Some people have difficulty in transitioning from living as dependents to leading independent adult lives. It can be effective to work with someone who has a lot of practical experience but is also dialed into the challenges faced by this generation.
Sometimes the struggles to achieve “adulting” are significant, and a young person continues to live with their parents, either unemployed or underemployed, for an extended period — not taking the steps that a typical person that age might take to gain adult independence.
When a young adult is sitting at home, without prospects and afraid to engage, weeks quickly turn into months (and sometimes years). Obstacles and uncertainties take on inflated proportions. Risk avoidance is too easy one day at a time. Excuses and stories around half-baked efforts come easily as well. Anxieties and insecurities quietly rule the day – and any real progress towards adulting grinds to a halt. People struggling this way can become lonely, unsure, embarrassed, and depressed.
If things are not currently going well, it may be time to bring in a mentor who specializes in life coaching for young adults.
Many people arrive at life’s destinations on their own schedule based on a variety of obvious and non-obvious variables. Some people or situations just take a bit longer to germinate.
In life coaching for young adults, I have found that struggles on the road to “adulting” can correlate strongly with a young person having high degrees of intelligence, creativity, thoughtfulness, humility, sensitivity, and/or big-picture thinking. That a person in this generation is struggling in this way is not at all a reflection of their character or capability.
(check out this blog post on “extended launch people”)
Most young adults I encounter are fundamentally equipped and want to be successful. They are simply stuck because they don’t have the confidence or a sense of direction or a plan to be on their way.
Life coaching for young adults can be super helpful as a young person is trying to figure out their path.
It can be hard for a sensitive, struggling twenty-something to get themself to a higher place, sort out their feelings and ambitions and challenges, create emotional distance from all the participating opinions, identify a destination, make a plan – and then march that road, courageously navigating setbacks to a success-filled outcome.
It is also really difficult – maybe impossible – for a parent to be an effective “coach” when their adult child is seriously struggling to find their way. It’s too easy to fall back into unhelpful “parent to child” or “parent to teen” family dynamics. And there is so much baggage and emotion pre-baked into those relationships, now compounded with sprinklings of parental disappointment, impatience or frustration, and maybe resentment, embarassment or shame on behalf of the young adult. It’s just a lot.
So bringing in a credible, friendly third party adult, working in the role of advisor or mentor, can be a great strategy.
Unfortunately, it can be hard for a young person to simply trust, engage, and start working with some random adult who would enter their life. Perhaps they are embarrassed by or ashamed of their situations. Perhaps interacting with non-family adults in earnest dialogue makes them uneasy, or they have some social anxiety challenges. Perhaps they are carrying so much pain or feeling so lost that they don’t know where they would even begin or what to say about it all. Whatever the young person’s situation, their readiness for a coaching relationship – and the benefit of a relationship – is not to be taken for granted.
It’s both good news and bad news that a coaching relationship starts out as a conversation with a total stranger. The good news is that this new advisor brings no pre-dispositions or baggage to the relationships – it’s a clean slate – and they can be (while compassionate and earnest) pretty straightforward about things. The bad news is that these are conversations about important and personal topics with a total stranger, with no basis in familiarity or trust.
So the working chemistry that develops between a young adult and their life coach is critical. It may start out as an experiment, neutral at best – a leap of faith by the young adult to even participate. (Note that a cornerstone of my coaching practice is a clearly stated “no harm, no foul, we can walk away as friends” clause.) But if the table is set correctly, the coach is skilled, friendly and compassionate, and the young adult is willing to let it grow in measured steps, a rich and trust-filled working relationship can blossom, and great things can happen over time.
A life coach can become a friend and mentor who truly changes a young person’s life.
We explore your feelings about the adulting journey, identifying key challenges and related experiences. We map your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes with candor.
We take some time to recall your enthusiasms, passions, and interests.
We create a vision of the life you would like to have in 3–5 years.
We consider your current lifestyle, and any changes that might help you to accomplish your vision.
We identify the kind of job your would like to have — and make a plan for you to get it
As we advance, the work becomes less conceptual and more practical.
We stay closely connected as you take the steps to become the person you want to be!