in Germany, France or the UK since they are also employed and have their own coverage) is less than what came out of my paycheck back in Europe. But my employer’s contribution now (total cost of health coverage in employing me) is more.

          As for OP1, it would be the mature think to know what extra cost the parent incurs for the insurance coverage (not something I hat to worry about – I was on my mother’s insurance until age 25, to no extra cost for her – in fact, she got a small tax credit for me) , had my own insurance card and was managing my own health care needs). If this was my employer, the answer would be something like $100/month (but in the US this could be anything between 0 and four figures!), which the OP may be able to cover given they have an income and live rent-free.

          One if the exhausting things in the US is that a lot of the thinking, planning and worrying effort of managing one’s basic needs, which could be done much mire efficiently and equitably as collective choices, falls on the individual. It would be nice if a 22 y.o. and their parents didn’t need to think about these things, but there we are.

      3. Sandi*

        I also wondered if this is influencing the mother’s reaction. My parents are divorced, and my younger sibling lived with my mother for a couple years after uni. Sibling didn’t look very hard for a job at first, and my mother didn’t push it initially, but after a few months she explained how much extra it cost in increased utilities, insurance, and everything else. She was no longer receiving child-support payments. She asked that sibling at least work hard enough to pay the difference, as their decision not to work was directly impacting my mother’s limited savings. My family’s experience is definitely a bias in how I think about the situation, and my first thought is to wonder if the mother can easily afford to host their child without added help.

      4. TechWriter*

        Honestly… I was Today years old, a decade into my career, when I first actually thought about it.

        Exact same situation, we did not talk about money or insurance. It just happened. (We were also fortunate enough to not have to *worry* about those things when I was a teenager.)

        Added bonus: I grew up in Canada, spent my highschool years in the US, and moved back to Canada for university and beyond. We have socialized medicine here, so it makes some kind of sense that I wouldn’t worry about it; you just go to the doctor and show them your health card, what’s the big deal? In retrospect, my dad was certainly paying for me to be on their plan, even if the only benefit I really got was going to the dentist when I came home for the summer. (Dental care is not part of our health care, so without a job that offered extra insurance, which was all of my part-time student jobs, I’d be paying out of pocket for that.)

        1. VI Guy*

          Thankfully some universities now have that extra insurance built into their tuition (dental and prescription). You can opt out if you show proof of being insured elsewhere, and it is a relatively small amount (a quick search shows $400 for health, dental, vision, and travel at UofT).

      5. quill*

        Yeah, when I was pre-26 and on my parents’ insurance, it was extremely cheaper than any insurance I would have gotten anywhere else… because my mom’s union had been fighting to retain that insurance for about 15 years.

        If we’d been on my dad’s insurance I would have had to find my own ASAP.

      6. Nixologist*

        I just paid my mother the difference? Like I was in a place where it was easier and better to be on my mother’s insurance until 26 but I paid my portion of the insurance and all my copays, etc.

        Like tagging along on the family phone bill but paying your share. You learn to pay the bill but you get some cushion for learning and adjusting to it.

        1. Green Beans*

          One of my coworkers did that after she moved out of state and it was crappy insurance though with cheaper premiums because of the family plan (wildly different state regulations) and she was hit with huge bills after an ER visit and she was always worried about going to the doctor because it was so expensive (it was much, much cheaper on our plan) and she needed complex care relative to her age.

          I felt so bad when she told me that – I had a horrified look on my face and she just went, “I know, I know, I don’t want to hear it.” But it was poverty thinking – save as much as you can now because you need it.

      7. New Mom*

        Came here to say the same thing. I really had no idea that it cost my parents money to have me on their insurance. Now that I’m a parent, I was looking at my health options which are considered “good” and if I was covering my entire family it would be between 300-500 a month.

      8. NOK*

        Yeah I legitimately just internalized that fact…now? When I read your comment? And I’m in my 30s.

      9. fhqwhgads*

        FWIW, if you had younger sibling who would’ve still been at home, it might not have cost them anything else. All of my FT jobs have had the same price for one kid vs 6 kids. One even did cover the whole insurance premium for the family, not just the employee. I know the latter was fairly rare then and probably more rare now, but it exists. Not the majority tho.

      10. Meep*

        Yeah I didn’t realize until I was 26 years old and my mom was talking about how she was decoupling my sister’s insurance from hers but still paying it until she turned 26 that I realized she was paying $1,000/month for the family plan! I pay $450/month for just myself now.

    4. Pennilyn Lot*

      No ‘should’ about it, that’s entirely up to their family and how they choose to support their kids.

    5. Frenchie Too*

      LW1. Mom has a valid point. Supporting another adult is not cheap. Not sure what field you want to work in, but sometimes we don’t get there in our first job.
      1)You say you are working on getting experience, how? I don’t mean that in a rude way, I just wonder how you can get experience by not having a job that gives you experience. What is your plan to get the experience you want? Your part-time job might be what you are counting on, which is great if it’s feasible.
      2) How much is your mom paying towards your expenses? Maybe you can sit together and make a list and calculate how much it’s costing her. This is not to make you feel bad or her resentful, but simply to figure out how much you will need when you move out.
      3) Have you shown sincere appreciation for her letting you live rent-free and having expense covered? Again, not to make you feel bad, but just to realize that you are receiving a the great gift of her support. I never realized how much it cost my mom to support me while I went to college (I took the scenic route to get my undergrad because I kept dropping out due to full-time work). Now I realize how valuable that was.
      4) Are you applying for full-time jobs? It can be scary, but if you use the resources in this blog, you can map out a plan to craft a good resume, cover letter(s), and interview prep. Not sure how your mind operates, but for some it helps to write out a list, or make notes on a calendar (paper or virtual) and set some tentative deadlines for each step.
      5) Way back when, I used a temp agency to help me get experience. In a few weeks, I got to work in several well-known companies. It didn’t’ take long for me to get a job offer from one of them. Maybe others who are more recent job-seekers can weigh in on whether this would still help/work. It can also be a window into different career fields that you have not considered before but might enjoy.
      6) Have you considered looking for jobs in the public sector? Some state labor agencies have job postings from different companies/agencies in one bulletin board. Also consider the federal government agencies in your region. There is a central jobs board for the US. Not sure if we’re allowed to post links, but just do an online search for “federal jobs”. You might be surprised at the diversity of fields and job types that are available.
      7) Also, there are a few companies that offer benefits to part-time employees. Maybe that would alleviate some of your mom’s concerns, plus it will give you more experience.
      Last of all, please send an update. Lots of people here would love to hear how things go for you and your mom.

      1. LavaLamp*

        I never was asked to pay rent and I’ve lived with my parents (and then just my dad) until now at 28. I just pay and still pay half dad’s bills because he’s disabled now.

        The insurance cost for my parents would have been the same weather I was on it or not; and I had a job with benefits at 21 but they still didn’t remove me from my dad’s insurance until open enrollment 6 months later.

        There is a lot of nuance to every situation including insurance so instead of telling the OP how expensive and freeloading she is; maybe just tell her to actually look at the costs that affect her. It could be wildly different depending on where she lives.

    6. Nanani*

      This is such a culture-specific take. A LOT of families and cultures would just never charge a child rent at any age. It’s your family and that’s just not the default arrangement for -a lot- of people.

      Plus as others mention the letter isn’t about money (LW has that) but about health insurance and other things that part time jobs and self-employment don’t often provide.

      1. Mannequin*

        That’s how it was in my family- for both my brother & I and my cousins. My family was all old school, pre WWII & WWI, family stuck together, pitched in to help, but you did NOT charge each other money.

  2. Viki*

    LW 1.
    I feel for your mom and you. When I was 22 and graduated, my parents sat me down and made it clear I could live rent free if I had a full time job, but they expected me to contribute.

    I assume you contribute, with your cell phone bill, your car insurance/gas, maybe you buy groceries. You have a part time job, and you have a Youtube channel. You might feel like that is a full time job, but obviously your mom doesn’t.

    You need to have a sit down honest conversation about finances, living at home and expectations with your parents. But telling the people who pay for your health insurance, and your room and board that they don’t have a say in your future, is not the way to have a conversation.

    1. august*

      OP also mentioned they were saving up to move out. Given their current cash flow, they can take that into consideration when they are expecting to move out so at least the parents know that they do have plans for the future and are working on it.

      If they offer to pay for additional expenses in the house as form of rent, this will affect their savings plan and OP can discuss that with their parents as well.

      1. Bugalugs*

        Realistically though if they can’t afford to pay rent to their parents and save money from the other living on your own expenses that they don’t have o pay staying at home they’re never going to be able to move out.

        1. TiredMama*

          I stayed home for a year after college to figure out what to do with my degree. My parents did not require rent, but did require an equivalent in the form of savings and cleaning up/running errands. Looking back, I think they did a good job balancing letting me make decisions with guiding me out if their house.

          1. New Mom*

            I like the idea of requiring kids to save a certain amount every month in lieu of paying rent so that they can actually save enough to move out and pay a deposit. The first month or two is so expensive with the deposit, first and last, and then setting up bills and buying necessities. I’ve had multiple apartments over the years and the upfront costs always catch me by surprise.

            1. Mallory Janis Ian*

              That’s what we did with our kids — required them to put a percentage of each paycheck into savings and do some light helping around the house (basically just pulling their own weight, nothing above that).

        2. august*

          I was thinking that since OP is working on work experiences to possibly make themselves more marketable for a full-time position, they could still work on a timeline then.

          But yes, I do agree that with their current cash inflow, they’d be struggling a lot if they moved out prematurely. It’s a great thing that OP’s parents are helping them for now and OP shouldn’t take it for granted.

        3. Jackalope*

          It depends on what they’re saving for. For awhile post-college I stayed with some friends and paid them very minimal rent. I didn’t have a car, which was fine while I was with them because I could borrow theirs when needed, but living on my own I had to have one. Our public transportation wasn’t good enough to meet all of my needs, although it met most of them. I also saved for first and last month’s rent, deposit, and enough money to be able to do a big shopping trip and buy all of the stuff I needed (dishes, towels, laundry stuff,…..). I could have moved out sooner if I’d had to (my friends were generous when letting me stay as long as I did), but having extra time to pay minimal expenses meant that I was able to move out successfully and not have to spend the first months struggling all the time, or sleeping on an air mattress and trying to cook all of my food with one pot and a soup spoon. Plus I was able to get a car before I moved out so I could be set on transportation. So projecting my own experiences here, it could be something like that. Getting a place solo is a huge chunk of money, especially if you’ve been living with family and don’t have your own stuff.

          (That being said, perhaps the OP could get roommates so they could move out sooner? Don’t know if that’s feasible, but if it is then it would be a lot cheaper for the OP’s parents and would give the OP more independence in the job hunting.)

          1. Caroline Bowman*

            mine did too, but it was very low, comparatively. I also paid for my share of the phone / internet (no cell phones then!) and because I worked very near to a huge fruit and veg wholesale place, I was expected to bring a couple of bags of fresh produce each week for the household and obviously to cover my own petrol and general expenses. The only things she covered completely were my comprehensive car insurance (much cheaper on her plan) and my medical aid till I was 23.

            Taking all that into account, it was a very, very sweet deal and allowed me to have a very comfortable life and to still save much more than would otherwise have been the case.

          2. Person from the Resume*

            But if mom was charging the going-rate rent then you could have just moved out and paid that money somewhere else. Clearly you were getting some kind of discount on the “rent.”

            Monetary discount on rent comes with extra time with the parents and they having some say-so in your life.

            1. Another British poster*

              It’s a bit naive to say “just move out” when the actual process of moving can be very expensive. It’s not like you find an apartment and boom instead of paying $900pm to your mom you’re paying $900 to the landlord. There’s the rental deposit (which can be 2 months rent), payment for the financial check, cost of hiring movers, all sorts of things.

              It’s why people get trapped with bad landlords, because even if you find somewhere where the rent is the same price, you can’t afford the deposit.

              1. Person from the Resume*

                No you don’t understand. Part of the “discount” of the going rental rate people get by staying with mom is that even if mom charges rent, she doesn’t require a deposit and first and last month’s rent and the house is already furnished and she’s already paying utilities.

                1. KRM*

                  Yes, but saving for first/last/deposit/possible realtor fee can add up to 4 months of rent that you need to have up front. So if going rate is $1000/month (for easy math), then you have to save $4000 to move in. If you’re paying mom $500, that’s money you don’t save to your deposit for moving out. If you don’t make that much, it’s going to take a while.

                2. pleaset cheap rolls*

                  “But if mom was charging the going-rate rent then you could have just moved out and paid that money somewhere else.”

                  No, the challenge was that in my city for a newish renter you have to also pay first and last month’s rent, plus a deposit, before moving in. So I needed three months rent in hand instead of one months.

                  Also, what KRM said. Or you can quibble and claim that my mom was not charging the deposits etc so I was getting a huge huge discount………whatever.

                3. pleaset cheap rolls*

                  Yes, KRM’s example is exactly it. I was paying $330/month to my mom (this was many decades ago). I eventually moved to a place where was paying $475/month, but had to come come up with an initial payment of almost $1.5K. If I had not being paying rent to my mom, I could have moved out months earlier. Even if the new rent had been the same, the initial cost would have been $1K which I did not have.

                  I was certainly getting a discount from mom when we consider savings on food and a phone line (we shared a landline). But still the rent paid to my mom was an obstacle in saving to move out. I never had trouble paying rent once I was on my own.

                4. Pennilyn Lot*

                  We’ve talked a lot about how the pandemic has had a toll on people’s work lives and that the expectations for productivity are different while we’re living through turmoil. I think we could be extending a bit more grace and understanding for the graduating class of the pandemic like LW1, instead of calling them a freeloader and berating them for not having yet moved out. There seems to be an assumption that they’re not contributing to any of their expenses when it’s not clear to me that that is the case.

                5. quill*

                  Precisely, the total cost for the one bedrooms I’m looking at in a major metro area, BEFORE your first month’s rent and all other charges is well over a month’s rent. You have an application fee, a deposit, and often an apartment complex will run some sort of credit and income check to decide if they think you can afford to live there, which LW may not pass based on only having a part time job.

                  And your application fee is a few hundred dollars just for them to start the application process. If they decide you don’t make enough to afford the apartment, you don’t get it back.

                6. UKDancer*

                  Definitely! When I moved from smalltown to London to take up my first job I would not have had the money for first and last month or the cost of movers. My parents helped with the removals and my grandparents gave me the money for the rent deposit.

                  There was no way I could have lived at home because my job was in London and home was too far away. I was sufficiently privileged that my parents were able to help me get in. Once I had moved in I had no problems paying the rent but the hurdle to getting into a rental place is quite high when you’re starting out.

              2. Observer*

                It’s a bit naive to say “just move out” when the actual process of moving can be very expensive.

                It’s even more naive to say that “well, moving out is expensive, so mom should just absorb the cost (financial and other) while treating the OP as an independent adult who is paying their own way.”

          3. SheLooksFamiliar*

            My parents believed that once we kids were 18 years old, we were adults and responsible for all the adult things we wanted in life. They agreed to let me live at home for minimal rent while I got my degree – we were close to campus – and full rent during breaks. I was expected to pitch in around the house, which was not a problem. But their minimal rent was high enough that my part-time job and savings barely covered gas, car insurance, toiletries, or clothes. This was the late 70s so no cell phone, Netflix, etc. I lived pretty simply but was broke. I finally found a place with 3 other girls, and it was a struggle but I was able to save a few bucks.

            To be fair to them, my parents didn’t impose curfews or treat me like a child, but I was plunged straight into adulthood before I could support myself. No discussions, no phase-in, just straight to paying rent. I don’t remember getting sick but if I had, I’m sure that would have finished me financially. I wasn’t covered by my father’s policy.

          4. Falling Diphthong*

            When people toss around numbers on this, I always wind up calculating, for example: “So it would take you 6 months of saving $500/month to save up the $3000 for first/last/security on that $1000/month place.” If you have a plan to move out and that’s the timeline and you can tell your mom that and show her the spreadsheet, great!

            My own experience with relatives who were bad with money was that “We are looking for a place that would cost $2000 a month” did not remotely lead to “… and so we are saving the difference between that and what we currently pay, so we’ll have $12,000 for a downpayment in a year…” It led to them spending all their current income at any level, and not saving.

            Willingness to help someone out is often strongly correlated to how strong the person’s plan is to help themselves out. And their past demonstration of making solid financial decisions, sticking carefully to a budget, etc.

          5. pleaset cheap rolls*

            “Once I had moved in I had no problems paying the rent but the hurdle to getting into a rental place is quite high when you’re starting out.”

            Exactly. Though this also reflects our privilege – people without family support who have bad luck (say, a multi-month illness while on contract work) can end up facing the hurdle all over again. And/or homeless.

        4. Asenath*

          Well, yes, they can eventually move out even if they can’t currently pay their parents and save. They can get a better-paying job, even if it is in the field they trained for and don’t much like, and hold it long enough to build up their financial resources. Or they can lower their standards (and thus the cost) for the place they are planning to move out into.

          1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

            Or, if the town is like my hometown, just waiting for an opening. (The mayor from 1985-2000 thought “renting folk” were bad for the city somehow and did everything he could to block apartments & condominia. I already know he was really wrong… and the backstory is a guaranteed derail).

              1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

                It’s not.

                Alison, I tried to behave… but the TLDR is that his predecessor was in the minority political party and assaulted a teenager in public close enough to the election for memories to hold and far enough from the election for word to spread.

        5. Firecat*

          That’s mathematically untrue. Like saying saving for a down payment by living with your parents means your never actually going to be able to afford a home.

          Moving out, be it a house or apartment, has significant one-time up front costs.

          1. Green Beans*

            It can, but it doesn’t necessarily have to. My first rental was taking over from someone who was leaving a lease early, didn’t pay any money upfront (they decided they could wait two months to get their deposit back and I think I paid last month’s rent when it was due and it was split among the original occupants or paid back to the original owner.)

            Second was a small, cheap apartment complex. Deposit was something like $250? Plus first month’s rent at signing. Not the nicest apartment, but it worked.

            In Boston it’s a little harder, but when I first moved here, I took over someone’s part of a lease and only owed the deposit and half of the first month when I moved in (I moved in mid-month.) Last month’s rent either wasn’t required or went to former occupant.
            Actually, did the same thing when I moved back to Boston – paid deposit only and then just started paying rent a few days after I moved in, though it was unintentional. Maybe I paid last (I should know this….)

            If you take over someone’s lease, they’ll often prorate your rent so you only pay whatever’s left of the month at move-in plus deposit & last month’s rent, and depending on the arrangement, you might not need to pay last at move-in (or at all – a lot of times, last month’s rent got lost in the shuffle somewhere and everyone kinda forgot about it.)

            It’s definitely going to be a step down from living at home for a lot of people, but that’s part of moving out.

            1. Green Beans*

              Or you take over someone’s part of the lease and they don’t pay their last month and you just pay that month. So then you just owe deposit & rent.

    2. Beth*

      I agree that a big picture conversation is what’s needed here. It sounds to me, OP1, like you don’t actually know what’s at the core of your mom’s pushing on this.

      Is she actually concerned that she’s on the hook for supporting you long-term? If so, demonstrating your ability to cover your own expenses could go a long way. Document how much you’re making each month. Talk through how you’re using it–your car costs, phone bill, groceries, insurance (I hear that you’re on her plan, but she’s probably paying more each month to have you on there, compared if she was just covering herself or herself and your dad; if she asks, can you pay her back each month for that portion of the insurance cost?), rent (even if your parents aren’t charging you rent, you’re trying to save up to move out, so your income should cover average rent in your area), etc. Seeing that you’re aware of all this, are planning for it, and are making enough to cover it may resolve her concern.

      Is the actual issue that you aren’t doing a career-track job right now? It’s true that “youtuber” is a fairly new career path–new enough that it didn’t exist when your parents were young, at least–and also that it’s not necessarily a stable long-term path. But it’s also true that you don’t need to be established in your forever career at age 22. If you can talk about your plan for the future–what options you’re considering, what timeline you’re envisioning for shifting from this mode to a more career track mode, etc–that might help her understand what you’re thinking.

      If the actual heart of the issue is that she wants you to be on a career path that you don’t want to be on, then that’s unlikely to be resolved. In that case, your best option is probably to escalate your timeline for moving out. As long as you’re living under her roof and being supported by her, she has good reason to feel like she has a say in this. Once you’re truly self-sufficient…well, she might still want a say as your mom, but you’ll have a lot more room to refuse to engage.

      1. Mordin*

        Agree with all of this, especially the part that self-suffiency is key to independence. A friend’s parents wanted them to be a doctor, pushed lucrative careers on them, were disappointed when they picked a niche liberal-artsy field based on their passion. Until Friend started sending back fat checks to their savings account and the parents could see how much money they were making and saving. Now they don’t bother Friend about their career, and Friend realized that the parents didn’t really care specifically what career they picked, they just wanted to make sure Friend left the nest and could properly support themselves.

      2. Daisy*

        You don’t need to have your ‘forever career’, but you’ll be much better off long-term if you have *a* career. I think OP’s mum has a much better handle on ‘how things work’ than OP does. All the people I know who picked a career straight out of university are much better off financially, even if they later changed careers. (OP’s thing about ‘obviously I can’t get a full-time job without a part-time job first’ really doesn’t make any sense – graduates get full-time career-track jobs every day of the week.) And all the people (including me) who dribbled about, trying to decide what they ‘really’ wanted to do, are far behind in their careers and finances in their 30s. I hate to say it, but I wish I’d listened to my mother, been more decisive and got started making OK money quicker.

        1. EngGirl*

          I also think though that people are losing sight of the fact that the OP is starting her career as we’re just starting to come out of a global pandemic.

          Jobs in the field the OP studies in may not be widely available yet, even if OP wanted to work in that field.

          I had a hard enough time finding something in my field 7 years ago when I graduated, and ended up moving farther than I wanted to and taking an adjacent job to what I wanted because I had limited options. I can’t imagine trying to look when so many companies are still in precarious positions.

          1. quill*

            Also OP may be in a tough spot financially, because jobs that can support them that they’ve qualified for may be jobs that require them to move to a different area.

            God knows I was stuck at home for half a decade post graduation because nothing in my field would even guarantee me a full year contract, and nothing came with health insurance (because contractor)

            1. EngGirl*

              Exactly! At one point my parents were pressuring me to move much further than I was comfortable with for “just a couple of years” and I had to keep explaining to them that not only would that absolutely shred my mental health (I’m a homebody so moving across the country was not going to work) but also that I couldn’t afford to move that far away. Some companies may offer relo, but I was young, inexperienced, and if there’s a decently sized candidate pool there really wasn’t anything to make them offer to help me out.

              1. quill*

                Not to mention how rent prices in areas with jobs have been skyrocketing – everyone I know who graduated from the midwest kept being told to go to the coasts to get jobs, regardless of what their field was, and everyone who looked into it was like “no, only people who already live in coastal metro areas can afford to live in coastal metro areas, I literally cannot afford to drive my junk out there and sublet.”

                People who went anyway ‘just for a year’ often came out in the net negative because as it turns out the expense of driving yourself and your stuff there and back was greater than whatever they had left over after living out there and paying down the amounts required on their loans because they were employed and couldn’t defer.

                1. Caboose*

                  Yeah, the thing about the coastal jobs with salaries that seem crazy high to people in much of the middle of the country is that, well, the cost of living is so high that those salaries are *necessary* for people to break even.

                  I’ve talked about rent prices a couple of times with a friend of mine who lives in rural Illinois, and it’s very clear how different the expectations are! I thought I had a great deal in college, paying $545 for a single bedroom in a three-bedroom apartment in a relatively dinky complex, and she was appalled by how expensive that was.

        2. hbc*

          I’m not sure what the difference looks like between picking a capital C Career and changing your mind versus finding a lowercase J job that fits and then moving on to something else. I would guess that what you see is correlation more than causation–someone who “lives to work” and has a 5 Year Plan is the kind of person who will have chosen a career and dedicate themselves to achieving work goals above a lot of other things. Whereas someone who “works to live” is probably not concerned with picking a career *and* won’t put in a lot of extra effort to get ahead. Making the latter person decide on a path (“Okay, my career is [logistics/accounting/hospitality]”) won’t tip them into being more invested in work.

          1. Daisy*

            ‘Making the latter person decide on a path (“Okay, my career is [logistics/accounting/hospitality]”) won’t tip them into being more invested in work.’

            It gives you more money and more options later on.

            1. Daisy*

              So to answer your question further, sorry, I think the difference mainly is money. I’m thinking of stuff like the types of part-time admin Jobs I got at the same age, because I didn’t want to commit to a career. I saw decent jobs as restrictive, whereas really what’s restrictive is not much money. If I could go back in time, I’d punch 21-year-old me in the face and tell her that you can have a part-time job to get by and work on my terrible poetry, AND apply for grad jobs at KPMG or do a vocational qualification.

        3. ecnaseener*

          Re “graduates get full-time career-track jobs every day of the week” — not if they don’t have much experience, which OP said they don’t.

          That said, OP should still be job-hunting throughout all this – not clear if they’re doing zero job-hunting or just not as much as their mom would like.

          1. MassMatt*

            I read it as not having much work experience also. But if your resume is mostly filled with academic accomplishments in a program you have no interest in, a part time job at the same university is not likely to stand out to someone hiring outside of that or maybe other universities.

            I confess I am skeptical of YouTube/Instagram etc as a realistic revenue sources in the long term, except for a small minority that either offer very unique content or have a large following (either built up over time or built in due to fame from something else), but OP says they are making decent money at it.

            I’m wondering if the mom is scoffing at it because she doesn’t understand the concept, or because she knows it’s not enough money. “Decent” might mean $500 /month. That’s a nice income stream if you’re paying no rent, insurance, etc. but not going to pay the bills otherwise. If it’s higher, say $2,000 month, combined with a decent PT job and you could be making a decent living, especially for someone in their early 20’s.

            1. ecnaseener*

              Oh, absolutely you should be skeptical. Others have talked about it in these comments – it’s very very delicate because the algorithm is so unpredictable.

              But to be fair to the LW I don’t think they’re arguing in favor of relying on youtube income forever; they’re just saying their current income is closer to two part-time jobs than one.

      3. MassMatt*

        The big problem with the letter is the writer is depending on her mom yet resenting her mom’s input into her finances/career.

        I am wondering about this sentence: “Also, she will push me toward a career that I studied for (which I have no interest in because my parents told me to find a career with a high job position).” Did you go through the time and expense of getting a degree that your parents wanted you to get but had no interest in? That’s terribly wasteful and it’s too bad you could not have talked about that years ago. Some might say that’s water under the bridge, but IMO it’s indicating that discussions about major issues are not really happening honestly. You may all be talking but it doesn’t seem as though you are communicating.

        That said, I didn’t have much of a career plan at age 22 either, you have time to figure things out, but better sooner than later.

        1. Jessen*

          Yeah that is what stuck out to me as well. It sounds a lot like OP got a degree that mom wanted and part of the conflict may very well be over that. If OP doesn’t actually really want to be in this career but felt like they had to get that degree because of mom, and mom wants to see that pay off and OP doesn’t want to commit further down that line…that’s going to be a thorny issue all on its own.

          1. MsSolo (UK)*

            Mmm, it’s not helpful now to go back to mum and say “I never even wanted that degree”. I can see why Mum thinks that having done the degree the OP should be looking for work in that field, and maybe even looking forward to working in that field, and OP’s feelings around being a dependent probably make them feel much the same as they did when mum first pushed them into the degree when they were a teenager, but it’s really important to draw a line and be an adult now.

            “I know you had hoped I’d go into X field after studying it, but one of the things I learned getting the degree is it’s not a good fit for me, because of Y and Z. However, the degree wasn’t a waste because I learned A and B skills, which will transfer well into other areas / I’m using in my current part time job / will help me throughout my life in C and D ways.”

    3. Birdlady*

      I think it may not necessarily be a money issue; I think the mother is concerned that OP’s career is not taking off as fast as she thinks it should (or as it would in her own younger years). When I was in my twenties I sometimes took on unpaid assignments (for friends or acquaintances, mainly) and my mother would repeatedly ask me if I was getting paid for them (I still had a daytime job, although not my preferred one). I felt she didn’t understand the concept of doing something for free or for IOU-favors while building up a portfolio or gaining experience to show off later.

      1. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

        Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s no market for OP nowadays.
        For context, it took me three years to get an entry level job in my field, while the rest of the class got jobs almost immediately with fake references (!).
        I’m still salty about it.

        1. quill*

          Yeah, OP could be in a field that is barely above water due to the pandemic (say, the arts, since OP has a youtube channel) or one where layoffs have resulted in an inundation of more experienced candidates.

          Either way, OP is going to need to sit down and grab some numbers to talk to their mom about the job plan, if anything about the job searching plan will change if covid numbers improve, and also about savings. It’s always better to have some math instead of just the vibe that “nobody is hiring” or the traditional “parent keeps looking at the number of jobs advertised that loosely fit your field but are actually not jobs you’re qualified for.” (Hi, I’m a STEM graduate, could you tell?)

          1. Tinker*

            Heh.

            The prize winner of my job search after grad school was my mother pressing on me a job for a licensed civil engineer to design concrete dams for the wastewater department of her city, and getting huffy about how I’m being so unreasonably quick to dismiss the idea and was holding myself back and limiting myself when I didn’t even bother to apply.

            I’m a software engineer.

            1. EngGirl*

              Oh my god so much this!!! It’s probably true in other fields too, but I feel like far too many people who aren’t in engineering think any engineer fits any role!

              Could I design a bridge? Probably, but you may not want to use it lol.

              1. quill*

                Oh yes, or anyone with an STEM degree is either a doctor or an engineer, or job titles that are clearly ridiculous (I saw one for an indoor air engineer once when the actual title was HVAC repair technician) apply to everyone in science…

                1. Splendid Colors*

                  I wish I had a buck for every time someone suggested I get a job as a clinical lab technician because I had a master’s in biology. “All I know is how to raise nematodes and get pictures of them.” “That’s OK–you’re smart, you’ll figure out how to do it!”

                  No, you need to have specific certifications to work in a clinical laboratory. You don’t just show up and say you know how to use an autoclave and a fluorescence microscope. I don’t even know how to stain slides; my nematodes were genetically engineered to have fluorescent neurons.

      2. Boof*

        As someone who used to do amateur art and comics, and thought hard about whether or not to try to make a career out of it – I sideeye the heck out of anything that promises exposure or “future profits if it pays” etc etc for unpaid work. (now, if you were building a portfolio and doing projects for funzies, sure, fine – but I think your mom was right to be concerned that you were being exploited for free / cheap work)

        1. Boof*

          To clarify, when I say portfolio, I mean a personal portfolio when you are just starting out; most professionals end up having a portfolio of samples from paid jobs, not free work.

      3. Blackcat*

        I think that there’s a balance here, and it was key you had a daytime regular job. My parents were okay with my brother’s unpaid freelance work to “build a portfolio” or “have people owe him” even though he didn’t have a day job.
        And… here we are, a decade later, and my brother shows no sign of eventually being able to support himself. I could see if LW’s mom’s friends have some failure to launch kids that this is a real concern.

        1. Former Young Lady*

          You’re playing my song, Blackcat.

          I have a sibling who is past 35 and still has yet to “launch.” There’s a lot going on there, but a defining feature of their life is that adults were reluctant to set boundaries with them, for fear of stifling their “brilliance.”

          1. Blackcat*

            Is your sibling in the arts, too?

            I honestly thing that as 40 gets closer and closer, the “launch” will never happen.

      4. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        OPsays they have a part time job in their field, and are keeping the side hustle to get extra funds. I also am wondering if it’s a case of mom had a very different career than OP has, and is not seeing differences in how the career builds.

        The fact we are coming out of a global pandemic that is still affecting hiring isn’t helping some careers either. It is possible that jobs are coming back, but OP (straight out of college) is fighting for jobs against people with a few years of experience who were laid off.

    4. Working for the weekend*

      The day after I came home from college graduation in May, my dad told me that starting September 1, he expected a rent payment (which was really peanuts to him, but not an insignificant amount to a college student). I was a little shocked and said I didn’t have a job yet. He just repeated that he expected a rent payment on Sept 1. We never talked about it again, but I got a job in the beginning of August and made that rent payment on Sept 1. Looking back on it, he knew that was the kind of kick in the pants I needed, and I appreciated that he set an expectation and didn’t nag. He also graciously gave me leads on jobs and let me know companies where his friends worked and if I could put their names down as a referral to the company. Definitely a tough love parent situation and it worked out for us. This was also in the days before ACA so I needed my own insurance too. On top of that, my dad is a small business owner, so the whole insurance thing was EXTREMELY expensive for him.

      BTW… the rent I paid to my parents? They gave it all back to me at my wedding 18 months later. It was never about the money for them. It was more about making sure I didn’t fail to launch.

    5. Lizzo*

      Agree with this. Also, LW, I know you probably feel super annoyed by your mom right now, but take some time to consider what she might be feeling:
      –Is she afraid about her own finances in the short or long term? As others have mentioned, it costs your parents money to continue to pay for your insurance.
      –Is she fearful that if you don’t launch now, or at least have a plan to launch, you’re going to be at home perpetually?
      –What is her definition of professional success, and how does that square with your definition? (Note that there may be generational differences here.)
      –What are your peers up to? Does she hear from other parents with kids at home who are having great career success in the traditional sense of the word?

      All of these things may be rolling around in her head, and unless she’s super aware of her own emotions, this is going to manifest itself in all sorts of other behaviors like nagging. It’s not your responsibility to be her therapist, but if you can focus on these concerns and addressing them directly and calmly, it may help ease tensions. I have to do this with one of my parents, who frequently acts out of fear for my safety, but it comes across as attempts to control me (which I do not like). I address the fear, and then I move on.

  3. Human Resorceress*

    My manager LOVES that video! She introduced me to it last year and it comes up with some regularity in our daily meetings. It could have been much worse.

      1. AnonInCanada*

        Definitely. And a lot less crude than a certain other Aussie singer I know, where every second word in his lyrics contains four letters and rhymes with either “duck” or “runt.”

    1. Anonym*

      Yeah, OP I think you brought many people joy that day, both to those you introduced to that song and those of us who remember it with fond amusement.

      1. azvlr*

        I’m 1/2 Italian American, but grew up far from any of my Italian relatives. I remember hearing this song on 64 KFI Los Angeles and then singing “Shaddupa you face!” at my cousins when we went back East to for a big Italian wedding.

        1. Mannequin*

          That’s where I heard it too! I was in middle school. I remember calling in to the station and winning a beach towel, ha!

    2. Winston*

      This gave me a big flashback to grade school. I had never seen this video before but way back in the old days when I was in grade school, decades before YouTube, there was a while when this chorus was very popular to sing on the playground.

  4. Aggretsuko*

    #2: You may need to come up with more suggestions as to what you are able to do office-wise than let that guy try to think of things. It sounds like he wants super action things, which is awkward.

    #1: as an adult, health insurance and benefits are EVERYTHING. (My job is totally golden handcuffs because that stuff is absolutely good here.) It’s very hard to find jobs with that. I know it sounds not fun and unsexy and whatever at age 22, but if you got sick/Covid or hit by a car or anything, you’d need ’em. I don’t think YouTube has a health insurance plan.

    Anyway, keep working at what you’re doing for now, but job hunting is probably a good idea, and saying you’re at least trying to find a job with benefits may help your mom freak out a little less?

    1. Cmdrshpard*

      I feel you, my job is the same way the base pay if below market but the benefits are really really great, 100% employer paid $0 deductible heath/vision/dental for myself and all family/dependents.

      I think I would need a 50% raise to make a move worth it.

      1. Stuck in CS Hell*

        Same here. This job I have now is the first one that offered decent benefits so while the salary sucks, I’ve yet to pay out of pocket for doc appointments for the last 3 years. I’d have to be paid a whole lot more when I move on from here to match it.

      2. NotRealAnonForThis*

        File under “things I learned too late around age 24”. My first “real job”, we were paid utter filth, to the point where most of us in my department had part time retail/fast food jobs to supplement. Our benefits were unfreakingbelievable to this day though. As in, I kept some of the paperwork just to remind myself how unreal they were. (Primo healthcare at no charge, dental/vision no charge, all for entire family, could add my parents when they hit 65, ridiculous retirement matching, ridiculous vacation accrual, free legal assistance for civil matters, year maternity/parental leave, subsidized childcare, etc….)

        Problem was, being young and single, didn’t really understand that the value of my benefits meant I needed to ask for DOUBLE the salary when I left for a different job, at a minimum.

      3. Clisby*

        Our 25-year-old daughter is still on our insurance because my husband’s policy is so great – like yours, employer pays 100% of family policy, so our daughter’s’ coverage doesn’t cost us anything. I’ve already sent her out looking for how to get covered when she turns 26.

        1. Annony*

          I wonder if this is part of the disconnect. Does the OP know how much their insurance is costing their parents? Most employers do charge to have dependents on the plan. They may be surprised by how much their lack of a job with benefits is costing their parents.

    2. nnn*

      Someone who knows how to do such things should figure out how to get youtubers into a show business union so they can have health insurance!

      1. gracack*

        Youtubers are independent contractors, and it’s hard to unionize those without them becoming employees.

        Anyone, youtubers included, can find healthcare plans on the healthcaremarketplace.gov. It exists precisely so people like Youtubers and Uber drivers and restaurant workers CAN have health insurance.

        1. Amaranth*

          That would be a good conversation for OP to have with mom, whether they can cover the out of pocket for insurance since they are living rent-free at the moment. Maybe kick towards groceries or at the very least chores? If OP makes enough to cover rent and expenses when they do move out, they should make enough to cover some expenses now without blowing their savings plan.

      2. L'étrangere*

        Actually there’s an even easier solution – it’s called universal health care. Almost all countries have it.

        1. allathian*

          Yup, including mine. But it’s not very useful to bring this up every time (I know, I’ve done the same in the past…). Most readers and commenters are American and have to live with the American system.

          1. UKDancer*

            Yes the OP can’t magically and single handedly transform US healthcare. They have to live with the system they’re in and try and reform it. Things are what they are.

        2. Edwina*

          And here in the U.S., we have the ACA, and if you live in a blue state (insane that I even have to say that), it can be fully subsidized, depending on your income. LW could look into “the exchanges” (President Biden opened them up again) and at least try to find out how much it would cost her (if anything) to get basic coverage.

          But the overarching advice, to find out what her Mom is truly concerned about, and address that, should come first.

          1. TerminallyTired*

            I was wondering how that worked. When I couldn’t afford COBRA and tried the ACA instead, it was still 800$ a month. I kept thinking, ‘How are all these commercials saying it can be subsidized ridiculously low?’. Now I get it .

            1. DataGirl*

              It’s definitely tied to income. Kind of like with student loans which assume that if you make 100 K in a year you can afford to spend $80K on school and don’t need a loan, ignoring all other expenses.
              When I looked into ACA a few years ago at my family’s income level it was ridiculously high. I just went through the process to get a quote to remind myself of the cost- for a family of 4 making more than 47K annually it’s $210/mo which is probably out of most people’s reach.

              1. fhqwhgads*

                At my previous job for just me, after the employer contribution, my my insurance was $240/mo. I did make more than$47k, but other employees were in that ballpark. From my frame of reference the number you just cited sounds incredibly reasonable.

            2. quill*

              Oh yeah, I could not get it the first time I tried because I had to prove that I couldn’t afford COBRA.

              Second time I tried I could not get it because it was connected to unemployment, which I wasn’t at the moment eligible for.

              (Also I have pre-existing conditions and getting perscriptions covered is yikes.)

          2. Abbey Rhodes*

            Agreed. I graduated from college the same year that the ACA was enacted, and because it was still so new, my mom was similarly concerned about me getting health insurance through a job. But I’m now a freelancer, and I buy my plan through the ACA exchange. Is it cheap? No. But it’s manageable, and the folks who work for the exchanges (whether the federal exchange or a state exchange) have been unfailingly willing to work with me and help me find a plan that will meet my needs and will also fit into a not-too-unreasonable budget. In the year 2021, people shouldn’t feel like any job that doesn’t provide full health benefits isn’t a “real” job. There just isn’t any need for that kind of limited thinking anymore.

            1. quill*

              It is going to depend a lot on your actual health care expenses and the location where you live though, what kind of a plan you need from the exchange and how much it costs.

          3. EchoGirl*

            OP probably wouldn’t qualify for subsidies or Medicaid if they have the option to be covered under their parents’ insurance though. It might be worth checking the numbers for future reference, but it probably wouldn’t be financially smart to switch now, unless the parents’ insurance is really expensive.

        3. RP*

          Yes, it would definitely be easier for the LW to get their country to immediately adopt universal health care than to seek out any other solution. So helpful!

          1. Emilia Bedelia*

            Ok, but the response was to a suggestion that Youtubers should unionize in order to get healthcare, which is almost just as unrealistic and unactionable for the OP.

            If we’re talking about hypothetical solutions to a large systemic problem, it’s not out of line to bring up universal healthcare in that conversation. We’re already off topic of what would actually be helpful for the OP.

            1. Observer*

              The unionization suggestion was addressed, because it’s true – it’s certainly not an immediate solution to the problem. (Although it is actually possible for Youtubers to create an association that could provide insurance at group rates. ) It’s easy to see how that looks like a not too difficult solution, even though it’s not.

              *This* suggestion wasn’t even that – This happens every time health care comes up. Someone always has to get a dig in. Because, as impractical as a union is enacting universal healthcare can’t be seen as a “simpler” solution in the short term.

        4. Observer*

          Actually there’s an even easier solution – it’s called universal health care. Almost all countries have it.

          “Actually” this is a perfect example of why so many people don’t want to hear it. It’s an utter irrelevancy to the conversation at hand. It serves absolutely NO purpose other than to preen abut how much BETTER and SMARTER you are than all those dumb Americans.

          What it actually does is make you sound obnoxious. Also clueless, because why are you calling this an “easy” solution to the OP’s problem? Changing a system is never easy, even when it’s the best thing in the long term. And it’s NEVER a direct, much less easy, solution to a problem that a person is having in the moment.

        5. secret commenter*

          Really? 22 year old LW passing a Congressional act that’s been going back and forth for decades is the easiest solution?

          Well damn. That was the answer all this time? LW can solve decades of gerrymandering, voter suppression, and lobbying that keeps universal healthcare, something that over 70% of Americans desperately want, from being passed?

          Wow, you are a genius. Thanks for enlightening us.

          1. FridayFriyay*

            This is my actual day job so you can imagine how pleased I am that this random commenter can so easily make it come to fruition!

      3. Boof*

        Ant freelancer needs to make enough money to buy their own health insurance, or they’re not in a very sustainable career (unless they join with someone who can/will)

      4. Booklover13*

        This process has already started. SAG has opened itself up to influencers/content creators who do paid promotion.

        1. nnn*

          I’m glad to hear it! I’ve long admired how US show business unions seem to be able to effectively work for people who are essentially creative independent contractors, and I’ve been hoping that model could be expanded

    3. EPLawyer*

      I think your last paragraph is key. Mom is seeing OP as working part time and you tubing and that’s it. Mom is worried that this is the entirety of the plan. OP you say you need part-time work to get a full time job. First, this is not really true. But, even if it were, how long do you plan on working this part-time job? What is your plan to find full time work? Are you applying to full time jobs? It can take a while to find a job so the sooner you start, the sooner you can find one. Also, getting a full time job instead of a part time job and some you tube money means you can probably move out sooner and then your choices are no longer up for discussion with your parents.

      1. Joielle*

        This! And I thought it was interesting/odd that the LW didn’t say anything about what their part time job is, or how it’s helping them get experience that they consider valuable. It would be one thing if they had an internship or similar in their desired field – then, yeah, work for cheap/free for a year to get a foothold in the field and rely on mom during that time. That’s a reasonable, thoughtful plan the LW could explain to mom and hopefully ease her worries.

        But throughout the letter they just said “experience” with no further information, which makes me wonder if they have a sense for how their current work will translate into better work in the future. I could well be wrong, but I get the feeling that they’re hoping that YouTube can be their career, and they’re just working some random job on the side. But they know mom won’t agree that running a YouTube channel is relevant experience, so they keep telling mom that they need experience just having a part time job. In that case, I sympathize with the mom – that’s not really how it works, and I imagine it would be frustrating for mom if the LW is going down that path seemingly without a plan.

        If the LW wants to focus on a YouTube career, they’re free to do that whether or not their mom or anyone else thinks it’s a good idea, but they can’t rely on their mom’s financial support while chasing that dream forever. I think the LW and mom will be happier if they can discuss all of this openly, with a plan in place for how long the LW will live with mom. And the LW should be realistic about what they will do if YouTube doesn’t pan out as a career.

        1. Joielle*

          Oh wait, just noticed that they said the part time job is at their old university. So I guess it depends – if they’re building towards a career in admissions or career counseling, great! If they’re, idk, working at the front desk of the gym, less great (from mom’s perspective, anyways). Either way, the LW should think about how their current work situation is or isn’t setting them up for future success, and make a plan for becoming more independent. I think both LW and mom will be happier once they’re not living under the same roof.

      2. Annony*

        When my husband was just starting out (he works a commission based job) he worked part time as a waiter for 3 years until he could support himself on the commission job alone. Maybe the OP could look into something like that. It’s not ideal, but working two part time jobs could move forward the timeline to moving out at least and will show their mom that they are working hard and not simply content working part time.

  5. Jurassic Park Ranger*

    LW 1 – I get your struggle, it’s so tough right now to be entering the professional world. It’s great that your YouTube channel is making money and a part-time job is a good start, but I would definitely prioritize finding full-time employment. YouTube can be a job, but it’s a very very unstable one with a lot of risk.
    Moving out and taking those adult steps can be scary, but it’s worth it and you should make some near-future plans to make that happen. The fact that you can be on your moms health insurance until 26 and your mom is financially able (and still willing!) to help you out means you’ve got a bit of a safety net so now really is the time to push forward while you can still get help from her if you really need it.

    1. Harper the Other One*

      Yes, I think the instability is probably a major factor. Mom may not be worried because she doesn’t know anything about YouTube as a career; she may be worried because she knows a LOT about YouTube as a career! One change to the algorithm can absolutely tank your monthly income from them, as a few of my favourite channels have found out.

        1. Harper the Other One*

          Yep, it’s so precarious! I’d be very anxious if my monthly income depended on them.

      1. All the words*

        Or if one’s channel contains opinions that YouTube doesn’t like, one can find their content demonetized. This is happening right and left to independent journalists.

  6. many bells down*

    I haven’t thought of that song in YEARS, #5, and now it will be stuck in my head for weeks.

    1. lizw*

      Dating myself-I have NEVER heard it before! But yes, that chorus is now stuck…
      Random click on you tube to Samuel Jackson doing his interpretation was pretty funny.

    2. Beany*

      I’m just old enough to remember Joe Dolce on Top of the Pops (BBC). Possibly my first introduction to the One Hit Wonder concept.

    1. Captain Raymond Holt*

      Same! I love to Rickroll and I was prepared for a taste of my own medicine here!

    2. I take tea*

      It might have been worse, it could have been porn. This was more along the RickRoll lines, not so bad.

    3. AnonInCanada*

      I was expecting something more along the lines of something from Kevin Bloody Wilson or John Valby. Now that would be something mortifying!

    4. Librarian of SHIELD*

      I was expecting NSFW. (Although, I don’t know why I was worried, Alison would have warned us about that!)

  7. Sabrina*

    LW 4, I’ve had kids of my former coworkers contact me using scripts similar to Allison’s and I’m always been happy to talk to them. I can usually offer some advice about their job market or the local work culture. It feels good to pay forward the help their parents gave me at one point.

    1. Brooks Brothers Stan*

      This exactly. It took me a long time to, basically, get over myself and realize that when someone is asking you to talk to a friend of theirs they are trying to open a door for you. And it’s less likely to be seen as intrusive because it’s coming from an actual friend/former mentor.

      A lot of it was tied up in imposter syndrome and wondering why someone would even *want* to talk to me? Well, step one was realizing that most people simply enjoy talking!

    2. Southern Gentleman*

      Yeah, as the person who would be the dad in this scenario, LW’s reluctance frustrates and confuses me. Dad is helping her connect with someone who can help her. It’s a loving and benevolent nudge. And, since he keeps coming back to it, it’s clear he knows her personality and understands she need more urging. He’s helping her help herself. Accept the help, accept the love. There’s no downside to contacting the guy.
      Parents are cast as villains here sometimes, and most of the time justifiably so. This is not one of those instances.

  8. Mer*

    #5 – At my last job, I had to send an email to about 50 volunteer members (it was a professional association) with a link to a registration form. But, I did not send a link to the reg form; I sent a link to a YouTube clip of the cerulean blue scene from the Devil Wears Prada (which, to be fair, is the best scene in the movie). About an hour after I sent the email, I get a call from the association president, who’s so nice, and he was like, “I clicked on the link, but it sent me to YouTube instead and it was a movie clip.” And I was just like, “Oh God…” Then I quickly sent another email and fortunately no one else had clicked on the link yet. I was telling my coworker about what happened and I have a loud voice and it was an open floor plan, so my entire unit heard my story and was cracking up. It was even mentioned on my last day.

    1. Mantis Tobaggan, PhD*

      I used to work for a place that created market intelligence briefings for external clients, usually stuffy firms in law, finance, or insurance. Our group was also very active on Yammer sharing news and funny links. This happened before I started, but apparently one guy copy-pasted the wrong link into a briefing and a the video of Kevin spilling the chili from The Office was sent to hundreds of corporate people.

  9. learnedthehardway*

    OP#3 – I’m going to guess that this is a very junior person who applied for your marketing/branding role. I mean, I see some resumes that have a brand logo for all the companies a marketing person has worked for (which strikes me as unnecessary – I mean, what point does that make? That the person can copy a graphic from one document to another?), but I have never seen someone do up their resume as if it was on company branded letterhead. So I’m assuming this is a highly motivated, very junior person who got some bad advice or who thought they were showing initiative and dedication.

    The question is whether they have bad judgment in addition to bad advice.

    If their resume looks really promising and you would interview them had they not done it up in company colors/branding, then I would probably phone screen and tell them that they will have to resubmit their resume in plain format, because it’s not appropriate to use a company’s branding for one’s resume. If they’re open to redirection and feedback, you’ve found out you have a candidate who will take direction and feedback on the job. If they double down, you’ll know to not hire them, no matter how good their resume content is.

    1. HiringCreative*

      I’m conflicted on this one – it’s a bit of a weird thing to do. But if done well, also a really great way to show you’ve done your research and understand the branding system and voice of the company, which is a skill that’s often hard to demonstrate. If they do show a good understanding of the brand, and that would be part of their job (eg designer, copywriter, digital content) then I don’t think it’s a bad thing. You get a lot of oddball resumes hiring in creative fields, and this definitely wouldn’t be a dealbreaker for me if it’s well executed and the content of their resume is quality.

      1. ecnaseener*

        What about Alison’s point re needing permission to use a company’s logo? Does that not outweigh any positives?

        1. Filosofickle*

          Honestly, I have 25 years of in the brand strategy & design world and it wouldn’t bother me that they used the logo as long as they used it correctly. They aren’t using it for profit or public display. When I’m pitching a new client, it’s common to use their logo into my presentation and as far as I’m concerned it’s not substantially different from that. I wouldn’t recommend this approach but I wouldn’t be offended by it either.

          1. pleaset cheap rolls*

            All this. All of it.

            I don’t think what the OP describes is the best approach, but the freakouts here about logo control etc are nonsense – the logo is only being shown *inside* the organization.

            And putting a do-not-hire on someone for this? That’s so out of proportion to the offense.

          2. Chickaletta*

            Yeah, I thought it was only if the branding item was going to be used on marketing materials or items being sold that it couldn’t be used. I was a graphic designer for years and this is what I went by. But you can use logos on items that don’t meet that criteria – that’s why some companies will let you download their logos from their website without explaining what you’re using it for first – permission isn’t always required, and at least it helps with quality control because damn, if you’re going to use their logo they don’t want it to look like a pixelated screen grab from 1998.

            1. pleaset cheap rolls*

              Basically yes, but the issue isn’t just about marketing materials/sales – it’s about confusion in the marketplace. So basically, letting the thing out into the public. You could put a logo from another company on stuff you literally give away, with no connection to you and no marketing of your own services, and that would still be trademark infringement because it would lead to confusion in the marketplace.

      2. Lacey*

        It doesn’t sound like it was well executed though! Calling it the “Alligator Loki version” isn’t saying it looked great. Plus, almost anywhere I’ve made it through more than one round of interviews for, asks candidates to do a sample design with their branding to make sure you know what the heck you’re doing. So it’s not adding anything that employers won’t discover later on.

        1. mx. burnout*

          OP3 here! It was not well executed — and the position is for an executive, which makes it quite a bit more yikes-y.

          1. Chickaletta*

            An executive? Oooooh…. no. The former graphic designer in me gets real micro-manager, look-mom-I-made-it-myself! vibes. This is the person who takes a nice design and makes you put yellow “NEW!” starbursts all over it.

      3. Observer*

        But if done well, also a really great way to show you’ve done your research and understand the branding system and voice of the company,

        I’d have to disagree with you here. I understand why it feels that way – it feels that way to me, too. But the OP’s reaction says to me that at least in this company, that’s not how they roll. So maybe they don’t really get it.

  10. WS*

    #2 I am also the fat person in a small workplace and the way to go is to suggest things yourself. The more input you give, the more control you get. For example, if “going to a gaming centre” is a popular idea, find one that has a range of options.

    1. Cmdrshpard*

      I second this recommendation, maybe an old school arcade or barcade if you can find one, minigolf.

      1. TechWorker*

        I can’t remember fully but I’ve done a few different ‘VR experience’ type things and some of them were just a headset and a ‘gun’ to carry – which ought to work regardless of body size. You’d have to check in advance which I appreciate isn’t ideal!

        1. Green great dragon*

          Yep, I would check out that 0.01% chance if I could, if only so I can say the proposals definitely won’t work, rather than almost certainly won’t work.

        2. Harper the Other One*

          Yes, the Go-Karts may not work for all body types but often gaming gear can be fairly accommodating to different sizes, shapes, and abilities. It’s worth asking about!

        3. Free Meerkats*

          Since the LW gets motion sickness, VR would likely be a Bad Idea. Most motion sickness is due to conflict between what your eyes are seeing and what your proprioception and balance center are feeling.

          1. OP#2 Here*

            I am also worried about this! I am a huge gamer but haven’t tried VR because of this concern. I can’t even play the majority of first person FPS games because they’re too fast, and games that force first person perspective give me trouble, too. Luckily I’m a soulsborne/RPG fan, so I don’t run into this issue too often. I was excited to learn you could play Skyrim in THIRD PERSON after the tutorial and finally got to play! I tried so many times and just felt sick in first person mode.

        4. quill*

          Laser tag with extra tech? Because the last time I went to laser tag it was goggles and a chest and back sensor on looong straps so you could fit both kids and adults.

        5. GamedevGirl*

          I was thinking the same thing! I worked on a few VR experiences and it’s usually a VR helmet plus some camera to track your position if there is movement tracking. Some rigs are fancier with a seat / pod and could be an issue but it is uncommon for VR entertainment centers to only have those kind. They often also have more classic arcade experiences.

          If that’s an activity you would enjoy, checking the pictures on the VR center website should give you a good idea of what they got.

      2. New Job So Much Better*

        Minigolf is a great idea! Maybe suggest one day you do that all together, then the next day you can enjoy a good book while they do the roller coasters.

      3. OP#2 Here*

        Barcade? OMG that sounds amazing! I had no idea that was a thing. I’m going to check this out to see if it’s an option!

        We’ve done Top Golf before and it was a big hit with everyone. I was TERRIBLE (cross dominant so I also kept switching and couldn’t decide which way was better or worse LOL), but it was really fun.

    2. MusicWithRocksIn*

      I’m just gonna throw out Escape room, because there is no weight limit on those and they are so fun. Plus working together to solve problems. But really I just like escape rooms.

      1. Shad*

        Some escape rooms do require small spaces, and the whole locked in a room together thing can be…polarizing, to say the least.
        But as far as I recall, every escape room I’ve seen that’s required small spaces has indicated it on the room description, and most facilities have multiple rooms.

        1. sara*

          My work did an escape room and I was super nervous so reached out to the organizer. She arranged for me to go check out the rooms available and see if I’d be okay with any of them. There was one that was just like a 1930s detective’s office, so I picked that one and it worked out great! But she also let me know that if I still felt uncomfortable, they’d figure out a different option that would work for everyone.

          1. ampersand*

            Awww that’s nice! Escape rooms sound terrifying to me—locked in a small room with other people I have to work with to get out of? No, thanks!

            It’s encouraging to hear about your positive experience—it’s possible they’re not as bad as my anxious mind has made them out to be.

      2. Nea*

        I was just coming to suggest the same thing. Check that no one is claustrophobic, but I am a woman of heft and I adore escape rooms.

      3. Tisiphone*

        Yes to this!

        Check the websites of the ones in your area. Many escape rooms don’t actually lock you in, so if someone has to step out for a moment, they can. Clock still ticks and the time limit still applies. The descriptions also give an idea of relative difficulty. Suggest something that appeals to you and enjoy!

        I’m waiting for Variant D to come under control so I can get my friends together for a puzzle-solving adventure again.

        1. Annony*

          It’s actually a fire code violation in most places to lock you in completely. Most of the ones I have been to either have a button you can push to get out or they have a separate exit door that you are supposed to unlock while the entrance is unlocked the entire time.

      4. OP#2 Here*

        Great idea, thank you! I have a very analytical brain and love puzzles so an escape room adventure could be awesome! I’m going to see if there are any in the area that I can suggest :)

      1. HotSauce*

        Axe throwing is so fun and hilarious as a group. The people you’d least expect to do well can sometimes surprise you.

      2. OP#2 Here*

        Awesome idea! I’m actually quite skilled at this due to a very unique childhood where I learned to throw tomahawks and knives at wooden blocks to split cards, etc. I’d be a secret shoo-in! I love this idea!

      3. Aitch Arr*

        I recently saw an ad in a local ‘things to do’ magazine for an ax throwing place that stipulated in big letters NO ALCOHOL.

        It pains me that they had to state this upfront, but I’m sure there’s a specific reason (person/persons) why.
        *sigh*

    3. Khatul Madame*

      Wine tasting. Beer tasting. Cooking class. Paint-while-you-drink, or whatever this activity is called.
      You can bond with coworkers without having to go pew pew or vroom vroom.

      1. UKDancer*

        Yes. The more the OP can suggest activities the easier it is. It’s hard to understand what limitations people have because you’re not in their body and don’t know what they feel.

        If you come up with ideas for what you can do, it sounds like your colleagues will be only too happy to consider them.

    4. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

      Bring back LAN parties!

      I loved blasting away at my boss in Unreal Tournament.

  11. Double A*

    Something I think a lot of young people who have never had a job with benefits may not know is that your parents are probably paying more for their health insurance with you on it than if you weren’t. Gone are the days when the whole family was covered on dad’s plan at no additional expense to him. In fact, when I had my first kid it was cheaper to buy her private insurance than to add her to my work plan (and it was a union job!). I mention this because LW 1’s comment about staying on their parent’s insurance until they’re 26 implies they think that’s free.

    So I would suggest that the LW actually offer to pay for their portion of their parent’s health insurance, i.e. the amount more the insurance is costing the parents to have an additional family member. As an example, my current insurance (different job) costs about $200 more a month with kids on it.

    1. Cranky lady*

      Yup. And what happens if Mom loses her job? (Yes, there is COBRA which is ridiculously expensive.) This leaves a lot of responsibility on Mom who might be thinking of putting that extra money towards retirement or even cutting back to part-time herself.

      1. Teapot Repair Technician*

        Every year my children remain on my insurance (with me paying for it) delays my retirement by about a year.

        I will use this estimate to “motivate” my children should they contemplate pursuing a career in part-time youtubing.

    2. Blue*

      Yes to this! I genuinely didn’t realize this until I got a job with insurance at age 25 (free for me but hundreds/month to add a spouse or dependent) and it made me so grateful to my parents and a little chagrinned. I had taken it for granted because, especially with the way it was framed in the ACA publicity, I assumed it was magically free for me to be insured.

    3. Not always right*

      This. At my job, it’s either single or family coverage. The difference in cost was about $400 A month. My husband was on Medicare so not eligible to be on my employer plan, so we were paying an additional amount for that. This was a year before the whole Obama healthcare stuff took affect. We were able to get an HSA policy for about $100 a month with a $1,500 deductible for my son. That saved me a boatload of money for one year. Sadly, the cost of my coverage increased after the reform to almost the rate it was for family coverage.

      1. Working Hypothesis*

        We actually negotiated in my divorce which of us would be covering the kids on our insurance and for how long. Because it really is hundreds, sometimes more than a thousand. Every month. It’s an enormous expense, and if LW #1 is unaware of how much it’s costing their Mom to be paying this for them, they need to know!

        LW #1, your mom loves you and is probably happy to make sure you have health insurance… for as long as it takes until you are genuinely able to cover it yourself. But it’s not unreasonable if she doesn’t want to be paying for it after you’re *able* to handle it yourself, just because you *donwanna* handle it yourself. If you can actually, due to your YouTube income, take over paying her back for the difference between what she pays now and what she would pay for her own insurance if you weren’t on it, then offer to do so. If you can’t do that yet, or you could but it would mean it takes a lot longer for you to be financially able to move out on your own if you tried, then sit down and have a talk with her about exactly how you plan to get from where you are now to the point at which you can pay for your own expenses… all of them. Meaning insurance and housing and all those things you aren’t paying now because she’s paying them for you.

        Figure out ahead of time how fast you can reasonably get there, and then go to her with a plan and show her how long it will take and how you’re going to do it. Ask her if that’s an okay timeframe for her.

        If it’s truly not fast enough for her to feel comfortable with it, you may need to bite the bullet and look for work you don’t want in order to pay the bills, until you can afford to pay the bills from the work you do want. But if you can show her a concrete timeframe in which you will be ready to take on your own expenses by doing it your way — and that *doesn’t* just look like “I’ll lean on you to cover the stuff I don’t want to worry about, for as long as the law will let me” — then she may be willing to let you do it your way, once she sees that you’re actually planning an effective and relatively time-efficient strategy for getting there at all.

    4. Charlotte*

      It depends if the LW has younger siblings; I stayed on the family health insurance after moving out because they needed to stay on that plan anyway to cover my siblings who were still in school and 2 vs 3 kids was not a different price.

      That doesn’t change the advice to LW IMO; the parents are supporting them regardless, but the mom may be more concerned with the future than any actual outlay right now. I know when I was 24 I got very serious about getting out of my nonprofit job and into somewhere with decent health insurance before 26. It’s good to have a plan, LW, the time goes by faster than you think! (Source: am 28 and feel like it was just yesterday I was 22…)

      1. FridayFriyay*

        This is highly dependent on the plan details too though. Even if the premium amount doesn’t change per person it is very common to have individual as well as family deductibles for everyone on the plan.

        1. Red Swedish Fish*

          Second this, I work for big insurance and some plans charge more for adult children (over 18) they are not always covered as children (under 18) and an increasing amount do not have the same benefits/coverage as others on the plan. So depending on the plan thee OP’s parents may be paying more monthly and per service for you.

          Honestly it sounds like the mom just wants her 22 yo to be able to take care of themselves, and a part time job and a you tube channel with no benefits and the adult kid not wanting more is heartbreaking for a parent.

    5. Amy*

      I pay $1800 a month in premiums for my family of 5. It actually wouldn’t make a difference if 1 kid dropped off. But if 2 did, I’d be saving $600 a month.

    6. BRR*

      It’s very likely to be hundreds of dollars a month to cover the lw and if the lw is planning to be on for several more years that’s thousands a year out of moms pockets.

      But I also sympathize to the lw who does to some degree have to wait and build experience to apply to their next job. As others have suggested, I would try and create a timeline. If you have the time available, maybe look for a second part time job. Also, you can possibly include the YouTube channel on your resume!

      1. Teapot Repair Technician*

        I disagree that LW has to wait and build experience to apply to their next job.

        It’s possible they may have to build experience before anyone offers them a job, but there’s no reason not to start applying now.

    7. Lacey*

      Yes! It’s SO much more expensive to have kids on insurance. In some places I’ve worked it was a really nominal monthly fee for just the employee, but when you add your spouse it jumped and if you added kids it skyrocketed.

    8. Daffy Duck*

      Yeah, my health insurance is completely covered by my job but to add one or more children is an extra $700/month on my health insurance, spouse would be over $1,000 to add.

    9. Person from the Resume*

      I absolutely caught that too. Mom is complaining about something that is costing her money in addition to a longer term concern that in 4 years the LW might not yet have a job with health insurance. Plus maybe mom wants to retire or change jobs or something.

    10. Blackcat*

      YUP.
      When I first started my job, we kept my kid on my husband’s insurance. I paid $30/month (so cheap! So great!). Then my husband’s employer changed his plan and it really, really sucked. So we moved everyone to mine.

      My rates are just me: $30/mo
      Employee + Spouse: $800/mo
      Employee + one child: $600/mo
      Employee + “family” (incl spouse and kids): $900/mo
      This still isn’t that bad!

      So if I was in OP’s mom’s shoes and single, it would be $570/month of extra expense, which is a lot! And I know it could be way more for other insurance plans.

    11. Ruth*

      It depends so much on the type of insurance, what state the OP is in, and how many other people are on the insurance. I have a family plan that covers me and my husband- a 2 person plan was not offered. I could have 5 kids and the cost would not change, and there is no extra fee to keep them on the insurance until they are 26. So unless mom and dad have no other children and are hankering to each get their own plan so save money, it probably is costing them nothing. Assuming the OP is paying her own co-pays and deductibles.

      I’m not clear from the OP what the OP’s desired profession is vs. what the parents made her study for. I think there is a lot going on here that we don’t know. If she is looking to get into teaching and the public school system, that again depends a lot on what state she is in and what field she is trying to enter. Some teaching jobs are in much higher demand than others. The part-time work at the school could also be a Paraprofessional (teaching aide) or in admin. If it’s a highly rated school system and she wants to be an elementary school teacher (for example), being a Para in an elementary school will really help put her at the top of the list next year when they are hiring for positions.

      I do see her parent’s point that they want her to focus on getting full-time employment with benefits. BUT, I also feel a lot of the other posters haven’t taken in consideration the situation facing recent college grads, and a lot of parents are completely out of touch with the challenges facing a 22 year old. When I graduated in 2005, my mom wanted me to get a part-time job so I could still do other things. She also thought I should move out. These two thoughts did not and still do not jive at all. Students graduating now have huge student loan debt, and the rental market in most parts of the US is ridiculous. Again, depending on state, getting into a 1 bedroom apartment at all will cost at least $6000. So staying at home to save up that money makes perfect sense. A single person health insurance plan through an employer might only cost her $200 a month, but it has a deductible of $10,000. Entry level jobs, while usually paying more than minimum wage, often are still not enough to pay for living expenses plus student loans.

      I’d suggest the OP have a plan and sit down with her parents to explain her plan. She could also find some stats on costs of living and lay those out. To move out, she needs to have X saved, plus Y in income per month. Honestly part of this is on the parents. They forced her to train for something she didn’t have any interest in and now they are reaping the results of that.

      1. quill*

        If she wants to go into teaching the benefits, the availability of jobs, and the availability of part time jobs vary WILDLY depending on the district.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        OP doesn’t mention any student loan debt that’s holding her back from independence, and $6K/month is a far outlier amount – you can rent a house to share with multiple roommates in one of the circles near the downtown offices in DC for less than that. I have a substantial number of new grads on my team, and many of them share houses/apartments to be able to afford to live in DC or just over the VA/MD borders near a metro.

        I’m not suggesting some people aren’t familiar with challenges facing recent grads I also get the sense that the roommates and ramen existence is not given its due consideration as a viable alternative to expecting one’s parents to support you through your 20s as well. My mom is not well off and could not have afforded to keep me on her health insurance once I graduated nor did she have space in living situation to stay with her long-term, and I’m sure she’s not alone. If I’d expected her to house and insure me post-graduation, she’d have been less kind about it than OP’s parents have been thus far not because she doesn’t love me but because it would show a pretty serious and self-centered disconnect from the reality of her financial/housing situation. Just as people can be blind to the plight of new grads, young adults can be blind to the actual expense of the things their parents provide that they take for granted.

        1. Le Sigh*

          I don’t think (though could be wrong) that Ruth is saying it’s $6K/month. I think they’re saying you might need $6K to be able to get into an apartment — a lot of places require 1-2 months rent up front, security deposits, application fees, etc., and that’s before you get into turning on utilities (if you’re don’t have a track record they sometimes make you put a deposit down). The folks I know with roommates or studios in DC are paying minimum $1,000 a month, usually more like $1,500-2K (not for anything fancy), so you may find yourself needing $3-5K to secure a place. It’s not to say it isn’t doable, but the up front costs of moving can be steep.

          1. quill*

            Yeah, my metro area’s standard price for a 1 bedroom is about 1.3 k per month, with hundreds of dollars in application processing fees BEFORE you put down a deposit. Some of the ones I’ve looked at check your credit, which I’m going to assume that LW doesn’t have as much of as a 22 year old than someone who is poking 30 with a sharp stick, like me.

            1. Green Beans*

              But typically fresh graduates don’t live in one-bedroom apartments. They have roommates, crappy houses, find an opportunity to take over someone’s lease for super cheap…

              Yes, moving from your parents’ house to a standard or slightly lower equivalent is often super expensive. Chances are your parents spent decades working up to that standard. Moving from your parents’ house to a more “broke young adult” standard of living isn’t going to be nearly as expensive.

    12. NotAnotherManager!*

      Yeah, I was a little taken aback at how blithely OP#1 threw out that they didn’t need insurance because they could stay on their parents’ for four more years. That can be quite expensive, and I can understand Mom wanting her adult child to have her own plan. At this point, OP has a rent-free place to live and health insurance that costs her nothing – those are huge helpers in buying time to establish and launch herself. I’d be Mom is concerned that OP’s not taking advantage of this substantial support that she’s providing her child.

      I bet Mom also feels like she’s talking to a brick wall and is feeling mighty frustrated with the situation, too. (My mom has chronic health problems, and we also went without insurance when I was a child – this makes her a bit hyperfocused on insurance being included with the kids’ jobs as she doesn’t want us bankrupted by medical bills.) I’d encourage OP#1 to try to put herself in her parents’ shoes and consider their perspective instead of just her own.

    13. M2*

      It’s not just paying for the plan either. It’s about your deductible: co-pays in and out of network, etc.

    14. The German chick*

      May be OP is from Germany where her insurance would be fully covered by her mother’s insurance (until 26 if she was still studying) at no extra cost.

    15. MsClaw*

      It’s also possible that Mom has plans that OP doesn’t know about. If OP is 22, then Mom could be anywhere from 40s to 60s. Mom could be doing whatever she’s doing now for another 20 years. Or maybe she’s thinking about retiring, downsizing the house, etc in the next 4 years.

      It strikes me also that OP doesn’t not mention anything about actually actively hunting for a full-time job or how they came to the conclusion that working part-time to get experience is better than …. whatever it is they aren’t doing now.

      When my daughter is 22, I’ll be 50. I’ve always taken the stance that if she has trouble finding a job or gets into some sort of trouble, then of course she can come home. Temporarily. And with the understanding that she’ll be devoting herself to getting it together and figuring out how to support herself. Not expecting that she can just live with us rent-free and staying on our health plans for another 4 years.

      1. Boof*

        I was wondering about that too; how does the part time job lead to the full time gig? Most of the time, the experience jobs wants are from full time entry level positions, not part time jobs – but if there is a clear connection, then you’d think Mom would be satisfied with plan “I work this part time job for 1 year then I can start applying to these jobs because I’ve built up these skills” or whatever

      2. armchairexpert*

        Yep, my plan for my 50s (semi-retire and do a job I’ve always wanted to do but pays too little for me to manage it now) is entirely dependent on both my kids moving out so I can downsize.

        I love them very much and I want them to have the best chance in life, but if they were just hanging around because they didn’t want to work full time, I’d be having serious words. I’m sympathetic to the idea that OP1 doesn’t want to work the job she’s qualified for, but – It’s my life too, you know? I also deserve to pursue a career that fulfils me. I’ve spent my adult life choosing jobs that pay enough for my family and cover us in case of emergencies, do I have to give up my dreams so my adult children can follow their bliss?

  12. learnedthehardway*

    OP #4 – Allison’s wording is really good for making the contact, but if you’re trying to figure out how to find the person, get your dad to tell you where he works or used to work. You can use that information to search for the individual on LinkedIn or to find a bio online (just google their name and the company where they work. Odds are you’ll find something). Then, either send them a note on LinkedIn, or see if you can get their email address from reception at their place of work, and send a polite note.

    1. hbc*

      I’d be pretty annoyed if someone was telling me “you should get in touch with this person” repeatedly without giving me a means to do it. If Dad isn’t in touch well enough to have the guy’s email address, then he doesn’t know Guy well enough to say that this will be welcome contact.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        I think this is an important point. If Dad can’t drop Contact a line saying “Hey, my kid just moved to your city, I’m sending kid your contact info” then the relationship may not be close enough for “Hey, I’m a relative of someone who doesn’t have your email” to land gracefully.

        (Also, as a parent of young adults, I would expect the kid to make vague noises and then not look up the old contact of a parent.)

        1. quill*

          The kid doesn’t know their parents’ friends from adam and eve and they might or might not be relevant to the kid’s career… or the kid might be too awkward to find that out.

          Still, it would be better to only send your kid to someone you actually kept in touch with.

  13. HR Jedi*

    #1 – I have a feeling that your mother’s point-of-view is that you’re freeloading, or at least that’s how I feel after reading your letter. I get that with a part-time job, its probably impossible to move out and live I independently, I was in the same boat at 22. The thing that I think you are not considering is that by living at home, you are getting the financial equivalent of $1,000 to $2,000 a month just in the rent saving so don’t blame your mother for not liking it! When you include housing, insurance and other costs, she is practically gifting you $30,000 or more a year.

    I think what you should do is have a conversation with your mother about what adult financial responsibilities you can reasonably take on. The arrangement that I had with my parents after graduating college was that I lived at home and didn’t pay rent, had free cable/internet/utilities, and food at home was available at no cost. However, I had to pay them my portion of the phone bill, health insurance, and auto insurance. I was broke and had to keep living with them for another six months after I got a full time, well paying job before I could live on my own.

    I know that the YouTube channel is probably fun, but you also need to take into consideration that your parents are probably thinking that you can get a job at any retail store or fast food restaurant and make $12 – $15 an hour or something like $200 – $300 a week of working part time there. The job will suck, but that is generally more pay than what most people trying to make it on YouTube make. So if you want to stick with YouTube, and live off your parents, you have to think of the sacrifices you are willing to make. And, I’m sorry, living with your parents is not a sacrifice.

    You are right that it’s going to take time to find a good full time, but you also need to make your parents comfortable that you are not simply mooching off them.

    1. august*

      I would also like to add that there are youtubers out there that have full-time jobs or for some part time jobs that give them a regular source of income as well. They might be few in the vast number of successful ones but they do exist!

      If OP can continue to pursue YT on the sidelines while still maintaining a job that will earn them enough experience in the future for a full time job, that would be an ideal situation.

      1. AcademiaNut*

        Being a YouTuber is like any other freelance job if you want to make a living at it. You don’t need to just make enough money to pay for your living expenses, but you also need to cover taxes, pay for your own health insurance, put into a pension plan, and have a rainy day fund in lieu of paid sick leave, vacation and unemployment insurance.

        1. quill*

          A lot of the youtubers that I actually watch regularly are married, OR in countries with universal health care / a less confusing tax code for freelancers. So insurance may already be taken care of. A safety net of the partner’s income is taken care of if Youtube decides to demonetize you for an arbitrary reason du jour. There’s also a reason that most “influencers” are trust fund kids.

          Much like with full time painting or full time writing or a lot of careers in the arts, most people need an external source of income to afford to do the arts full time.

        2. Xenia*

          One of my favorite YouTubers, who has been on the platform for years and years and just hit 1M subscribers, announced that he is taking a short sabbatical from his full time job to see if he can make youtube work for full time.

    2. NerdyLibraryClerk*

      Retail and fast food generally pay minimum wage (whatever that is were Letter Writer #1 lives), and have the sort of schedules that make looking for other employment (or having a second job) very difficult. If they’re hoping to use their current part time job as a stepping stone to better things, they’re probably better off sticking with it than switching to retail or fast food.

      Unless Covid has somehow made employers less horrible to the minimum wage work world?

      I agree that they should talk to their parents about their plans and finances and all that, but they likely can’t switch YouTube for, say, Taco Bell without also giving up their current part time job.

      1. Eurekas*

        Hours and scheduling may be as crappy as always– although it depends. But I would expect that one might be able to find one paying more than minimum wage right now– everyone is so desperate for employees, and not all the usual employees are actually looking to work right now.

        1. NotRealAnonForThis*

          Have seen multiple adverts for “starting pay $15-18/hour with 20-25 hours ‘guaranteed’, start within three weeks”. Sounds good, but I’m a little jaded after my old retail experience. Anytime I was told I’d be getting a range of hours, I knew it would hover towards, and sometimes dip below, the low end. $15-18 is great money if you have no adult expenses. Its not going to go very far if you have adult expenses, and coordinating more than one of these jobs is very difficult. (I went through three separate supplemental retail jobs during my first low-paying/high benefit first real job because even though I brought up my availability during the interview and application, and restated it upon hire, my availability was completely ignored and I was scheduled for times at which I was at real job.)

        2. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

          Oh yes, the job market is really weird right now. The retail/fast food sector is pretty desperate for more workers right now-some fast food joints have closed the lobby here and are just doing drive through because they don’t have the staff to work the whole store. The laundromat I go to has stopping being open on Mondays, because they don’t have the staff. Depends on location of course, but it’s a great time to look for low end jobs. Right now I’d be more worried about “can you work a million hours next week?” than “we have 5.5 hours of work for you next week, too bad.”

          I highly recommend small scale factory rather than retail/fast food though. It’s also really hungry for workers right now, but it has better pay, regular hours and actual benefits. It’s physical work, but it also doesn’t require dealing with the public.

          Or call a temp agency and see what’s available.

        3. Clisby*

          I’m sure it depends on the area, but what you’re describing is definitely true here (Charleston, SC). Minimum wage technically is $7.25 an hour since SC just goes by the federal minimum, but no employer here is delusional enough to think they’re going to be able to hire someone for $7.25 an hour. De facto minimum wage is probably somewhere between $10 and $12 an hour.

        4. quill*

          More, but not enough more to make a living wage (or to qualify as a full time employee) in most cases. Retailers are still playing the 39.5 hour schedule game, and I drove past an Arby’s the other day that proudly proclaimed that it was paying $12 an hour… which wouldn’t be a living wage at 40 hours a week, and certainly won’t be at less.

    3. MK*

      Maybe. Or it could be that the mother is concerned by what she perceives as a cavalier attitude of the OP about being financially independent. I can easily support another person, if necessary, but I wouldn’t be OK with that person not doing whatever they can to find work that will end the situation. And I wouldn’t be content with them paying more; I don’t need a few extra cash, I would need to know you are trying your hardest to get a job with a living wage.

      1. JM60*

        Overall, I get the impression that OP1 and their mom need to talk more. Maybe she’s understandably pushing the them to get more jobs because it’s a financial burden for her. Maybe she’s doing so because she perceives OP1 to have a cavalier attitude about being financially independent, which I also find plausible. Or it could be a combination of reasons. Regardless, it sounds like she may not have explicitly told the OP whether either of these are the case. The OP should ask her what her concerns are and what will/won’t satisfy her.

        1. Observer*

          Regardless, it sounds like she may not have explicitly told the OP whether either of these are the case. The OP should ask her what her concerns are and what will/won’t satisfy her.

          I think you are right. But I also think that the OP is being cavalier about her mother’s concerns and way too dismissive of her advice. Now, if Mom were saying things like “well you should just call companies and offer to work for free to show how great you are” that would be one thing. But Mom is not doing that.

          She’s pushing OP to look for a job with decent insurance and benefits. Which is totally reasonable. And she’s pushing the OP to look more aggressively, which is not unreasonable, especially since she is not telling the OP *HOW* to job hunt. And on the other hand, the OP has apparently decided that she “can’t” look for jobs now, and isn’t even trying.

          So, the OP needs to talk to their mother and find out what her specific concerns are. But they also need to recognize that Mom has a legitimate stake here AND that Mom is not being all that ridiculous.

          1. JM60*

            But I also think that the OP is being cavalier about her mother’s concerns and way too dismissive of her advice.

            But I think that may be a result of them not knowing/understanding what their mother’s concerns are. For instance, they may be thinking, “This is working because I’m saving good money for my future.”, while the mother’s may be thinking, “This isn’t working because I don’t want to pay for health insurance, more groceries, etc.” If these concerns were explicitly brought to light, they could transfer these costs to the OP and see what solutions (including the OP not getting any new jobs) would or wouldn’t work.

            But if they don’t have an explicit conversations about exactly what the problems and concerns are, they likely won’t go anywhere anytime soon.

      2. Flower necklace*

        I can see the mother being concerned by this, too. My older brother (now 36) started off after college insisting he was looking for a job, he was taking part-time work (babysitting and dog walking), he was going to move out at some point, etc. He had a ton of plans that didn’t work out. He’s still living at home.

        I used to think my story was strange until I found two coworkers in my department have siblings in a similar situation.

        1. Asenath*

          That’s actually a very common situation, and one that motivates a lot of parents to encourage their adult children to move out! They can see the problems that resulted when Brother John’s or Cousin Kate’s parents died leaving unemployed, and by then, essentially unemployable, adult children with nowhere to go. The adult child of someone I knew once famously gave as a reason for not working in a movie theatre “It interferes with my social life” – he had a university education, but a long history of holding down very short-term jobs, only when under pressure to do so, and mostly living off parents. I’ve been grateful for my parents who had a much better attitude towards financing their adult children.

          I’d suspect the parent in this letter is really concerned that her adult child may never become entirely self-supporting, and is wondering what will happen to said child when the mother dies or retires or loses her job.

          1. FridayFriyay*

            I am sympathetic to the position some parents find themselves in re: supporting adult children for far too long, but it seems a little bit uncharitable to assume the OP is going to end up a long term moocher who does nothing with her life. She’s 22 and just graduated into a massive global crisis.

            1. Boof*

              If you’re a parent though you don’t KNOW what the future will hold, all you know is that your kid seems content to stay at home and doesn’t seem to be trying hard to leave / have a clear gameplan to get out. “I’ll deal with it in 4 years / when the pandemic is over” is probably starting to wear thing at this point

              1. Sylvan*

                OP has a decent part-time job and they’re earning money through their hobby. That’s a pretty good start, given recent circumstances. Why suggest they’re not trying to leave or not interested in full-time work?

                1. Yorick*

                  I don’t think anyone’s suggesting OP is not interested, just that the mom might be worried about this.

            2. Observer*

              , but it seems a little bit uncharitable to assume the OP is going to end up a long term moocher who does nothing with her life.

              I don’t think that that’s what anyone thinks. What they DO think is that Mom could be worrying about it – and that’s not an unreasonable concern. Which is why it would probably make a huge difference if the OP actually found out what Mom’s specific concerns are, and came back with a reasonable plan to move forward.

        2. doreen*

          That’s why I pushed my son to find a full-time job I am acquainted with too many people ( only 4 or 5, but still too many) who were living with their parents and really not supporting themselves at 40 or 50. It was also the reason I asked him for rent even thought I didn’t need the money – part of the reason these acquaintances were still living with mom and dad was because even with their low-paying dream job ( think taking tickets at the ballpark) they could afford a decent lifestyle with vacations and so on. It was quite quite the shock for them when their parents dies and they not only had to try to support themselves but also adjust to a lower standard of living.

        3. Quickbeam*

          I have a cousin who never really launched and still lives at home at 58. Master’s degree, full time employed. Still says she is “saving to move out”.

          1. Boof*

            Eh, extended family households are a thing, so if the kid is working full time and a major contributor to maintenance / expenses, and could live independently if they wanted to, I wouldn’t call that failure to launch. I live with my mom in law because she wanted to move in with us and help with the kids; we support each other in a lot of ways. I certainly could be totally independent but living together works well for all of us.

              1. Starbuck*

                Plus if you’re in a place like Southern California or a similar market, you can save for decades and still not be able to afford anything decent.

                1. Green Beans*

                  Eh, I’m in Boston and if I lived rent free with family, I’d have a down payment for a first time buyer program saved up in pretty decent time and an actual down payment for a small house in 5-6 years.

                  I’d save more than rent, too – I’ve outsourced a lot this year that’s added up because of crazy workloads, and if I lived with family, that would have been picked up or traded off (ie, I’m much more likely to cook if I have company and help, even if I’m exhausted, since it’s a lot easier.)

        4. Dorothea Vincy*

          Yeah, this may be the root of the mom’s problem. I have a 40-year-old sister who did move out of the house, but only because she could move into a rental property my parents had bought, and she’s lived there for 10 years rent-free. She worked for a while, always short-term jobs that she quit because of conflicts with coworkers, and now hasn’t worked for three years and talks about how being a SAHM is really her dream. (She has two children whose fathers she had one-night stands with).

          My father keeps claiming he only supports her because of the kids and he would have told her to find an apartment and job of her own if she didn’t have them, but I’m skeptical, given how long he supported her before the first kid was born. I shudder to think what’ll happen to her and the kids when he passes away; she’ll probably still have the house, which is paid off, but I certainly can’t subsidize her the way my dad has. If OP’s mom thinks she’s facing the same scenario, I can see why she’d push.

    4. ecnaseener*

      Re “your parents are probably thinking that you can get a job at any retail store or fast food restaurant” — it sounds like the mom is specifically pushing OP to get a “career” job, not just any job possible.

      (Also, while I’m sure there are still some full-time entry-level jobs out there in fast food & retail, they’re pretty notorious for keeping people just under full-time as much as possible. So no benefits.)

  14. Seal*

    #3 – At my last job, I had a candidate that used our institution’s well-known, copyrighted logo as a watermark on their cover letter and resume. Instant rejection – the university takes improper use of their logo VERY seriously. Another candidate used our copyrighted logo very prominently on a handmade thank you note. They didn’t interview well and weren’t going to get the job anyway; the thank you note merely sealed the deal.

    1. John Smith*

      What on earth possesses people to do this?! Slightly different, but my manager keeps using his own (bad) designs of our logo on emails and also as a zoom background. He even got his name badge from a previous job and covered the logo with his own design (we don’t even have name badges in our organisation). It’s embarrassing.

      But then, he did use an official government logo on documents to (I guess) give an air of officialdom to said document despite being told it’s illegal to use said logo without proper authority (which he decided we have due to some very weak and irrelevant link). Thankfully, an outside organisation reported it and the logo was removed. How he still has a job I don’t know.

      1. L'étrangere*

        I regularly use various organizations logos as zoom background when I am representing them in a meeting with outside people. It’s an easy and straightforward way to remind the participants of why I’m there. And I have worked for several companies, large and small, where we were mandated to always have the logo in our email signature (as well as compatible fonts and colors). Unless your manager is misrepresenting themselves as working with you (?!?) I think your interpretation of who can use a logo and how is very misinformed

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          If you’re in the U.S., it’s illegal to use someone else’s trademarked logo without permission except in some editorial situations. (Your company can of course tell you to use their own logo in your email signature because they own it. It’s using other organizations’ logos that would be an issue.)

          1. pleaset cheap rolls*

            With regards to what the OP mentioned, the person would face nearly zero legal jeopardy if they sent that logo on a document only to the trademark owner. Using a logo in the wrong way that no one but the owner sees has nothing to do with purpose of trademark law, which is to protect against confusion in the marketplace (and indirectly to protect the financial interests of the owner). The logo is not being used in the marketplace with any possible consumer.

            It’s fairly common for consulting firms, for example, to use an organization’s logo on the cover or inside a pitch deck to an organization while looking for business. Similar, companies making branded good while sometimes put a potential customer’s logo on sample they send to that company to show it in action.

            It may be off-putting in terms of wondering if the person or company doing that understands boundaries, but legal risk is near zero. I suppose if the trademark owner actually took it to court, the person using the logo could possibly lose and the judge would award zero or one dollar or something while laughing because there is no marketplace confusion and no financial loss.

              1. too young to die, too old to eat off the kids' menu*

                That would make a pretty sweet r/legaladvice post though

              2. Ask a Manager* Post author

                The point isn’t that they’re going to be sued, the point is that they’re demonstrating a disregard for the rules and norms of their field!

                1. Ben Marcus Consulting*

                  Imagine a coworker started dressing just like you because they admired you so much…this feels similar.

              3. AnonThisTime*

                I posted below — what one LARGE financial organization will do is put you on their “never hire” list. I will also say that I and many of my colleagues told the story about this law firm using the bank’s logo far and wide because it was so outrageous. So not only did my bank not hire them, their reputation as a “knowledgeable” provider was completely trashed.

            1. lemonade*

              I don’t think anyone’s going to try to take the candidate to court over this, but if I were the hiring manager, I’d be concerned that this candidate has no idea how trademark and/or copyright law work at all.

              1. Slinky*

                Exactly! In my field, it would make the candidate look seriously out of touch with norms and knowledge of copyright law (which is related to our work). I don’t think this would lead to an instant rejection, but we’d probably be referring to them as “that candidate that used our logo on their resume.”

            2. Filosofickle*

              Totally agree. I have decades of brand experience and have never thought twice about putting a company’s logo in my pitch deck to them. If you use it correctly and send it privately to them, there’s no harm. There are companies that are rabid about how their logos are used, so for that reason this approach is not advisable. But I genuinely don’t see any harm speaking as someone who has been in charge of brand guidelines & monitoring. No organization I’ve ever worked for would have a legal or ethical problem with this usage. (Now, if you stretch the logo or manipulate it all bets are off!)

        2. allathian*

          When you’re representing an organization, even as a contractor, I expect that there’d be at least an implicit permission to use their Zoom backgrounds when you’re representing them in a meeting with outside people. I’d assume the permission’s pretty explicit if they actually provide you with, say, a PowerPoint template to use for your presentation. I would expect the terms and conditions to be included in the contract, if so.

          If you’re the employee of an organization, you’re representing them, and there’s almost always an expectation to use templates provided by the employer. It would, indeed, be odd to expect employees not to use employer-provided materials. In those cases, the permission to use the employer’s logo is often implicit.

        3. Seeking Second Childhood*

          Also this issue is a big no-no at many companies:
          “…his own (bad) designs of our logo…”
          He is changing his company’s logo in unapproved ways. My company specifically forbids this, to the point that corporate slogans used next to logos must go to HQ for translation if needed for non-English markets.

          1. Lacey*

            Yes! But people always want to do it! That’s why most branding guidelines have a thousand examples of what you’re not allowed to do with the logo.

            1. ecnaseener*

              Ugh, I cringe every day at having to send out letterhead with a jerry-rigged logo…the letterhead template had to go in an online portal that wouldn’t take images, so someone (definitely not someone in marketing or any other qualified dept) did their best to recreate the logo with Word’s “drawing” shapes. There are tiny gaps between some of the shapes.

              1. comityoferrors*

                Oh man. The business logo on our committee materials templates was…reverse-engineered by someone, somehow. I’m still not sure how. It’s three overlapping text boxes in Adobe which reads, in clear, bold letters:

                BusInesS NamE

                It drives me crazy every time I see it (and I’m in 80% of our committees so I see it *often*). I’m sometimes asked to finish or fix the materials when our EA is out, and I take so much joy in replacing that monstrosity with the real logo.

    2. I should really pick a name*

      Instant rejection seems a bit extreme to me unless it’s for a role where the applicant should be well versed in laws regarding logo use.
      Otherwise, it would be simple enough to explain to them that they shouldn’t do it and still interview them if they were a good candidate.

      1. Mental Lentil*

        It wouldn’t for me. For a lot of organizations, their logo is the major way of identifying themselves. To have someone outside the organization represent themselves with that same logo shows 1) a complete misunderstanding of the purpose that a logo serves, and 2) extraordinarily bad judgment.

        1. Former Young Lady*

          Exactly this. Some “blind spots” are big enough, on their own, to sink an application in a particular field. This is one of them.

  15. Bowserkitty*

    #1 – you’re probably going to hear this a lot but honestly, any job is better than no job sometimes. I was a Japanese major who began my post-college life temping for a major testing company. The job had nothing to do with my major or my career path, but eventually it led to a full-time position and I felt so good being independent from my mom’s insurance.

    Also…

    Also, she will push me toward a career that I studied for (which I have no interest in because my parents told me to find a career with a high job position).

    Is this a typo? You studied for a career you didn’t want to do? (Is this common? Genuinely asking!)

    1. Bowserkitty*

      I’m also reminded of this. My best friend’s parent is in their 50s/60s and has been an aspiring musician all their life. If the job wasn’t about music, they didn’t want it, and this meant my friend and her parent were nearly homeless multiple times in their lives. It was only until last year or so when my best friend, in her 30s, was finally able to have her parent stop living with her because of the parent’s refusal to make a steady income in a non-music position, even if only for a little while.

      Hope that made some sense. Basically, you might need to accept that you’re gonna be in a job you might not want for a few years just to make ends meet :/

    2. august*

      It’s common in some cultures where children are dictated what careers to pursue by their families. Some get stuck in that career path for life and some hang on for a while and pursue what they want eventually and some don’t get educational support and have to find scholarships and part time jobs to pursue their own choice.

      1. Despachito*

        Yes, albeit not wise (and possibly cultural), it is not unheard of.

        Luckily, nobody did this to me but I have heard of cases when the family wanted to have a their son/daughter to have a degree as to have, say, a doctor in a family was a question of prestige and/or a hope that this person will have enough money/social standing in later life.

        I had a university schoolmate who (as I learned much later) only went to the university because his parents wanted him to, earned his degree, and then immediately switched to be a full-time musician (because this was unmistakenly HIS idea of life, and he just fulfilled his parents’ wishes and moved on.)

        But this person had a clear idea what he wanted to do, and only postponed it to satisfy his parents. In LW1’s case, if I were her mom, I’d be much more concerned that my daughter will pursue some menial jobs instead of a “proper career”, which can make her situation precarious more often than not, than that she is not pulling her weight financially at the moment.

        1. kicking_k*

          Do you know my cousin, I wonder? That’s his story exactly. Engineering, then music.

          I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and fortunately my parents were OK with my doing a non-vocational degree and then figuring things out (I did do grad school and get jobs during this time). I was still living with them at 25, but had started my “real” career a year earlier and then went straight to buying my own home, so I am very grateful that they were able to do this for me.

          1. Despachito*

            It was not engineering in my schoolmate’s case, so there must be at least two happy musicians out there. and I am happy for them!

            This makes me think that hopefully I’d never be that parent who chooses their children’s careers for them. And hopefully we’d be able to do for our kids what your parents did for you, should they ever need it.

            But I feel there is one caveat. I can perfectly understand that things can happen which make your path not-so-straightforward (something you were describing, or, as it happened to my friends’ kids, a school they wanted to go resulted to be a nightmare for them, they had to switch schools and as a result study longer) and if the figuring-out part is reasonable (as it absolutely was in your case), I’d think this is something I as a parent should do if I can afford it.

            However, a person I know has a stepson who is now about thirty and has not yet finished his degree in quite a prestigious university. His father and his stepmom are supporting him financially, and his stepmom is even helping him to study (which I find a wildly weird thing to do for a 16-year-old, let alone for a fully grown man). He does not show an excessive motivation to graduate, and it is only logical – why should he, if his family gives him everything he needs and he can happily mooch away ever after?

            Perhaps the mom is fearing a similar scenario…

            1. Minerva*

              I work with an engineer who studied that field after his music career didn’t work out – it’s a good field to support it as a side passion for him.

        2. BubbleTea*

          A friend’s younger sibling had this problem. They followed the older sibling and parents into studying medicine, but failed an exam and couldn’t continue. They were looking into switching to law instead (my subject) and asked me for advice. My advice was that law and medicine are both very hard, and not very closely related, and they should complete their degree in a subject they actually enjoyed and were good at, not one that had a clear path to a high prestige career. They graduated in biology and have a good job now.

      2. Forrest*

        It’s also pretty common just because 18-year-olds may not have a clear idea of what they want to do and are influenced by their parents’ ideas of what’s A Good Degree, and often develop more independent ideas through being at university. I know some people who did it as a deliberate trade– I’ll do what you want for university, but then it’s up to me– and others who were just a bit vague about what they wanted to do so when their parents said, “accountancy is a good solid career!”, they were happy to go along with it.

        I don’t know about the US, but in the UK it’s not really a problem. The message we’re always trying to get across to students (and academics, tbh!) is that outside of a few very specific courses, your degree subject doesn’t determine your career path. Between 50-80% of graduate jobs don’t care what your degree subject was, so if you can do the Accounting and Finance, Quantity Surveying, Law or Computer Science degree that your parents want you to do, and then train as a social worker or project manager or a journalist or a management consultant if you want to (or indeed a surveyor, a solicitor, a software developer or an accountant!)

        1. ecnaseener*

          +1 — of course it’s common, when 18-year-old kids are going straight to college without having had any independence up until that point. They’re accustomed to needing permission for everything they do, it’s hardly surprising that some of them let their parents tell them what to study.

          1. AGD*

            The cost gives parents a lot of leverage, especially in the United States. I work in higher ed and have seen students whose parents refuse to pay for their tuition unless

            1. quill*

              Very common for parents to use tuition as a lever to make sure their kids study the right field / go to the colleges they approve of, etc.

        2. MsSolo (UK)*

          Everyone I know who works in Data Analysis did either English Lit or Drama! I do think the fact you have to ‘declare a major’ equivalent up to a year before starting university here makes a difference to how people treat degrees later, because there’s an understanding that what you’re applying to study at 16/17 based on how you think you’ll do on exams you’re only partway through studying for isn’t necessarily going to reflect what you want to do on graduation. I don’t know if it’s different in the US, where you get a little more flexibility in choosing your subject once you’ve actually had a taste of college.

      3. Firecat*

        Didn’t the comedian Ken Jeong go through that? His family was furious he quit being a doctor, I believe his family came from a long line of doctors and he was forced into the career before he put his foot down to pursue comedy.

    3. John Smith*

      It may be common. A couple of fellow students told me they had no plans to get a job in the field that the degree was designed for. It’s not like the degree offered other benefits (like learning some skills that can be used in your personal life). And then there was one mature student for who this was his 5th degree he had taken on the basis that he didn’t know what career to pursue. Very odd.

    4. Chocolate Teapot*

      I think at 18, a lot of people are still not sure about career paths, so it can be easy to study for something less interesting, but for which there are good job prospects on the recommendation of family members.

      1. quill*

        Also a bunch of people take a degree and then discover junior or senior year that they hate it, but… you would essentially have to start over at that point. A lot of people just figure “well I can finish in 6 months and then I’ll have A Degree, that will help get a job, right?”

    5. Orb*

      Pretty common. I know a lot of people whose parents chose their major in college, usually enforced by the family saying they would not give them any financial assistance unless they studied what they were told.

      1. The Rural Juror*

        Same. I had a friend in college who was in that situation. Very unfortunately, we graduated with our undergrads in the spring of 2009 and had very difficult times finding jobs. I managed to find one and moved to a bigger city, but she had to stay living with her parents and abiding by their rules. She hated her degree, hated the job she found using that degree, but didn’t’ feel like she had the power to pursue something else until she was able to move out…like 3 years later :(

    6. MK*

      Sometimes parents pressure children to chose a degree that leads to high paying jobs. A lot of the time it doesn’t work, because getting the degree isn’t enough, you still have to do the work and be good at it to earn a lot of money, and these are usually demanding careers. I get that parents are concerned with their kids making a living, but it would better to steer them towards something that will pay their bills within their area of interest.

      1. Cthulhu’s Librarian*

        The other reason it sometimes doesn’t work is because getting the degree is hard, and the parents/family never considered their child’s aptitudes or motivation would be an important factor to whether it could be gotten successfully.

        My first roommate in college was pushed into a theoretical physics major by his family. He was the most uninquisitive, least methodical and least motivated person I have ever met, and about as mathematically inclined as a drugged up race horse on it’s way to the abattoir. Everyone in our residence hall knew he was going to fail out of that degree program – but his family wouldn’t have let him attend school for any degree they thought of as less prestigious.

    7. Liz*

      This happens quite a lot. I had no idea what to study at uni when I applied at 18. I just applied for whatever I’d been good at when I was at school. I had no idea how it would relate to getting a job, and my parents offered no guidance at all. Their philosophy was “you’re bright, you’ll be able to succeed in whatever you do” and we never really had any conversations about what that might be. They were of an age where you got a degree, walked into a good job, and were set for life. I can’t blame them for their mindset – dad had never been out of work, and mum had held one job all her life, which she was offered at 19 because the manager was her best friend’s dad – but I went into the world utterly ignorant.

      Fortunately, my parents were able and willing to support me when I utterly failed at working life and paid for me to go back to uni to do a degree that I would actually use (I think my dad felt somewhat responsible). I eventually moved out and found a job at the not so tender age of 33.

      Sadly, the world of education is set up on the assumption that 18 year olds have the knowledge and guidance to figure out the right path for themselves, but many, many of them do not, and when you add parental pressure into the mix, this is often the expensive, unfortunate outcome.

      1. Alex*

        As someone who had to get a masters degree before I could fully support myself (wasn’t paying all my own bills until 26), I feel this.

      2. Cthulhu’s Librarian*

        So very true. Even when high schools have guidance/career counselors they are ridiculously overburdened (at my school, each was ‘responsible’ for about 450 – 500 students) and many of them have never really worked outside of a school setting. They aren’t really useful for getting a young adult to think about what they do or don’t want to do, and almost never know the kids well enough to help them plan a course of reasonable action.

        1. Liz*

          I have some very hazy memories of our careers advice – they sat us in front of one of those computer programmes where you click to indicate how much you would like or dislike doing certain things in a job, and after 150 questions it spits out 10 job suggestions. But then they never really sat down with us to discuss what those jobs were or the complexities of the path to getting qualified – it all just boiled down to choosing what classes to take through the final few years of school. Hilariously, 20 years later, I’m now training for one of the jobs that came up consistently in my top 3, but I didn’t know the first thing about that path until a few years ago because so much weight was put on “what A levels are you going to do?? What are you applying to do at uni??” (Surprise – I could actually do this job without any A levels at all.)

          The other thing I remember is a class discussion where we agonised over how to address a covering letter to a hiring manager called Leslie, and were told that when Marks and Spencer received 600 applications for 6 regional manager jobs, they threw all the envelopes with 2nd class stamps straight in the bin, unopened.

          1. VI Guy*

            I did one of those tests, and half of us were told that we should become schoolbus drivers. Which, given that I didn’t have an interest in children and was mostly blind, made the results useless. I took the test 35 years ago, so they have hopefully improved since then.

          2. LavaLamp*

            I did one in 6th grade. It told me my best options where, Medical Examiner, Detective and Sanitation Engineer. Those three things require very different skills, although I do think being a detective would be interesting.

          3. banoffee pie*

            I remember those questionnaires – they were worse than useless and seemed to advise the randomest mix of jobs for the same person. Careers advice at my school was hopeless and years out of date.

      3. ceiswyn*

        Indeed – both of my parents had left school at the earliest possible, albeit for different reasons. They knew nothing about jobs beyond their own narrow sectors, and they certainly knew nothing about university. My school’s career guidance was basically to ask me what I wanted to do (“If I knew that I wouldn’t need guidance”) and what I was good at (“Everything” – and I was not bragging). I ended up just following my interests, doing a ridiculous set of secondary school qualifications (English, History and Physics, anyone?) and picking a degree that looked interesting and would accept those qualifications.

        My career path since has been COMPLETELY different to anything I’d considered, and I fell into it by random chance.

        HOWEVER, I would probably never have gotten into that career if I hadn’t been forced to do *something* by virtue of living in a house share and needing to pay my own way.

        1. MsSolo (UK)*

          I see your arts and science mix, and raise you a very similar arts and science mix! Physics, psychology, English Lit, Maths and IT – all 5 to A Level because it seemed easier than doing the paperwork to drop one after AS! I’d been all primed to do IT at university until everyone kept telling me I’d find it boring because the first two years would just be redoing my A Level work for everyone who hadn’t attended a school that did IT, so I went for English Lit instead. Aaaaand now I work in data analysis (after seven years working front of house in a museum).

      4. kicking_k*

        Yes, this. I went to Oxford; I think most people assumed that any degree from there would open doors. As it happens, most application forms for my area of work don’t have a space to put which university I went to, only which level of education I’ve reached and its subject area. So it’s not going to have any extra weighting at an early stage of the application. (No, I did not do one of the degrees that screams “Oxbridge” by the very subject matter, such as PPE – politics, philosophy and economics!)

        I had to do a second degree to work in my current field, and it’s extremely common among my peer group.

        1. Caboose*

          Heck, I’m a volunteer moderator for a guy who makes his full-time living from Youtube… who has a degree in classics from Oxford.

        2. Liz*

          Ooh , you know what? I never realised this was an Oxbridge thing. I applied to do Psychology, Sociology and Politics at Cambridge but it didn’t occur to me until now that there was anything distinctively Oxbridge about the tripos model degree. Ultimately, I ended up in psychology (via English literature), but that’s a conversation for the weekend thread that i think i might post.

    8. Beth*

      Lots of people (in the US at least) major in subjects that don’t connect to their career plans! There are so many jobs out there that just require you to have a bachelors degree, without much specificity as to what you studied; why not study something you enjoy, if you’re targeting a field where that’s common? Or, sometimes the student wanted to work in what they studied, but can’t get hired after graduating, so they get a job doing something else. Or, sometimes they majored in what they did because their parent required it if they wanted their parent to pay for school; I knew a ton of people in undergrad who majored in econ because their parents made them, and then minored or double-majored or just took a lot of classes in a subject they actually had an interest in.

    9. Interrobang*

      I think it’s pretty common, though of course culturally dependent. I have friends whose parents said they would pay for college but only if the kid majored in a STEM field. Heck, when my mom was growing up, her father made it very clear that the ONLY acceptable professions were doctor or lawyer.

      1. quill*

        And a STEM degree does not necessarily set you up better than a non-STEM one.

        When I came out of my degree in environmental science I discovered that contrary to what everyone had been saying 5 years ago, nobody wanted an “environmental science” bachelor’s degree, they wanted an Engineer with a Masters and 5 years experience. For entry level jobs. And that wave of green jobs never materialized for people who were new grads, because my state had gone red by the time I graduated, another recession had started, etc.

    10. LDN Layabout*

      I got talked out of my first degree choice (English Literature) by my immigrant parent. It’s fairly common. Would I do it to a child? No, but I also didn’t have the life my parent had where they dragged themselves out of actual poverty through a STEM degree.

      Ironically, after initially going for a degree they approved of and switching out of it, my current job that I love is much closer to what they wanted me to study than what I actually ended up doing.

    11. Asenath*

      Well, my parents strongly encouraged practical courses of study, but didn’t insist on it. (“Practical” = “you can get a paying job in the field”). One of my siblings, to my astonishment, has said she felt pressured to take up a field she didn’t like, and she would have preferred a different one (I don’t remember it that way, but memories aren’t always reliable – hers or mine); both I and another sibling more or less disregarded the advice/pressure and all of us have been working and self-supporting all our adult lives. I think, too, some young people want to go to university, partly because it’s the thing to do in their family and partly because all their friends will be there and they don’t know what else to do. Without any strong interest in any field, they can easily end up studying something that they don’t much like. It just seems less boring (or less difficult) than some of the other options.

    12. Lynca*

      It’s fairly common and takes a couple of forms. Some people are pushed to go to college when they aren’t a good fit, some people are pushed by the parents to take a degree program not suited for them, being 18 and having no idea what to do, etc.

      I know several people that don’t work in the fields they studied for one of those reasons. I grew up v. poor and got a full ride scholarship so I had pressure to make sure I used that to my advantage. I was kind of an outlier in that I was pretty focused in making sure I was marketable for a good job when I graduated and knew what kind of options were out there/what I didn’t want to do. But I had a very different sort of life growing up and during college than a lot of people in my degree program had.

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        Some people are pushed to go to college when they aren’t a good fit, some people are pushed by the parents to take a degree program not suited for them, being 18 and having no idea what to do, etc.

        It can also happen when a student should drop out (and take or keep a full-time job), but the pressure to complete a degree is so high that they pivot to a new major instead.

    13. MCMonkeyBean*

      Yeah, I think it’s pretty common especially if your parents pay for school, for them to encourage you to study something and you just kind of go with it and then once you get out past school you realize you really really don’t want to continue pursuing that career-wise.

      I got pretty lucky and I initially followed my dad’s suggested path in school and it didn’t work out, but it did land me on the path that turned out to be a good fit for me (he wanted me to apply to business school and I didn’t end up getting in but all the prerequisites I had to take to even apply put me on the path to accounting)

    14. TechWriter*

      Ok but “any job is better than no job”… she has a job. The first statement is that she got a part-time job at her school. I don’t get everyone suggesting she just go get a retail or fast-food job when she *has* the equivalent of that (I think the YouTube channel is distracting people from the fact.)

      Her mom is pressuring her to get a career-focused job with benefits in the field that her parents chose for her. Possibly her mom doesn’t get that there aren’t any ready-made jobs like that, but maybe the part-time school job is building experience toward it.

      The vibe I got from this letter was partly “mom not understanding the current job market and assuming the degree and some gumption would be all it took to get a career” and partly “daughter not understanding that being on her mom’s insurance isn’t free”. I think they could maybe sort some of this out with an honest conversation and some multi-year planning, and less nagging/teenage eyerolling (which I say tongue-in-cheek; I’m in my 30’s and still sometimes revert to teenage habits when visiting my parents! It’s hard.)

      1. Nancy*

        Agree, this is how I read it. Many graduates do not get full-time jobs right after college, even without accounting for this year’s difficulties, and OP’s mom needs to understand that. If it is a health insurance issue, they need to discuss that.

        OP: since you already have a part-time job at your university, after working there a few months you can apply as an internal candidate for any full-time jobs. Or maybe another part-time job will open and you can combine to create a full-time job. You have options and you do have time to figure things out.

        1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          Or maybe another part-time job will open and you can combine to create a full-time job. You have options and you do have time to figure things out.

          That was how my first full-time post college job came to be. I was working part time, the employer wanted to keep me around, and another division had a part time opening, so HR worked their magic to create a full-time, unlisted job posting that I was automatically a candidate for. I found out about it ex post facto; my part-time supervisor just pulled me into a conference room, introduced me to my new second boss, and asked me to start coming in at 6 am the following week.

          I tried very hard to pivot from that job into a programming job at the same place–even had my then-current supervisors’ support and classmates from college working in that department who were willing references and singing my praises–but… to avert a derail, it never even came close to happening, and I ended up switching industries during the merger a few years later and narrowly avoided being a redundant layoff. But it paid off my student debt and half of my first car.

          1. Cactus*

            Same here. After undergrad (in the immediate post-2008 recession era), I didn’t have anything lined up, so I went back to working the part-time job that I had worked in every previous summer. There was no future for me there; it would only ever be part-time work, and it was toxic to boot so there was no way I wanted find a permanent position there even if one existed. So I applied to other jobs. And moved back in with my parents.

            3 months later, I got a call about one of the many jobs I applied to, went through their interview process, and was hired. But it was part time at first. But there was some room for advancement, and it paid better, and there was a likelihood of becoming full time.

            So I juggled Job A 3 days a week and Job B 2 days a week until two months later, when Job B made me a full-time employee, and I could quit Job A.

            (Of course, Job B wasn’t great EITHER, and is the source of most of my workplace PTSD, but that’s another story.)

    15. Nancy*

      Yes it is. There were quite a few students in my science classes who were there because their parents wanted them to major in a science field. Several were expected to go to med school.

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        That sounds like the Latin classes I tried to get into. The expectation was that you’d only be there if you were pre-med or pre-law and it was a requirement. I know both had their fair share of involuntary majors.

    16. Nanani*

      It’s very common – anecdotally I had a lot of friends and acquaintances whose parents would only pay (partly or fully) their tuition if they majored in X that parent picked for them.

      I wonder if LWs mom has perhaps outdated ideas about how easy it is to find one of the supposed high paying jobs with benefits in this field. LW doesn’t mention it but “JUST GET A JOB” vs “There are literally no jobs I’m qualified for that are an improvement over the current situation” can be a real thing.

    17. Gumby*

      Heh, I just read a book wherein the main character went not only to university but also to medical school for a career he never intended to follow. The reasoning was not exactly parental pressure (but now that I think of it, it was kind of similar). But once he finished his studies, no one stopped him from pursuing the career he actually wanted.

  16. Redd*

    LW1: When I left for college at 17, my parents were really clear: I could stay on their health insurance until I graduated, stay at their house for the summers, they’d send me a $10 weekly “allowance” until I was 20, and everything else was up to me for the rest of my life. Tuition, rent, food, utilities, medicine, clothes, everything. It sucked and I was homeless sometimes, but looking back… it was nice just to *know.*

    Talk to your parents. Tell them what you’re hoping for and find out what they expect. Make a plan. It sounds like your parents like you better than mine did me (ha) so you shouldn’t end up in dire straits, but it helps to clear the air and end the loaded conversations.

    1. LDN Layabout*

      I think the clarity is what’s important and that’s why LW1 needs to sit down and have a proper conversation.

      I had a much more supportive environment than you but I also knew at every point what was expected e.g. it doesn’t need to be paid work, but no full summers ‘off’ at university, no moving back in after graduating, but rent would be covered until I was employed etc.

      I was also able to compromise/change up certain aspects but only because I also took ownership and agreed to a certain baseline and showed that I had a plan beyond ‘I dunno, it’ll work out eventually’.

    2. Asenath*

      Yes, clear communication is all important! I always thought my parents handled communication about finances pretty well. For the first few years at university, they sat down with me and went over my expected expenses and what they could contribute – more for first year, and then declining amounts, to be replaced by loans and part-time jobs, as time went on and the next siblings in line were ready to head off to university. And if I wanted a graduate degree, I’d be on my own in figuring out how to pay for it. I could, in theory, have returned to the family home for more than holidays, but (a) it didn’t end up being financially necessary and (b) it wasn’t a good option when I was job-hunting because they lived in a small town with extremely limited job opportunities.

    3. Person from the Resume*

      I agree. I suspect that the LW and their mom have not talked about this and the LW’s plan for the future. I half wonder if the LW even asked to move home after college or just assumed that they could and life would continue as it did through college and with mom paying for the same things she did during college.

      There are times when you tell your parents to butt out of your life, but when you’re living with them and they’re paying for your life and they want an idea when you’re going to move out and get your own insurance is not that time.

    4. too young to die, too old to eat off the kids' menu*

      What are you even supposed to do with $10/week? That’s almost more insulting than not getting anything

        1. Redd*

          Hey now, I’m 31!

          At the time it was enough to run a load of laundry and buy a jar of peanut butter and the ingredients I used to bake my own bread. So.etimes I saved up for a jug of milk.

      1. Le Sigh*

        I mean, I often had less than $10 in my checking account once bills were paid. Even $10 was a nice boost — either I could buy more groceries, treat myself to a movie, or if I had a rough month, cover my bills just a hair more.

  17. wanda*

    “she will push me toward a career that I studied for (which I have no interest in because my parents told me to find a career with a high job position)”
    It seems that the OP is tired of discussing jobs with her parents because they’ve, in her mind, dictated her career path throughout college as well. The thing is, OP, the time that you should have pushed back on that is in the past. You have that degree now, even if you don’t like it. From your mom’s point of view, it’s simply bizarre that you aren’t using the degree that you and she both sacrificed time and money to get, and it possibly looks odd to employers too. Assuming that the degree will actually lead to a decent-paying job, you should actually consider getting a degree in your field. Plenty of folks suffer through careers that they don’t actually like until they have enough money to do the things they really want to do. You already suffered through 4 years of it and can do it for a few years more, until you get financially independent enough to do what you really like. And who knows- you might discover what you want to do by happenstance when working that job.

    1. L'étrangere*

      Keeping in mind that it’s exceedingly rare for school to actually prepare you for a career so well that you have a very good idea of what it’s like to be working it. Good surprises are entirely possible. It’s also much easier to get to the job you end up really loving by a series of lateral moves from a decent position, rather than claw your way up out of nowhere

    2. MCMonkeyBean*

      Unless you are doing something that requires a very specific education, there are a lot of jobs don’t really care that much what your degree is in as long as you have a degree. If it’s in a field OP is strongly not interested in, they likely still have a ton of other options. I think the part they need to rethink is their thought that they can’t get a full-time job without having more experience first.

      1. V. Anon*

        It’s hard to know what the job options are with no idea where the OP lives, but for an overwhelming number of jobs, a degree is a degree. Employers require that you HAVE a degree but it doesn’t always matter much IN WHAT.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        This. There is literally no degree program to teach the specific skills for at least half of the positions that report to me. I have people in highly-specialized fields for which there is no formal education available – last we checked, about 70% of them were political science or history majors with English majors being the runner up. I have several liberal-artsy degrees that don’t directly apply to any job I’ve had; my spouse has a liberal arts degree and has worked in IT for more than 20 years.

        Unless you’re doing a hard science or engineering or accounting, most degrees are job training programs.

    3. Firecat*

      If that’s his mom’s opinion it’s pretty off base for a majority of the working world. I’m on a team with exactly 1 out of 10 who have the “right” degree for our field. It is very common to not end up on your college major.

    4. wanda*

      To the people commenting, I was assuming that the degree was in something like CS or EE, something where the degree clearly leads to good jobs, and where many students admit that they are only studying it to get a good job or because their parents want it. I am a tolerant parent, but I would be extremely angry if my child refused to launch instead of using their CS degree to get a job.

  18. nnn*

    #1: Does your old school where you now work have full-time staff jobs with benefits? If yes, could the job you’re in now be a stepping stone to one of these jobs?

    Many educational institutions have internal job postings that you can access if you’re already working there but not if you’re an outsider. And many educational institutions give preference to hiring their alumni, or at least look positively on hiring their alumni.

    Even if you don’t actually want to do that kind of job, you could show your mother some relevant internal job postings for positions that you can grow into from where you are now. That will make what you’re doing now look exactly like paying your dues towards what your mother wants you to do, and thereby buy you some time while you save up to be able to move out on your own.

  19. Manana*

    LW#4: It sounds like you already have a job so just send an email along the lines of “hi Guy, I’m Me, child of Dad. I’m new to the city and Dad recommended I reach out to you as he remembers you quite fondly. If you’re up to a coffee, I’d like to meet up and get your recommendations on the city.” And then basically just treat it as a hang out, ask about stories he has with your dad, get to know him socially, maybe you’ll make a new friend. If you can’t see any clear networking/professional connections, don’t stress about them and let the convo flow organically

    1. Social Commentator*

      This. Dad wants to honor the past relationship more than he is recommending a networking opportunity. In my friend circles, this is very very common, whether for personal or professional connections.

      1. Observer*

        I’m not so sure. This kind of networking can be surprisingly useful. People don’t only know people in their own industry, Sometimes they know people or even just some useful information.

    2. Lily Rowan*

      I also wanted to note that the connection could be useful even without ever meeting in person, depending on what you or they are up for. When I was relocating, I reached out to multiple friends of friends, laid out what I was interested in, and just asked if they had any ideas for me. It led a couple of in-person meetings (drinks, coffee) and few job leads.

      Good luck!!

    3. calonkat*

      Agreed! I didn’t see anything in the letter indicating she was job searching. The way dad’s request was coming across in the letter was just what Social Commentator said. I really like Manana’s wording.

      1. LW4*

        LW4 here. I like this wording as well! I also clarified with my dad that he has already reached out to his friend to let him know I’ve moved to the city. On everyone’s encouragement, I’ll reach out with confidence that it’s not weird!

  20. Orb*

    LW#1 – Folks are latching onto the idea that the LW needs to give their mom money, but it doesn’t sound to me like the conversation is about finances at all. This is, as my dad would say, a power battle.

    Mom isn’t fretting that the LW isn’t making enough, and in fact she finds the money being brought in by the YouTube channel to be irrelevant because it’s not a real job. She wants her kid to specifically have a FT job with benefits in a specific, more prestigious field, where she sees more security for them. The LW doesn’t actually want to do that kind of work, but did focus their studies in that because of parental pressure when they were younger. Now they’ve managed to land a job they presumably like more and supplement the part-time hours with a side gig, which it sounds like came after some amount of job-hunting in which they did in fact try to get a FT job. They’re actively trying to move out with the money this makes. Mom does not find this acceptable and keeps telling them to find a different, better job instead, which the LW is finding very frustrating because it is just not that simple for a recent grad to zip into a job with a nice compensation package. But layered on top of that is this dynamic where mom wants them to do some line or work that they do not want to do, and this is a dispute they’ve already had for some number of years. Health insurance is expensive and money might be another thing mom is worried about, but this sounds a lot more like a struggle for agency than anything else.

    I can’t tell if what mom is telling the LW to do is reasonable or not. It sounds like it might be reasonable on its face, but we have seen so so so many letters on here over the years of parents not understanding why their kids can’t just get a well paid job with a pension by showing gumption that I’m not sure whether it’s that or what. Hell, I’m mid career at this point and my last job didn’t have benefits either. So maybe mom’s advice is actionable, maybe it’s not, I have no idea.

    My honest advice to the LW is to try not to get too riled up by mom’s suggestions. Her telling you what she thinks you should do can’t actually hurt you, it just feels that way when you’re at the age where you’re transitioning out of having to do everything your parents tell you for the first time. Especially if you are from a culture where it’s the norm to live at home and do what you’re told well into adulthood, trying to shift to saying “no” and having it be respected is a mess. Tell her you’ll try, that you’re working on doing something like what she asks, save your money, and move out. Depending on how baked-in this is to your culture, high probability that mom will stop fretting once she’s used to you being a separate household. If not, you’ll still get it sometimes, and those times will still be frustrating (the time my ex-inlaws sent my then-partner a GRE prep book and announced to him that they had decided it was time for him to go to grad school comes to mind) but there are no magic words that will make your family stop having (and sharing) opinions on what is best for you no matter what. The end of that transitional age is when you finally figure out how to not worry about it and how to smile and nod just right so they’re satisfied that you’ve listened to them, even if you don’t do a single thing they said you should.

    1. Mordin*

      Great comment. Really glad you brought up the power battle part of this. Agree that it is easier when you are a separate household and can smile and nod and ignore what they said.

      1. Despachito*

        I think the power battle is somehow justified if it’s the mom who is bearing the costs, because due to that she really DOES have some power over you.

        If you lived independently and supported yourself, then yes, you can nod and smile and do things your way.

        But if you are unable to do that without a good reason (still studying, poor health), I think it is not fair to refuse to speak about how you handle things with the person who provides you food, shelter, and whatnot for free.

        There are forty-somethings living in the house of their parents, basically mooching off them and relying that Mom and Pop will not throw them out, because faaammillyyy. I am sure that this is not your case but I can see how Mom can be concerned that it might take this path.

        I think it would either help to explain to Mom your plans (if any), (e.g. I am doing this low-paying job now but I know that there will be openings of something better soon and I can use my experience from that job to get my foot in the door), so I’d be grateful if I can stay with you for X more time, or move out and start supporting yourself on your own. There is a price for everything, and the price for (rightfully) getting Mom off your back (because as a self-supporting adult, you have no moral obligation to have other people manage your choices) is more work and more responsibility. (But I think it is absolutely worth it, despite my people are the loveliest).

        Best luck for you!

        1. Prague*

          Yes. Those power dynamics exist until OP1 moves out, regardless of the motivation behind them (concern over OP1’s career security or financial stability, OP1-Mom’s retirement plan, high cost of covering OP1 on parental health insurance, etc).

          Traditional mom-kid power dynamics aren’t unsurprising given continuing to live under the parental roof past a “traditional” age for leaving (am not making a judgment; just saying it’s not totally unexpected OP1-Mom’s perspective hasn’t changed). If it’s a “battle,” then OP1 probably won’t ever “win” while still living there. But thinking of it in terms of power *dynamics* can shift the perspective and is a less adversarial way of putting it.

          All that to say, talking about the plan to move beyond that will probably be wildly beneficial to shifting OP1-Mom’s perspective and understanding, but I wouldn’t expect a ton of change in her *actions* until OP1 makes active moves OP1-Mom recognizes as “adulthood.” Sounds like that includes moving out, benefits, and a full-time job, but maybe the conversation can add additional possibilities to OP1-Mom’s Mental List of Adulthood Markers.

          1. Grace*

            This this. I moved out as soon as I had a job that made enough for me to scrape by on my own, because I wanted agency over what I did. My sibling, OTOH, lived at home into their late twenties.
            Sibling was always so pissed that despite not paying rent, my parents wanted them to contribute to the household chores, know if they’d be around for meals, etc. when I didn’t have to, but I was like, dude, I have my own place to keep up; you have a paying job, move out if you don’t like it. As predicted, parents backed off their expectations once my sibling got their own place.

          2. Orb*

            Yes exactly. Mom will definitely still have thoughts on what the LW should be doing, but with the changed household dynamic it will take on a dramatically less adversarial tone in both directions.

    2. ROUS*

      This is the most thoughtful comment I’ve seen on here. It seems like many commenters don’t understand how incredibly difficult it can be to get a “good” job post-college. They don’t exactly grow on trees. OP is working, actively trying to build experience and save to move out.

      I (and everyone I know who wasn’t well-connected) worked a bunch of subpar jobs in the years after college. One of my jobs had insurance, but it didn’t pay enough for me to rent even with roommates. Most of the time I stitched together part time jobs in my field with no benefits. It was only years later that that was “enough” to get me a good job with insurance, benefits, and enough money to pay rent.

      People who had willing family almost all lived with family, people who didn’t lived in a lot of precarious ways. In 2021, you can’t just assume that college degree = full time job with benefits that pays enough to live on.

      1. Despachito*

        All this is understandable, and I think the problem might be not this being the case, but the communication and the parent-child dynamics.

        If I understand that my kid is struggling and doing his/her best but the situation at the moment just isn’t in their favour, I think I’d do anything in my power to make their life easier.

        BUT it’s partly their responsibility to convince me that this is the case and that they are at least trying to deal with it in an adult way (because if they fail, I would think they are immature and still need my supervision and nudging). So I’d appreciate somethink along “Look Mom, I know you are worried because of X, but I have been trying A, my backup plan is B and my final goal is Z. I would be really grateful I can stay with you for X time more, is that OK with you, and are you happy with how I am helping or do you want me to do something differently?”

        (Of course, given I am a reasonable and adult parent myself, which is, alas, not always the case).

        1. Orb*

          Let’s be fair to the LW, though, they say they have tried to explain exactly that to their mom and that mom is not very receptive to it. They are writing to Alison specifically asking how they can communicate this to their mom in a way that she’s more likely to accept. So saying it’s their responsibility to make mom understand isn’t extremely helpful, as the whole reason they’re writing in for advice is to ask /how/ to do that.

          Parent-child dynamics are so, so fraught at this age, and when you add in cohabitation it’s just ehhh. I don’t think there’s any reason to say either one of them is messing this up by being irresponsible or unreasonable, this is a very normal disagreement for a family to have. It’s not really a dynamic of one or the other being right or wrong.

      2. Quickbeam*

        In 1977 you also could not assume that degree = full time job with benefits. I worked minimum wage jobs for 3 years before getting a FT job with insurance.

        1. Firecat*

          Then you were in the vast minority. It’s much more common now. Even if we want to argue that wasn’t the caee – a lot of jobs that a HS grad could take in 1977 now require a 4 year degree but didn’t increase pay or benefits. So even if we only think of those numbers we know that the field of jobs is worse quality for grads today then they were in 1977. I graduated in 2010 and I absolutely see how entry level jobs have degraded even in that short time! Our economy sucks for new grads who aren’t independently wealthy.

    3. “Entry Level”*

      I agree and am kind of confused that so many commenters seem to be blaming OP for not having a job with benefits. Maybe they’re an unambitious slacker who needs to try harder, but what I’m hearing is someone who graduated during a pandemic and has managed to get a part time job at a university to build experience and has a side hustle for extra money. That sounds pretty good all things considered?

      1. Liz*

        Agreed. I think sometimes people have extremely disparate standards of success. When I graduated, I was unemployed for 6 months, technically homeless for 2, and then when I did eventually find work, it was minimum wage customer service. It started full time, but then dropped down to 3 days a week when the 2008 recession hit. I would have killed for a University job, even part time, and think OP seems to have done really well, but apparently mum disagrees.

        It reminds me of a colleague of mine – she’s 24, she when she first started we were really impressed with her work history. She came out of uni straight into the most sought after graduate job in our industry. Her aim is to do a professional doctorate and she’s building up experience to do that, and she’ll be great. We all think she’s intimidatingly accomplished for her age and will go far. Apparently her parents regard her as a total screw up and are refusing to support her plans because the industry doesn’t pay well enough, and they see her goals as a frivolous waste of money. These things are highly subjective.

        1. onco fonco*

          LW#1 – I can see this from both sides. The fact is that by moving home rent-free, you are handing a chunk of responsibility for your life and well-being back to your parents. A lot of people do it, that’s not a judgement, but it does mean you need a plan for how you’re going to take that responsibility back. Fully take it, not just in bits here and there when you feel you can manage it comfortably enough. Adulthood means the buck stops with you and family support is a gift.

          I can’t speak for your mother, because I’m not her – but I can say that in her shoes I’d want to know you really understood what I was giving you, and that I wouldn’t be able to do it indefinitely – that you were actively thinking about those facts. Your letter does take a couple of things for granted that many people don’t have. You seem to assume that being on your parents’ insurance for the next 4 years is fine if needed – but do you know what that costs them? Does that insurance come with their jobs? Would they perhaps like some flexibility about their own careers, but can’t take that for fear of losing your health insurance? You also say that you’re living rent-free so you can save up to move out as if that’s just a given. Some parents can give their kids that opportunity and that’s awesome, but do you understand that not everyone can? Like, really understand? Do you understand that people make it work, sometimes by the skin of their teeth, sometimes by doing jobs they REALLY have no interest in?

          In your parents’ shoes, I wouldn’t be trying to dictate a specific career path, but I would struggle to accept you passing up opportunities to fully support yourself. My first job after graduation was customer service and I hated it, but I took it because it was the first full-time work anyone offered me. I kept job-hunting while I was doing it and eventually got into something a bit more satisfying. I have never been a high flier or particularly ambitious and no one has ever asked it of me, but I did accept that my family was there as an emergency backup, not as the entirety of my plan to keep myself alive. Your mother may well be missing aspects of what job-hunting is like in this climate, but please bear in mind you may also be missing aspects of what they’re doing for you. I’m not saying you can’t ask it of them, I’m just saying you need to really know what you’re asking for.

          1. Little Daffy*

            I totally agree with onco fonco. Parents give adult children gifts of support. It is not a requirement or a parent’s responsibility to support their children when they become an adult.

      2. LDN Layabout*

        The majority of comments are not about the OP’s job, they’re about how they’re communicating to their parent and also addressing the fact that OP doesn’t seem to have a plan beyond ‘but I’m building experience and I have a youtube!’ which are valid points.

        And I could be wrong, but the way OP words it sounds like they aren’t actually looking or applying to other jobs at all, not that they’re failing to get any.

        1. Firecat*

          Well after a while of hearing – apply back when you have at least two years experience under your belt – I think it’s perfectly valid to get that experience and try again in a year?

          I’m not sure why anyone thinks continually applying to entry level work, which almost always wants 2-5 years experience of some work, is a good plan.

          1. LDN Layabout*

            Because you get 0% of the jobs you don’t apply for. Throwing up your hands and going ‘well no one wants me’ is the kind of attitude where you will get stuck.

            And yes, while there are a lot of entry level jobs that aren’t entry level, there are just as many that /are/ but could be out of reach the longer you wait (e.g. a lot of companies who recruit new grads)

      3. Paris Geller*

        +1. It took me until I was 27 to find a full-time job with benefits. I spent the years after college stitching together work however I could, going to grad school part-time, and trying to find ways to make adulthood work, and this is not at all uncommon. Pretty much all my friends spent the first year to four years after college struggling with part-time, low-paying jobs–and we were the overachievers! Most of us graduated with honors, multiple internships & jobs, and glowing recommendations, and it was still a struggle. Honestly from my perspective OP is doing a lot better at 22 than I was!

      4. Observer*

        I agree and am kind of confused that so many commenters seem to be blaming OP for not having a job with benefits.

        The problem is not that the OP doesn’t have that job. It’s that they seem to be making some assumptions that are not accurate – ie that they CANNOT have such a job. And also that they are being very dismissive of their Mother’s possible concerns, most of which seem pretty reasonable.

        1. Orb*

          Think of it this way, though. If a 22 year old recent grad with no experience wrote in giving mom’s perspective, saying they assumed they should be able to just get a FT job with all good benefits and that they were too good to take part time work and build a resume, the commentariat would be happy to tell them that was off-base. The advice would be to do exactly what they are, in fact, doing now, which is to take the work they can find and focus on moving out and being self-sufficient. So why, exactly, is everyone so eager to tell them they’re wrong when they present that plan as an ok option? Mom keeps telling them to just get a better job, and they are frustrated because it’s not that simple. Because it’s truly not that simple! Their assessment is entirely correct, and we would be telling them the exact same thing if they had come in with a different question.

          It’s a big assumption to say they haven’t tried at all to find that kind of work or won’t try in the future, one that isn’t really born out by the letter. They got one job so clearly they did some applying, and they say they were lucky to get it because the job market during the pandemic has been difficult. If we’re gonna make any assumption at all, it makes way more sense to assume they are or have applied to FT work and have just not been successful yet. It doesn’t really cost us anything to be charitable when trying to give advice to someone who’s trying to break out into the world for the first time in their life.

          1. Observer*

            The advice would be to do exactly what they are, in fact, doing now, which is to take the work they can find and focus on moving out and being self-sufficient.

            Except that it does not sound like that’s what they are doing. We could all be wrong, but it doesn’t sound like they are actually looking right now, but rather that they are assuming that they definitely can’t find something decent so they aren’t going to try. And they also don’t seem to have any timeline other than noting that they will be on their mother’s insurance for the next 4 years. Also, that they don’t want to go into the career path that their degree implies. It’s also pretty clear that they don’t realize that Mom has some standing here, whether or not her assumptions are correct.

            What most of us are saying – and it’s based on what the OP actually says in the letter – is:

            1. TALK to you mother and find out what her actual concerns are. That’s a good idea in general, but ESPECIALLY when she’s carrying a significant portion of your expenses right now.

            2. It’s not a great economy, but that doesn’t mean that you for sure can’t do better. It sounds like right now you’re not trying to find something better, and it’s probably worth trying.

            3. What you are doing now is not a great long term strategy. So you should come up with a plan for how to address your mother’s short term issues (once you know what they are) and your longer term goals. And when you do that keep in mind that things like benefits / insurance are extremely valuable. So is paying your own bills, as it means you have a lot more ability to make your own decisions. (And you can even put your mom on an information diet once you are paying your own bills, as well.)

            1. tinyhipsterboy*

              We’re supposed to give LWs the benefit of the doubt, though, and LW#1 specifically says they are having trouble finding jobs, but they a)make money via YouTube and b)took on a job to save more money and to gain experience for their resume so they can get better jobs later on.

              From the letter, they also say they’ve told their mother exactly why they took the job and told her that their YouTube channel also brings in an income, only to be told that it’s not a real job and OP#1 needs to find something different to do… except, as the letter says, OP#1 took the part-time job *because* they were having trouble finding something different to do because they lacked experience.

              I also don’t think it’s fair to criticize the LW for not wanting to go into the career they were pressured into studying for. Most people don’t actually end up in the careers they study for:
              https://www.ngpf.org/blog/question-of-the-day/qod-what-percent-of-college-graduates-end-up-working-in-the-field-of-their-major/

              https://madisoncommons.org/2019/11/12/more-college-grads-land-jobs-outside-their-majors-and-thats-a-good-thing-experts-say/

              Also, it’s not uncommon to wish you’d chosen a different major (whether to go for your passions OR to get better job opportunities):
              https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/27/82percent-of-college-grads-believe-their-degree-was-a-good-investment.html

              And the labor market right now is particularly difficult, as OP said:
              https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/05/class-of-2020-graduate-jobs/611917/

              OP#1 can’t be expected to have a long-term plan for their career in a market that’s this difficult and unpredictable, especially when we know that a lot of job opportunities come not just from privilege, but from sheer luck and connections. Yes, if OP#1 hasn’t had a specific conversation with their mother about what they *can* plan, they should, but again, we’re supposed to give LWs the benefit of the doubt, and OP#1 specifically said they took the job to get experience and told their mother so. The mother absolutely has standing as OP#1’s guardian, but OP#1 is saying “hey, this is what I’m doing, these are the difficulties I’m facing, this is the plan I have so far to become self-sufficient; I’ve told my mom but she just tells me to get a different job, so what can I do here?” , not saying that their mom is completely off-base or unreasonable.

    4. Anonymous Esq*

      This seems like one of the few comments aligned with the reality of job searching when undergraduate degrees don’t really mean anything anymore.

    5. Joielle*

      Yes, this is a great comment! Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what mom thinks – once the LW moves out and is supporting themself. So make that the goal.

    6. TechWriter*

      Great comment. You captured the dynamic really well.

      I was honestly pretty surprised at Alison’s answer. She has fair points, given that it’s from a job-related perspective! But I think Captain Awkward would have had more “information diet for your mom, keep your head down, and move out as soon as possible” relationship-related advice.

      Also, she’s 22, and fresh out of undergrad. When I was 22 all I had were part-time jobs with no benefits too, and that lasted a few years until I got experience/credentials for a career-job!

      1. K*

        I agree with your general point, and I’m sympathetic to LW, but I think you have limited standing to put your parent on an information diet about your job situation/future plans when you’re living with them and substantially relying on them financially.

        It’s hard to tell from this letter alone whether it’s a question of LW1 or mom having unrealistic expectations, but I think at the very least they should have a discussion about LW’s goals as Alison suggested.

        (FWIW I’m also a 20-something who struggled to find a stable full-time job in my field of choice for a long time.)

        1. Orb*

          Yeah see, that’s why I really think moving out is the best focus here. Because yes, the LW needs to be willing to discuss this overall with their mom while they live with her. But so far they have not been able to make that conversation productive, it seems that it is just a recurring point of contention. Oftentimes, even with beloved family who are not doing anything wrong, the best way to handle points of disagreement is to just trim out saying anything that is going to plunge you both back into the same argument you’ve had fifty times before. And when you live with her, the amount of detail you can really trim out is a lot smaller than if you are somewhere else.

          That said, I think some amount of info-dieting is actually still the way to handle it in the meantime. Talk money in general, timelines, show apartments you might move to, whatever, just skirt around the part time job topic whenever possible. Necessary transparency doesn’t mean literally any and all info even if it means having the same spats over and over, in my opinion anyway.

      2. Observer*

        But I think Captain Awkward would have had more “information diet for your mom, keep your head down, and move out as soon as possible” relationship-related advice.

        Well, that’s just the problem. You can’t really do the information diet thing reasonably well when you are living in your parent’s house rent free and also on their insurance.

        The problem here is not the jobs they do / don’t have, but the lack of communication and attitude.

    7. tinyhipsterboy*

      I have this same kind of problem with my father, even as someone that’s 30 years old and has lived away from their parents full-time for over a decade. If I don’t have a full-time corporate job with benefits and all, it’s not enough. I work from home and do 3-4 jobs at once, but it’s Not Enough. Because I didn’t go into a prestigious engineering field, it’s Not Enough. Because my career path is more creative than not, it’s Not Enough.

      Obviously we don’t know what the mom feels or what the full dynamic is, but it’s not an uncommon thing for parents to pressure their children to get “Real Jobs” no matter how secure or lucrative their position is. And that’s before we get into how difficult it is to get your foot in the door anywhere, how hard it is to convince people in that mindset that it’s legitimately difficult instead of laziness, that “gumption” doesn’t actually do anything, that the only jobs that will give call-backs at corporations have no upward mobility and have ridiculously low pay ceilings.

      I wish I had advice, because from my experience, this looks like the mom is treating her child as, well, a child. 22 is still young, it’s still being “a kid” in some ways, but it’s also adulthood. It’s hard for a lot of parents to accept that. Sometimes you can get through by simply laying down how the dynamic will work from that point forward, but that doesn’t go for everyone. No matter how much you explain, no matter how much you plan, no matter how far you get, it’s entirely possible that mom won’t see it as valid unless it’s a single full-time corporate job, benefits and all. I could be off-base, of course; any of us here could be. I’m just sorry you have to deal with it, OP#1. It can be intensely frustrating.

      1. Observer*

        You’re doing a lot of projecting here. Of course, it’s possible that mom is being totally unreasonable. But what the OP says could just as easily be about a perfectly reasonable parent.

        It’s a lot harder to make a stand about being an adult and being treated like an adult when you are dependent on your parents and haven’t shown that you can support yourself or have a realistic plan to become self-supporting.

        So ultimately, whether mom is being reasonable or not, the OP’s best bet is going to be to get their ducks in a row and work on becoming more self sufficient.

        1. tinyhipsterboy*

          I mean, we’re specifically supposed to give LWs the benefit of the doubt here, and OP#1 makes it clear they have a plan: continue making money through YouTube while taking a job to save up money and also build resume experience to get better jobs. That reads like someone trying to get their ducks in a row and working to become self-sufficient.

          You’re right, we don’t know for sure that mom is being unreasonable. We also don’t know she’s being reasonable. I’m a good 8 years older than OP, but even I grew up in a time where I was pressured to get specific degrees at the same time as being told I just need *a* degree. We live in a time where a degree doesn’t guarantee a job, let alone a job in that field, so I sympathize with OP#1’s frustrations there.

          What made me want to comment about my own situation–besides Orb’s comment–was the mom’s insistence that YouTube isn’t an actual job. Sure, we could talk all day about the pros and cons of freelancing versus W2 employee jobs with benefits versus opening a small business, but at the end of the day, we know there’s a large segment of people who consider anything other than a typical corporate job to be “not a real job,” no matter how much money it brings in or how stable it is. Taking on a part-time job to build a resume and increase income, though, is a sign of OP#1 being responsible and planning for their future.

          Pointing out another possibility isn’t projecting. Speaking from my experience and what I’ve seen isn’t projecting; otherwise, that’d mean every commenter here is projecting. The majority of the comments are talking about how health insurance is expensive and OP#1 needs to use their degree, get a job they dislike, and/or move out and become independent. I’m not saying OP#1’s situation is exactly like mine, but most of the comments here are only looking at one potential explanation and issue.

      2. onco fonco*

        Thing is, your dad’s behaviour is taking place in a completely different context, because you are 30 and not financially dependent on him. We can’t know if LW’s mom has an attitude like your dad’s, or if she is just genuinely concerned that LW has no viable plan to become financially independent. I’m an elder Millennial with a teenage kid and I can see this both ways. Parents are not an inexhaustible source of funds! In my household we don’t have a lot of spare cash, and we can afford to raise our kids by making some sacrifices but if they still want that support in a decade’s time, it cannot be as an indefinite thing. We don’t and very likely won’t ever make enough money to endlessly support the living costs of that many adults. Especially if they’re not willing to make the sacrifice of doing a job they don’t love in order to get their finances together (guess what, I don’t love mine).

        1. onco fonco*

          I mean, I think we’re in danger of forgetting that not all parents of adult children are wealthy Boomers. Plenty of those parents were screwed by the last recession. We don’t necessarily have as much to give as we would like.

        2. tinyhipsterboy*

          Oh, for sure, yeah. I should clarify–my dad’s acted the same way since I was a teenager. The context has changed, but the behavior has not, and this kind of attitude isn’t exactly uncommon. My experience with my father absolutely is coloring my viewpoint, but that doesn’t mean it’s invalid: it’s another potential explanation for OP1’s mother’s actions and attitude.

          It’s entirely possible the mother here is being reasonable, but the majority of the comments have already covered that possibility. It’s also entirely possible, even equally as plausible, that it’s a power struggle and the LW’s mom has that kind of attitude (which isn’t limited to just my dad; it’s something we see quite a bit, after all). I’m not saying it’s a definite thing or that my experience is everything, but sharing what I’ve been through and observed myself and agreeing with Orb that it’s a possibility.

          I think another issue is the frustration with people not being willing to make the sacrifice of doing a job they don’t love. (Hell, I don’t love my job either.) It’s a complex topic–how do you balance making moves for your career, taking care of your mental health, ensuring an income, and so on? “Sometimes you have to do something you don’t like” is absolutely true, but it’s also used to criticize people fighting for better treatment and better wages, and I think it’s important we keep that in mind.

          OP hasn’t given us any indication they refuse to do work they dislike. They specifically say they already make money via YouTube and that they took the school job to make money, to save, and to build up experience for their resume so they can get better jobs. Without hearing the actual conversations they’ve had with their mother or hearing their mom’s side of the story, that sounds like they’re putting in the work and being responsible. That’s all we have to go on, and we’re supposed to give LWs the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to point out a different possibility than the other commenters here.

          1. onco fonco*

            I think I’m mostly going off this in the letter: “Also, she will push me toward a career that I studied for (which I have no interest in because my parents told me to find a career with a high job position).” I mean, I definitely don’t think that LW should have to spend her whole life in a career she hates just because she went along with her parents’ ideas at the age of 18 when she was applying to college. And there isn’t enough here to say that LW is definitely turning down opportunities just because she doesn’t find them interesting – but it sort of suggests to me that she might? I mean, most adults aren’t in fields they find thrilling. Certainly not at the start of their working life.

            I’m in a different country from LW and don’t know what field they studied in, so I can’t judge any of this accurately – I’m honestly just going by the tone of the letter. I also absolutely don’t think LW should take a job with horrible conditions or anything like that. Workers’ rights are crucial. (I’m from a place with nationalised health care and I think it’s fairly horrifying that LW and her family have to think about health insurance at all.)

            1. tinyhipsterboy*

              Yeah, it’s hard to tell, especially since it legitimately can be read either way. I know that the majority of college grads in the last 10 years or so don’t go into the field of their major, and anecdotally, I’ve had multiple friends forced into fields of study they legitimately hate and that impacted their mental health because of pressure from their parents, so that’s definitely coloring my perspective.

              It could easily be the stereotype of a young person thinking they know everything, but there’s such a focus in the comments on the mom paying for health insurance and that she might have a point. Those pieces of advice are certainly not wrong, but I feel like they don’t necessarily take into account the current job market, the attitude that many Gen Xers and Boomers had about college and the promises they made about jobs with education, or the way millennials and Gen Z are blamed for being lazy or wanting better treatment. It’s not that the commentariat is incorrect, just that there’s an equally plausible situation here that only a few users (like Orb) have addressed.

              It’s just such a difficult situation right now for everyone other than the already wealthy. Ugh.

  21. Manana*

    LW#1- Honestly I have a ton of sympathy for you. I also just kinda picked a major in college so that alone is a whole bag of emotions, but on top of that you’ve graduated into a pandemic. I think you and your mom are both using finances/jobs as a focal point for a whole host of anxieties and fears and heartbreaks. This is a scary time and your mom is worried and I think you are too. This is one of those “a big step into adulthood” moments where you need to open up with your mom and allow her to open up to you and figure out what life is going to look like for you, her, and your relationship going forward. Clue your mom in to your anxieties so she knows she’s not the only one worried about you. This is a chance to become a team of adults planning your best lives, not a child fighting with her parents while passively letting them call the shots. Make a plan together, that takes your desires into consideration, so that you can be an equal part and partner in your family.

  22. Emma*

    #2 – I know it doesn’t solve the wider problem, but I’d expect VR gaming to be fine. Typically VR just involves a headset with goggles and headphones, and a wireless controller for each hand.

    1. Allie*

      I think it’s a haptic system. I did something once where I had to wear a vest. But I can also see someone nor anticipating that as an issue.

      I think it maybe wouldn’t be a bad idea for LW to sit down with boss and explain the type of things they can’t typically do and the kind of things they can.

      1. allathian*

        Yes, I agree. As a fat person myself, I know it can be awkward, and I’m really glad for the LW’s sake that her coworkers don’t seem to judge her for that. But maybe having that awkward conversation once, preferably with suggestions about the kind of activities the LW would be happy and able to participate in, would ensure that this won’t come up every time they’re planning a fun outing.

        1. OP#2 Here*

          Thank you for your kind comment. I think I’ll combine Alison’s advice with a lot of the great suggestions from the commentariat. I feel like it will be easier if I do it all at once. Show appreciation for the thought, bring up that the activity might not work for my body type, but I researched X, Y, and Z things we could do…and transition to “doesn’t this look FUN!” mode before the focus can become the size issue, but it was brought up. Now just to research some ideas and build up some gumption!

    2. Anonymous Large Commenter*

      Seconded. OP2, if you’re otherwise interested in the VR gaming, you might try calling to see if their gear will fit you. My friends once wanted to take me to a local VR business that had haptic-feedback vests. I’m a big man (500 lbs, 6’2″) and I was assured when I called ahead that all of the gear was adjustable for my size. When I arrived, they gave me separate front and back units that I could put on with long straps. It took a couple of extra minutes to set up, but it was comfortable to wear and I had a blast playing, so I was very glad that I gave it a shot.

      1. OP#2 Here*

        This is encouraging – thank you!!! It’s one of those 360 treadmill setups where they have something around your waist. I’ll reach out to them to see what sizes they can accommodate. It would ease my anxiety and I would feel better if I could at least try it out to see if it makes me motion sick.

        1. Caboose*

          If they’ve got a treadmill set up for movement, your odds of getting motion sick are probably lower! The biggest issue in VR is normally with moving around, since your body is emphatically NOT moving, but if you’re physically walking, that solves that problem right quick!

  23. Beth*

    LW1 – How much does your youtube work actually make?

    One of the biggest adjustments for me, when I first lived on my own, was a serious mental shift in regards to what counted as ‘a decent amount of money’. I lived a pretty heavily subsidized lifestyle through college. I lived in the dorms with a meal plan, I was on my parents’ health insurance (and would’ve been on insurance through school if they weren’t able and willing to have me on their plan), and I didn’t have a car; my basic living expenses basically all got paid upfront in the form of school fees, not billed to me on a monthly basis. My (non-school-bills) spending usually maxed out at a couple hundred dollars each month.

    When I moved out, though, suddenly I had so many monthly bills. Rent, health insurance (I was lucky enough to get a job with benefits right away, so this wasn’t outrageous, but my share of the cost did get deducted from my paycheck each month), car insurance, gas, internet, utilities, work-appropriate clothes, food, car maintenance…it added up fast, and suddenly my out-of-pocket spending was a couple thousand dollars per month instead of a couple hundred. My idea of what counted as a ‘decent amount of money’ changed very quickly.

    It might be that your mom is nagging you unreasonably. But it might also be that your income genuinely isn’t enough to be an independent adult on, and she’s trying to tell you that you won’t be able to start your adult life until you change that. I’d suggest sitting down and seriously doing the math. Maybe even bring her in on the conversation–one of the hard things about that transition, for me, was that I had some budgetary surprises that I simply hadn’t known to anticipate. (Who knew how expensive brake repairs can be? Well, my parents would have, if I’d thought to ask how much I should be setting aside for car maintenance.)

    1. LDN Layabout*

      Yeah, what constitutes decent money really shifts at a certain points in life. Do to a variety of factors, I didn’t get a younger family member a Christmas gift like I usually do, so for their next birthday they got an ‘extra big’ present (around £50).

      To me, at my stage of life/career, that didn’t feel like a huge amount of money, just a more generous gift than usual. To a pre-teen getting that amount as a gaming voucher? It was apparently the coolest gift ever.

      And 15 year old me was still more impressed with the money she was making from a weekend and holidays job than 30+ year old me is with my professional career salary…

      1. Beth Jacobs*

        So much this. You can get an incredible amount of sodas and games out of 50 euros, but it doesn’t go far in rent.

      2. quill*

        My first job at a ren faire, at 15, the holy grail was to get enough money (approximately $200) to afford the really cool ren faire garb. If you did it for 3 years you might have a full outfit. Few of us made that much even with tips, so anyone who could afford full garb was an object of envy. This was also when you could get a decent laptop for about $200-$300.

        Fast forward to my first “real” job: I could have bought myself garb when I went back to ren faire, but holy heck who drops $200 on a costume when you need a working laptop and phone in order to search for better jobs and / or have any ability to socialize or do any recreation?

        Needless to say I do not have faire garb, and I have very different priorities than I did as a teen.

        1. quill*

          (I also spent way more eating out as a teen than I’m willing to now because WOW. Prices have gone up!)

    2. Green great dragon*

      This is a really good point! I remember when £1000/month felt like an insane amount of money, and I really couldn’t picture what I would *do* with it all. By the time I earned that, it most certainly did not feel like a lot of money, and spending it was not difficult.

      1. Batty Twerp*

        That feeling never really goes away, the benchmark value just changes.
        When I run payroll analysis and I see people’s take-home pay that is quite a bit less than mine I remember how it felt on that money and wonder how they cope, and then I see the senior managers on 3 or 4 times my salary and wonder how they ever manage to spend it and on what. [deleted off-topic rant about the fact they *do* spend it and then complain in my earshot about only affording two holidays this year instead of three, or a one-year-old car instead of brand new first registration, which is clearly a bit tone-deaf!]

        I think the technical term is “lifestyle creep”.

    3. Lacey*

      Yes, it might really help this conversation if LW1 were to research their future expenses and plan out a budget. They may find that their mom is right. Or, they may be able to reassure their mom about the situation.

    4. AGD*

      My first real job was $70,000 a year in an affordable area where rent was maybe $800 a month. Absolutely blew my mind. Even if I paid off my student loan, what was I going to do with all that money, I wondered? Decided I would just be very cautious, continue living like a student, and see how much was left over.

      Answer: After taxes, I had about $3,000 left over, and hadn’t touched my student loan.

  24. Kara*

    #5 I have had two absolutely wonderful experiences of being sent the wrong link. One was a Star Wars video instead of some headshots. One was a jazz video instead of some branding assets.

    So you’re not the only one ever to do that. And as a recipient I just found it wonderfully amusing.

  25. Batty Twerp*

    One part of LW1’s letter stood out to me above the rest:
    “she will push me toward a career that I studied for (which I have no interest in because my parents told me to find a career with a high job position)”
    This is a mismatch in expectations, and even if LW1 *does* get a reasonable paying full time job with healthcare benefits, there’ll likely still be discord because it’s not the right *career*. Did parents pay for this education? There will always be that elephant, no matter how much they love you.

    I don’t know what “good money on YouTube” is, but if it’s around $500 a month, that IS the equivalent of 16 hours a week at a minimum wage of $7.25. It’s flipping burgers, just not for the Golden Arches, but more like a small independent burger van parked at the side of Central Park (do they have those? I’m not in the US, but I am in a small UK seaside town where those are ubiquitous) – it’s the same basic job, but without corporate benefits, which seems to be mum’s primary *vocal* concern. Re-reading the letter with this reframing leads me to think it’s not YouTube that’s the problem.

    I do have a question for LW1 though – you say you need experience, but have you actually applied for full time jobs, yes, even in the career you don’t particularly want? If you’re not even trying, I can see why your mum is hounding you. If you are, and you are getting “sorry, you need more experience” rejections – show these to your mum.
    And, just like everyone else has already pointed out, you need to have a financial talk with your parents.

    1. FridayFriyay*

      To be fair, part time employees in minimum wage jobs are rarely able to access benefits, so taking a fast food job (corporate or not) likely will not solve the health insurance problem. In fact, a lot of min wage jobs purposely keep employees juuuuust under the “full time” threshold to be required to provide benefits on purpose for that reason.

      1. Batty Twerp*

        I wasn’t aware just how bad it is regarding the health insurance threshold (not being in the US – and that practise sucks by the way, not that you need me to say it), but it still doesn’t quite change the framing that YouTube is a red herring. Substitute YouTube for McDonalds and the only thing that changes is the bit where mum “keeps on insisting that it is not a job”. Still no health benefits, still not high paying enough.
        Of course if mum also insists that McDonalds is not a job you’re jumping straight back to “push[ing] toward a career that I studied for (which I have no interest in[…])” And this is the bit that’s at the core of the question.

    2. Orange You Glad*

      “I do have a question for LW1 though – you say you need experience, but have you actually applied for full time jobs, yes, even in the career you don’t particularly want? If you’re not even trying, I can see why your mum is hounding you. If you are, and you are getting “sorry, you need more experience” rejections – show these to your mum.”

      This is what I was thinking. I completely understand that it can be hard to find your dream job right now, but the only way you’ll ever get a full-time position is by applying for anything that opens up. Brush up your resume and practice interviewing. A degree in anything can get you at least into an office administration role with benefits and a retirement plan.

  26. Nonnie*

    OP, this sounds like one if those situations where, if you want to be treated like an adult, you need to start acting more like an adult, and take on adult responsibilities. That may mean paying for your own insurance, or that might mean sitting down and being honest with yourself over whether or not you can afford to focus on your YouTube channel right now. I know it’s frustrating, especially in the middle of a pandemic, but sometimes being an adult means doing things we don’t want to do in order to afford the things we do.

    1. Nonnie*

      Also, to be clear, I had to move back in with my parents + put some plans on hold due to the pandemic, so I am sympathetic but only to a point.

  27. Virginia Plain*

    OP #5 I am DELIGHTED! I was expecting something a bit risqué or saucy but to be greeted with a funny novelty song I remember from being a child was just great. Funny but nobody would be offended I am sure.
    Alison I am glad you have now seen it too (is it having some sort of resurgence on the internet?). Accompanying trivia: This actually went to number one in the charts in the U.K. and kept Vienna by Ultravox (not sure if known in the US but widely considered an eighties classic here) off the top spot!

    1. Bookartist*

      I would not go so far as to say offended, but that song is *certainly not* universally beloved by Italian Americans (my own experience).

  28. TheSüperflüoüsUmlaüt*

    #5 – Okay, I had no real idea what to expect when I clicked through on that link, but Joe Dolce was down around 712,876,945th on my mental list of possibilities… :D

  29. MeowMixers*

    LW 1 – Just to cut down on the knee jerk reactions, I have moved once in this pandemic and I may move again. The cost of renting a place is super high right now, even in a little country town. And that’s everywhere. LW may not be able to afford to make this change. The job field is also going through a weird dynamic too. My company posts job openings only for a week and then closes them. The rules of finding a high-paying normal job aren’t the same as before the pandemic. I had a hard time finding a job once I graduate. I’m sure it’s much worse now.

    Advice for LW: A lot of people don’t go into the field they studied in. Find a job that you would like that has benefits. Youtube is great and it’s great to hear that you are making money on it. Had a conversation with your mom to figure out what is really going on. Is it because you aren’t paying bills? Is it because she is scared that you won’t have a good career? Does she want you out of the house? When you can figure out what the concern is, then you can make a plan to fix it. Many YouTubers I watch have moved solely to making youtube channels. They didn’t change over until they were able to support all of their bills on what the channel made. Keep working on the channel if it makes you happy, but don’t rely on it until you can afford to be on your own.

  30. Astor*

    LW#1 – A number of people in comments are talking about ways of documenting your plans for the future, how to communicate it to your mom, and that you should figure out a timeline to move out. You might, for example, sound cavalier because that’s how you’re handling the stress (this is how I sometimes behave) but it might be more useful to talk to your mom about all the things you see going wrong and the plans you have to get through them.

    Another related topic you should think about is looking at the kinds of jobs that other people in your school cohort and a few years older are doing. Maybe that’s going to be useful to explain that it’s common for it to take a few years to get full time work! (I know that was common for friends of mine in certain fields; there were a lot of 60% and 80% jobs for new practitioners but the full-time jobs went to people with multiple years of experience. ) Or maybe you can use it to see if there’s another direction you can take your degree and make it actually feel like it works for you, or to better document that it’s normal!

    It also sounds like you’re not job hunting right now because you want your part-time job to show that you’ve got more experience. If so: job hunt right now, too! Make a spreadsheet or whatever recording method works best for you and apply for jobs that are similar to what you’re doing but full-time and/or with health insurance! But also apply for jobs that are asking for a little more experience and skills than you have. Look through the subjects on https://www.askamanager.org/category/job-searching/ and see what might be useful for you. For example: https://www.askamanager.org/2021/03/how-do-i-find-a-job-when-im-underqualified-for-everything.html and https://www.askamanager.org/2021/02/is-applying-for-jobs-a-numbers-game.html seem like good places to start.

    You can also practice by putting some of this information in the comments! A few people will tell you that you’re doing it wrong no matter what, a few people will tell you that you’re doing it right no matter, but I bet a lot of people will be able to give you some more personalized advice that can help you figure out how to feel or sound like you’ve got a plan for how to move forward. Good luck LW1!

  31. Eefs*

    LW3 – while it’s unsettling, if the resume is otherwise impressive, maybe try to overlook it the misguided element and take it in the spirit that it was intended! They weren’t trying to make it off putting, they were trying to stand out!

    I feel terrible for young applicants that are trying all the advice in the world to stand out and not being invited to interviews! Many of us are only familiar with the types of resumes that are posted about on Buzzfeed articles; website resumes, podcast cover letters etc. They think going above and beyond is a must, and that’s a good thing really! I’d say give them a shot at an interview; unless there’s something glaringly bad about their resume otherwise, and you may find you have an ill-advised but well meaning hard worker (and maybe inform them in the interview that you found it off putting for all the reasons you and Alison stated, for their own future reference).

  32. Forrest*

    LW1, if you’ve recently graduated, you can probably still use your college careers department. Lots of other people have suggested having a conversation with your mom to find out what exactly it is that she’s worried about. I would really recommend talking to your college careers department too. What you’re doing right now — getting some experience whilst you figure out what the long-term plan is– is fine and normal, but a careers counsellor can probably help you make that a sturdier plan. How long do you plan to “gain experience”? What long-term, professional careers do you want to research at the same time? What skills and knowledge are you gaining in this part-time job that will support your longer-term plans?

    It might be that your mom needs you to start earing some solid money sooner, or it might be that she just wants to know that you do have a long-term plan and six years aren’t going to go past whilst you work part-time and do YouTube and wait for something to happen TO you. The college careers team should be able to help you figure out a more robust plan, or, if you have already thought about all this stuff, to articulate it in a way that makes it sound more confident to your mom.

  33. Xavier Desmond*

    LW5 reminds me of a time at my old job where we were given a list of useful phone numbers including solicitors.

    They had got one digit wrong on one so when I rang it I was greeted by an automated voice asking me if I was gay, straight or bisexual.

  34. Anonymous Koala*

    LW 1, is there any chance this is not about the money, but rather about what your mother sees as you not being “career-oriented” enough? Part time jobs are great and give you experience, but if you studied for a different career with specific job tracking (like law, medicine, engineering, etc) your mother may be expecting you to pursue it and confused about why you are not interested. If you are being pushed towards a career you are not interested in, you need to have a frank conversation about your career aspirations and 5-10 year plans with your mother.

    1. Quickbeam*

      Also, Mom might see the You Tube gig as “noodling around on the internet”. It could seem like less than it is.

  35. photon*

    LW1 – The best starting point, I think, is to understand your financial situation.

    How much is your mom paying for your housing? Food? Healthcare? Utilities (water, electric, cell, internet)?
    How much should you expect to pay in taxes? (Note: If your job and YouTube are unaware of the other, then you may end up paying more in taxes than you are currently withholding.)
    Are you able to sock some money away for a rainy day?
    Are you able to sock some money away for retirement?

  36. Mannheim Steamroller*

    #2…

    Merely telling the boss that the activity is inconsistent with your body type is a good start, but it won’t work. You have to actually SHOW him. Let him plan those activities, and then… don’t participate. If he asks why you’re sitting out something that he “knew” you would enjoy, just repeat that the activity is inconsistent with your body type. Make sure to say it in a flat and matter-of-fact way, as if OF COURSE he already knew that the equipment wouldn’t fit you (because you had already told him).

    1. Social Commentator*

      This advice strikes me as terribly passive aggressive, given the intimate size of the group and the fact that the boss is including the employees in the planning experience. It might be different if there were 100 employees and no opportunity to give feedback, but with the dynamic here, that attitude could seriously damage the professional relationship and interpersonal dynamic with their boss.

      1. Rusty Shackelford*

        +1

        The boss hasn’t been pushy about forcing the LW to attempt activities. There’s no need to go this far.

    2. Forrest*

      but it won’t work

      How d’you know? I mean, sure, if it doesn’t work, progress to plan B, but why assume it won’t work?

    3. twocents*

      Really? LW says she knows Boss is deliberately making a point to include her with activities she would like, and your recommendation is for her to let him spend that money and just routinely sit out? I hope LW doesn’t take your advice. That will just end with upset feelings, and honestly, if I was her, I wouldn’t feel inclined to train people to think of me as too fat to do anything.

    4. EventPlannerGal*

      I’m sorry but I think this is really bad advice. Why are you so certain that explaining the situation won’t work? It seems incredibly adversarial and passive-aggressive to intentionally create a situation like this, it seems almost designed to worsen OP’s relationship with her boss, and it’s certainly not going to be a fun experience for OP. This seems like the kind of thing you might do after multiple clear attempts to explain the issue, not as option one.

    5. ceiswyn*

      Why… why would you do that?! Br incredibly passive-aggressive and unforthcoming, make things uncomfortable for everyone, and even worse for yourself, when you could just have an open and honest conversation about the problem and potential alternatives and then have fun?!

      Your idea would be bad for the OP emotionally, professionally and socially. I am curious as to what you think is good about it!

    6. onco fonco*

      I have no idea why you think this. I am fat. I’ve encountered thin people assuming I could fit in a range of T-shirts that went small/medium/large, or not even thinking about whether seating would work for me – but once pointed out, I’ve never had anyone defy the laws of physics and continue to insist that these butt dimensions work with those equipment dimensions. They were just privileged enough to have never thought about it. The boss is already trying to work around it, he just still isn’t fully thinking it through because he’s never had to. Frustrating and ignorant but not deliberate.

      If he insists on the activities despite being told, then yeah, that’s different. But that’s not the case at this point.

    7. OP#2 Here*

      I agree with the other respondents that this isn’t warranted. I have a kind, thoughtful boss who is actively picking things I would enjoy and then taking the extra step of running it by me to make sure instead of assuming. He’s not considering my weight because he realizes it doesn’t impact my ability to do my job with excellence and he’s not a jerk.

      There is no need for me to respond to kindness with passive aggressive spite. I just wanted to avoid that awkward moment of saying that it looks lovely, but I don’t think I’ll fit. I think there are some more constructive bits of advice from Alison and the commentariat here that are better suited to my situation, but I appreciate you sharing your opinion.

  37. PrairieEffingDawn*

    1- What might bother LW’s mom more than anything is what sounds to me like a defeatist attitude that finding full time work as a 22-year-old is impossible. Maybe where they live it is very difficult, but I’m wondering if they’re not casting a wide enough net. They say they work at their old school, which makes me think they might not be thinking to research companies or job roles they’re not as familiar with. Maybe I’m way off base but I’m just not really buying the excuse that you can’t get a job without experience. There are lots of entry level jobs with new grads as target candidates, not all of them are glamorous but they are out there. (And I’d also argue that being a YouTube expert could be useful experience in a number of fields).

    5- Not much has made me laugh that much in these trying times. If I received that email at my company I would only think upon the sender with positive feelings.

  38. AnonThisTime*

    Re #3 — I was an attorney at a mega bank with a valuable and zealously protected trademark. It was shocking when a law firm, one of the largest in the country, put together a presentation to the bank touting the law firm’s services that used the bank’s logo and the bank’s “look and feel.” What they got for their trouble was a cease and desist letter and permanent placement on the bank’s “do not hire” list. So it isn’t just newbies who do this — somehow attorneys at one of the country’s largest law firms missed the memo that they shouldn’t be using someone else’s IP in their marketing.

    1. Texan In Exile*

      I was friends with a man at Vendor that was going to pitch my company. The pitch was for a battery system that would be deep inside a machine my company manufactured.

      Vendor Friend told me that part of the sales pitch (not the friend’s idea) was going to be that Vendor would put my company’s name on the battery so my company’s customers would think it was our battery.

      I told him that 1. our customers knew we did not manufacture batteries and 2. that idea was not solving my company’s problem, which was we needed a battery that would last longer without recharging.

      And I knew Friend well enough that I could say, “That’s a really stupid idea and it’s not going to work. It’s just going to look like your company doesn’t understand what we need at all.”

      1. AnonThisTime*

        Not only that, but you don’t want your logo on something you didn’t build and don’t want to be responsible for!

    1. Corporate Lawyer*

      ME TOO!! I’m incorporating Alligator Loki into my vocabulary to describe anything inauthentic or knock-off.

  39. Bookworm*

    #2: No advice, just sending you sympathy because that does sound very awkward. I hope however you approach it goes well. Good luck.

  40. Ali G*

    OMG I am going to date myself but the pop music radio station we used to listen to on the bus (middle school-early 90’s) used to play this song every morning and we all sang along! I haven’t heard that song in at least 2 decades.
    Thank you so much OP5!

  41. NewYork*

    LW1 –

    While a PP commented that colleges do not prepare students for work, some majors do. Accounting, nursing and engineering come to mind LW1 might want to look into less traditional jobs for her major, maybe in a not for profit. She may want to look into if she gets more education, can she get a full time job at her school. Can she be an RA while she goes to grad school. I understand her mom’s concern. I really think very few people make serious money on YouTube for any period of time. Channels come and go. If her mom is supporting her, she is under mom’s control.

  42. too young to die, too old to eat off the kids' menu*

    #3:

    I’m in a field where a project/presentation is a standard part of the interview process. While I’ve never even thought about using an org’s branding on a resume, I always do this at the project round. Especially since they’re nearly always a roleplay of sorts, where I’m acting as though I’m already in the role.

    To my knowledge, no one’s ever even batted an eye – but now I’m suddenly self conscious. Is this cool?

    1. Forrest*

      Yes, recently I was asked to prepare a presentation “as if I was presenting to a client” as part of a second round of recruitment, and I used the company’s (publicly available) PowerPoint template for it. I got through to the next round so it can’t have been that much of a boo-boo!

      1. too young to die, too old to eat off the kids' menu*

        Yeah – some of them (like my current company) send candidates a template or style guide, but most of them I’ve built entirely from scratch. I usually try to mimic the style of their external materials: using extensions to find the exact colors & fonts they use, pulling images directly from their site, etc. I always thought that effort made me look better – not weird lol

        Unrelated but, when I’m actively interviewing, I can end up doing a bunch of these projects simultaneously which can get pretty confusing. I’ve actually found working off of a “branded” template to be super helpful in mentally compartmentalizing each individual company and their requirements

    2. Zandra*

      In the case of a roleplay, where you’re demonstrating what it would look like if you did work for them, I would guess that you’d be fine.

    3. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

      To my knowledge, no one’s ever even batted an eye – but now I’m suddenly self conscious. Is this cool?

      It read to me like the same thought process that leads to advice like “act like you’ve already closed the job/sale” and “dress for the job you want.” Both of those pieces of advice are hit-and-miss, or really home-run-or-strikeout.

    4. mx. burnout*

      OP3 here. I certainly plan to evaluate candidates’ ability to execute attractive design and show command of our voice and style as part of a sample project evaluation for the top two or three candidates (who we compensate for their time and work at that stage). I’d provide our brand guide to them at that point and absolutely expect them to use it. It’s the coming in with it right out of the gate that feels creepy (and as I noted elsewhere, this is for a c-level position, so we’re talking about applicants with decades of workplace experience).

  43. SlimeKnight*

    LW#1: I think a huge part of this is a generational issue that older people don’t understand the job market anymore. I graduated into the recession. The field I was planning to go into was hit hard. Entry-level positions were being taken by folks with 10+ years experience who had lost their jobs. I did side gigs, contract work, and part-time jobs, but it took a good 2+ years to find a full-time job with benefits (poorly paid and not in a field I had studied in). I never felt financially stable until the last two years or so.

    Meanwhile I remember my dad and father-in-law (both boomers) talking about jobs they had when they were young. Apparently both of them at 18 literally just went to random factories in the towns they grew up in, asked for a job, and were hired at rates that now would be +$20/hr — with benefits!

    1. AGD*

      I’m in a similar position. Parents assumed, based on their experience, that I’d get pretty much any old job I applied for. After all, they’d managed easily enough even without undergraduate degrees, right? Nope. Recession hit, career office didn’t have good advice either, and I wasn’t steadily employed until my thirties.

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        I could tell a similar story, except it was Sales instead of a factory. I’ve still never seen a higher-pressure sales pitch than my father’s when I was unemployed, living at home, and wanted to turn down a job because I did not share the company’s ethics.

        Thankfully, a lackluster job I could live with was right around the corner.

    2. Beth Jacobs*

      Just like there’s a huge difference in the job market of 1989 and 2009, both of these are also different from the way things are right now. In the US, there’s a significant shortage of workers as the economy recovers from covid, driving up wages (especially in manufacturing and service jobs, but white collar work too). Right now might be the best opportunity for OP to get a FT job that she gets in this decade.

      1. Orange You Glad*

        I was thinking this too. I graduated during the last recession and have so many friends my age still hustling to try to establish a career. Meanwhile, I just left my company’s headcount meeting and we have more vacancies than ever in our company’s history. I think more companies are willing to take a risk on a less experienced candidate right now in order to fill necessary positions.

        1. NotAnotherManager!*

          I’m even experiencing this with entry level positions. My wonderful assistant of a few years was just promoted and his position needs to be backfilled. We pay a competitive wage, offer nearly a month of paid holidays/PTO, are offering WFH during the pandemic and flex schedules after, and provide full benefits from day 1 of employment… and we’ve seen very few candidates, the one we offered the job to used our offer to counter her current employer, and I’m still in need of an assistant. A bachelor’s degree is optional, and I’m not asking for experience, just solid Word and Excel skills, and will happily train someone.

    3. Nupalie*

      Come to KY. 22 dollars an hour with pension, 401k match, medical and dental. 3 or 4 local factories advertising this

  44. Bean Counter Extraordinaire*

    #2 – “A one-time “it’s so thoughtful of you to seek out something I’d enjoy but that equipment isn’t designed for my body type” will ultimately be easier than dragging it out” – depending on how quick on the uptake the manager is, “body type” may not equate to “I’m too heavy for this”. My initial thought was rides with height requirements, and I’m a larger gal myself.

    1. Zandra*

      It sounds like the boss just plain doesn’t get it.

      I might be more specific about the problem. I might say, “Oh, my hips would never fit in a roller coaster seat!” I would say it lightly, and without taking on any shame. You’re just providing relevant information that would help in planning the event. It would help if you had suggestions for activities that are fun, but accessible for you.

      Source: My hips, which would never fit in a roller coaster seat.

      1. OP#2 Here*

        Such good advice! I hadn’t really taken into consideration that our office dynamic is pretty crass and relaxed (when customers aren’t around). IE: we have a Squatty Potty in the employee restroom and if someone has air escape top or bottom orifices in the office, we will laugh instead of there being a feeling of shame. I think that in my self-consciousness and trying to be gracious, I hadn’t considered that humor could be a good approach.

        I could do this in a joking way and be shameless about it (instead of self-effacing) and it would be communicating directly without making it A THING. Thank you!

  45. agnes*

    LW #1 I learned early on that taking money from my parents after college was inviting them into my business, and that was not acceptable to me—so I didn’t. My remaining siblings are in their 40’s and still being significantly supported by our parents–paying for cars, health insurance, rent, utilities, trips, houses, food, medical bills etc. Neither is very happy with the situation. My sibs complain all the time about our parents being up in their business, (and boy are they up in their business–in ways I could never tolerate) but they are complicit in that they aren’t doing anything to change the dynamic. Believe me it gets more and more controlling the longer it goes on.

    It is good for you to make a plan towards financial self sufficiency now and work it, even if it’s not your “ideal” path. Don’t let this become a way of life. It will not promote good relations between you and your parents. It gets harder and harder to change things the longer you let it go on. Good luck. I know it’s not easy, but you sound like a resourceful person.

  46. TotesMaGoats*

    Slightly different perspective on #3. Just finished a round of interviews for a higher ed position that would include some recruiting. Candidates were asked to put together a 5 min presentation highlighting one specific program and present to the interview panel. Essentially a mock recruiting event. Being able to do an oral presentation, be engaging and cover all the info is vitally important. Two candidates pulled our logos, pictures, and other things directly from the website and made great presentations. In those cases, it makes a lot of sense do those things. Showing you recognize we have a brand and staying on it was a good idea.

    1. Zandra*

      Absolutely. I think that under these circumstances, the rule becomes more flexible. They’ve asked you to represent them, for the purposes of this mock presentation. It makes sense, where slapping the company logo on your resume seems borderline offensive.

  47. Hlao-roo*

    LW 1 – I haven’t seen this mentioned here yet, but I suggest coming up with a job search plan. If your mom is focused on a full-time job with benefits, that’s hard because it’s a binary thing. You either have one or you don’t and she won’t stop bugging you until you do. But if you can come to an agreement to apply to a certain number of full-time jobs per week or per month, that might satisfy her.

    This will (hopefully) shift the conversation from “You need a full time job!” to “have you applied for one job this week yet?” Then you can say “yes” and drop the conversation.

  48. WonkyStitch*

    #1 part of the problem is that it sounds like OP went to college for a degree that her parents pushed for, that she doesn’t intend to pursue now that she’s graduated. I think it’s reasonable that her parents are annoyed about that and probably feel like they wasted 4 years of tuition on her. I know I would.

    Depending on how much of her time the YouTube channel takes, perhaps her mom wants her to find a part-time job instead.

    1. Mental Lentil*

      I have a YouTube channel. It takes an inordinate amount of time to plan, film, and edit a decent 15 minute video—somewhere along the lines of eight hours.

      I’ve also seen channels with hundreds of thousands of subs, and the creators still can’t make a full-time living from YouTube. It’s not the lucrative cash cow a lot of people think it is.

    2. Admin Lackey*

      I think if you push your kid into a degree they dont want, them not wanting to use it shouldn’t be a surprise. If they feel like they wasted their money, that’s on them for being controlling

  49. Acronyms Are Life (AAL)*

    I get that the job market is hard, but I think LW#1 needs to show that they are actively applying for jobs. I can’t tell from reading this if OP is still applying for jobs or has decided that the part time job and YouTube is enough and is not actively seeking. I think it would alleviate issues if OP were giving their mom status reports on what jobs they applied to and how that is going.

    As a fellow had to live with parents while job searching and saving money grad, bottom line, it’s Mom’s house, her rules. For example, when I lived at home, I had to be up by 10am everyday even if I wasn’t working, and weekends. That was my mom’s rule, and I had to respect that living in her house, even though you could argue it is completely arbitrary. If you don’t want people getting involved in your business and how you run your life, you need to find another arrangement.

  50. I'm just here for the cats*

    “My mom is pushing me to find more jobs, but I keep telling her that I need more experience in order to find a good paying job. … Also, she will push me toward a career that I studied for (which I have no interest in because my parents told me to find a career with a high job position).”

    I think this is very telling. I have a feeling that Mom may be the type of parent that wants their child to do what They want not what their child wants. Especially since mom pushed OP into a degree that they didn’t want.

    I do think that the OP needs to have a conversation with mom. I also don’t think it will hurt to look for full time job in the field that they want work in. Maybe look for internships that can help you get that experience.

  51. EngineerMom*

    OP #1 – I really liked Alison’s response.

    Many times, when parents who have adult children at home start talking about things like the child needing to get a better-paying job, it’s because there’s some sense of financial hardship on the part of the parent.

    Your mom is paying more because you are on her insurance. Her living expenses are higher because you are living at home (my dad estimates that each person in a household costs about $50/month in extra water bills, and another $25-50/month in other expenses like gas, electricity, internet, garbage, etc., depending on the costs of those). If she wasn’t originally planning for these extra expenses after you graduated from college, it could very well be impacting her ability to save for retirement, save for future expenses (like needing a new car), or even just pay bills right now. She may even be paying on education loans she was counting on you taking over when you graduated.

    It can be difficult to talk about money and finances with one’s parent, if that conversation hasn’t been taking place regularly while you were growing up. But if you’re going to continue to live at home, they are conversations that need to happen sooner rather than later. There are a lot of discussions about whether adult children *should* or shouldn’t pay rent (cultural considerations, etc.), but rather than looking at this as paying rent to your mom, look instead as two adults who live in the same household figuring out how to adequately cover all the expenses of that household, including savings goals each adult may have.

    Having a full-time job may not be the solution for the immediate (6 months) future, but getting everything out in the open, including your goals for future employment, could go a long way towards untangling this particular knot in your relationship.

    1. agnes*

      This. It was costing me $500.00 per month just to keep my kids on my health insurance, and another $50 a month or so for car insurance. . I was OK with doing that while they were in school, but I needed them to get benefits after graduation. $550 a month is a lot of money for a lot of people, including me.

  52. Exhausted Trope*

    LW#1, having been in a similar situation at your age, I recommend that you have a chat with Mum in which you lay out your plan to become financial independent and follow through on it. Part of the plan should be to move out. You do not want to live at home any longer than absolutely necessary. It sounds like your parents want you out the door and as uncomfortable and scary as it may seem, you need to go. I know this sounds harsh, but your mother will keep up the pressure until you leave. It’s not going to stop even if you do chores and cough up rent every month. Again, I’m speaking from experience here.
    Keep up the YouTube gig by all means but find a FT job with benefits now. There’ll not be a better time than now.

  53. I'm A Little Teapot*

    OP1 – this is obviously very culture dependent, but in my culture, this is a clear indication that your mom wants you out of the house. Maybe she wants to walk around nude. Maybe she’s impatient because she was out of her parents house at 19 and she thinks you should be too. Whatever.

    However, regardless of your culture or what is going on, the solution here is pretty simple: become financially independent of your parents and move out. Obviously easier said than done. If your mom is just overbearing and nosy, then moving out gives you space and makes it much easier to set boundaries. If your mom wants her house to herself, then moving out accomplishes that. But until you have moved out and are supporting yourself, then the price of her support is you tolerating with good grace her pushing you to get a job.

  54. Rusty Shackelford*

    For #4, does anyone else think Dad should be the one contacting his old colleague? Or is it just because I’m an introvert that “go contact this friend of mine on your own, even though I know him and you don’t” simply sounds horrifying?

    1. Bean Counter Extraordinaire*

      Exactly!! “Joaquin, this is my daughter Susie. Susie, this is Joaquin, we worked together at Teapots Unlimited back in the day” makes much more sense than “Uh, hi, Joaquin? I’m Susie, Herbert Smith’s daughter, he told me to reach out to you”

      1. I'm just here for the cats*

        I don’t see how that would work unless they were to all meet in person. Sounds like Dad is in another city then the OP and the friend. I think the OP should be the one to contact the friend, but only if they want to.

        1. Rusty Shackelford*

          I’d expect Dad to email or call. “Hey, Joaquin, my daughter Susie is moving to your area and I suggested she get in touch. I’m ccing her on this mail.”

    2. LDN Layabout*

      When I was in this situation, my dad expected me to do the legwork/contact itself but I am sure he mentioned it to the contact beforehand.

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        When I was in this situation, my dad expected me to do the legwork/contact itself but I am sure he mentioned it to the contact beforehand.

        Likewise. I went through that scenario a few times, and discovered that the contacts were expecting Parent Jr (and didn’t know either parent at that age), and resetting expectations to my specific strengths and skills never went well.

        1. LDN Layabout*

          I was lucky enough that the first time was for a very entry level position and from then on I had my own reputation with them, thankfully.

      2. ecnaseener*

        I guess it’s possible that’s what this dad did, and just failed to mention it. So the contact is like “hey you said your kid was going to contact me, what gives?” and now dad is embarrassed.

    3. I'm just here for the cats*

      I think it would be weirder if dad contacted them instead of OP, because it looks more like OP is still a kid and can’t do this himself. I do think that the OP’s dad should contact his friend and let them know so it’s not out of the blue.

      1. MCMonkeyBean*

        I am very confused because you start your comment saying it would be weird if the dad initiated contact, then end it by saying he should initiate contact…

        1. Allypopx*

          I think the distinction is “doing the actual contacting/setting up” vs “here’s a heads up my daughter is going to email you”

      2. Rusty Shackelford*

        If everyone involved were unrelated, would it still seem weird to you? Because I think getting a call from a total stranger saying “Hi, I’m Susie, and my former coworker Joaquin suggested I contact you” would be weirder than getting a phone call from my old buddy Joaquin saying “my coworker Susie is moving to your town, I was hoping you could give her a little advice about llama grooming in Emerald City.”

    4. Allypopx*

      Yeah even if it wasn’t a parent/child if I’m connecting two colleagues I usually at the VERY least send an intro email with them both on it so it’s not out of the blue when one asks the other to connect.

      1. LW4*

        LW4 here. Yeah all of these questions added to my confusion. Plus like the first commenter I’m definitely an introvert so reaching out to someone out of the blue is a complete nightmare. I also had some concerns about looking like a kid (I’m in my 40s and we’ll established in my career). Finally, both my parents have a history of being a little overbearing and micromanaging of my life and career, which made me a little cautious. I did follow up with my dad, and it sounds like he had already reached out to his friend to let him know I’d moved to his city and would be contacting him. Even though I’m annoyed he did this without asking me first, based on the advice and comments here I decided it won’t hurt to reach out and I’m confident I can do it without it being weird.

  55. Renee Remains the Same*

    I lived at home for two years after college. I had an hourly job that gave me money and experience, but no health benefits. My parents also did not make me pay rent or food. I had it pretty good. But about a year-in, after looking for jobs, my mom gave me a cut off. She said that I would need to pay for my health insurance in 6 months if I didn’t get a job with benefits. I got a job 8 months later (it was a difficult job market), but I was interviewing at the time and she gave me an extension.

    I think your mom is worried that you’re going to fall into being comfortable with your situation and to be honest, your situation is not entirely stable. My folks continue worry about me, working in non-profit in a low-paying field and now that I’m considering a job change, they’re still worried. Not because they don’t trust that I’m making good decisions or can take care of myself, but because they will want to help me if I fail and they may not be able to.

    1. Betty (the other betty)*

      I didn’t click it, thinking it was probably the rick roll (and I’ve been happily humming “Never gonna give you up…” to myself since I saw it).

      Now I have to go find out what the link actually is!

  56. Pennilyn Lot*

    For some reason this posted as a reply on a thread and not a standalone comment: We’ve talked a lot about how the pandemic has had a toll on people’s work lives and that the expectations for productivity are different while we’re living through turmoil. I think we could be extending a bit more grace and understanding for the graduating class of the pandemic like LW1, instead of calling them a freeloader and berating them for not having yet moved out. There seems to be an assumption that they’re not contributing to any of their expenses when it’s not clear to me that that is the case.

    1. Mental Lentil*

      I agree. People like to pile on unnecessarily.

      If I read the letter correctly (keeping in mind we’re getting the mother’s position second-hand), it seems like the mom really just wants to see some progress on the career side of things. Formulating a plan for moving forward is probably a good idea, because the stereotype of an adult child living in their parents’ basement into their 40s and spending all their time on the computer is a very real thing for a lot of people, and that seems like something that mom wants to avoid.

    2. Jennifer*

      I agree. I don’t think the OP is some loser mooching off a parent. I just think the mother in this situation wants to see that they are making some progress toward their goal or that they have a plan. As someone mentioned below, the mother in this situation may be struggling financially herself and just needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    3. Forrest*

      LW1’s post is one of those classic “bring your own baggage” posts. As well as, “LW1, your mom is worried about money, especially health insurance, and you’re freeloading”, there’s “LW1, your mom will never be satisfied until you follow the exact career path she envisages and you’ll probably have to go no contact”.

      There could be so many possible dynamics here. and really the only possible advice is: LW1, your mom is not *necessarily* being unreasonable, and it would probably be a good idea to sit down and find out exactly what her concerns are and what would reassure her. She

    4. onco fonco*

      This is fair. I think it’s also fair to extend a bit of grace to the parents of that graduating class as well, though. LW’s parents may be stressed about their own job prospects, fearing cutbacks at their companies and so on, and genuinely uncertain of their ability to provide for LW in the future. In those circumstances I think I’d be pretty frazzled by an attitude of “I have no interest in the career you thought I was studying for, plus I can be on your insurance for four more years so get off my back already”.

    5. Sylvan*

      Strongly agree. I would NOT want to be a new grad or soon-to-be grad right now and the harshness of the judgment towards OP is surprising.

  57. Jennifer*

    #1 I agree with Alison. I think the main issue could be your lack of health benefits. She’s your mom, so obviously she doesn’t want you to be without healthcare, but it is a huge expense. I think she just wants to know what your plan is for finding a better paying job. I don’t think she’s saying you have to make six figures by tomorrow.

    Sit down with her and have a real discussion about your future plans instead of just brushing her off. Together you can set a deadline at least for having your own health benefits.

  58. Jean Valjean*

    #5, if someone I worked with sent that video to all of us by accident, it would make my week (in a good way). I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. There are far, far worse things that could have been accidentally sent!

  59. Sara without an H*

    Hi, OP#2 — I agree with Alison, it’s time for you to talk with your boss about this issue. Otherwise, he’s going to be racking his brain to come up with “fun” activities, only to find out when it’s too late that it’s something you can’t participate in. So schedule some time with him, say you’re concerned about not being a drag on everyone’s enjoyment, and give him some suggestions on types of things you think you could do that the others might like, too.

    I’ll take you at your word that your boss and co-workers are nice people and that you all enjoy these activities. Personally, my reaction to mandatory “fun” would be similar to my reaction to root canal.

  60. Elizabeth West*

    #5–THE VIDEO LINK, AHAHAHAHAHAAAAA
    I had forgotten all about that.

    +100 for the Alligator Loki reference in #3. :)

  61. Delta Delta*

    #1 – I’m an attorney and I sometimes do divorce or child support cases. Where I am located, we have to factor in health insurance costs when figuring out child support (likely this is true everywhere but I don’t know). It is a *shock* to see someone’s HR paperwork and see the differences between a 1-person, 2-person, or family plan for health insurance. In my most recent case my client worked for a government entity and so had pretty good insurance. Her out of pocket per month for a 1-person would have been something like $86. Adding her child (who is 22 and just out of college – sound familiar?) made her out of pocket something like $250/month. That’s not an insignificant difference. My client is on the low end of the income scale, so that additional $134/month she’s paying for her child’s health insurance could most definitely be used by her for other living expenses. Her daughter doesn’t seem to get it that this is a pretty significant expense.

    I say this not to scold OP1, but it sounds like there’s potentially some information they don’t have, and which may help clarify why the parent is kind of on them a little bit about this.

  62. WantonSeedStitch*