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ADHD Parents Together
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20 year old son won't get a job

Since my son has not returned to college, he has been working as a server and is in the process of taking one class at our local college. It is off-season so his serving job is not providing enough hours to maintain his earnings to pay back his college loans.

We have been adamant that he needs to get a second job, and he has been draggin his feet. My husband makes my son go to work with him to do various jobs such as sweeping, pressure washing, etc. without pay (though we feed him and he has a roof over his head) to try to motivate him to go get another job...all this to say..

He shared with me he is upset living here. He feels we are "ganging up on him" about getting a job but he hasn't found anything that interests him and is "waiting til something clicks". He said it makes him not want to be here and he wants to move out. Then he gets together with friends and uses marijuana to "relax". There has been no yelling, or stern talking, just suggestions, newspaper ads, and questions a couple times a week. We do see him searching indeed.com

I tried to explain to him that a second job is not about a life's decision or career, that he needs to do anything that brings in money. I made him promise that this week he would actually walk in to a building and talk to people about getting a job. I don't understand why he can't understand that he needs a second job! I do understand that he is lost about a career direction but I do not get how he can keep going on day in and day out without making any progress.

On a good note, he is passing College Algebra this semester. He got a 91% on his first exam.

Just sharing because when he hurts and I hurt. If anyone has any ideas on how I can better deal with this situation, please share.

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I think I would find out if he needs help applying and help him get the job. I know this might sound painful. But he is showing you that he is more than willing to work and is doing well in his class. Maybe he could work at the college he attends. I think it might be the steps to really getting the job that is hard for him. He could find a better job so he would not have to have 2 jobs. Maybe ask about his "dream job" then help him get it.

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I started sending him messages today with possible jobs. He actually did fill out an application today and stopped at one place to inquire if they were hiring. I have considered putting him in my car and driving him to places...

"Dream job" - that's the problem. He doesn't have a dream job in mind.

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So maybe the COIN assessment? It is a paper question and answer about careers. He college has a career office, bring him in there and ask if they can give him a career assessment. It's simple and fun to think about, when I was younger it told me I should be a butcher.. they you guys could look in an area he is interested in.

I hope this ends up good for him.

Best of luck,

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I can't settle for accepting he is different and allow that to be an excuse to live with me forever. I gave him three options: go live with his dad, get a job or join the coast guard. He went job hunting the next day and has a possible job as a lot porter at a car dealership. Waiting for call back. Meanwhile the restaurant where he works is short a dishwasher and he said he would pick up some extra shift time there. Progress.

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He may be 20 years old but you know ADHD kids are way behind in development so he's probably actually about 16. Boys mature much slower than girls, too.

My daughter at that age was into drugs and living on the street. She now has a college degree and a good job but it was rough late teens, early twenties.

You have a kid who is at least working. But nagging him all the time is probably getting to be a pain for both of you. Hopefully you didn't sign on his college loans so that's not your problem. My daughter eventually paid hers off but not until into her thirties. It is hard to let them make their own mistakes when you can see what they're doing and how it can be fixed.

Having a young adult that isn't into drugs or drinking is my goal for my grandsons. Hopefully maturity will take care of the rest

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I do have a lot to be thankful for (compared to problems other parents have) His loans are his.

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My niece was this way, always only applying to retail places that have stuff she’s interested in (makeup, clothes) etc) instead of finding any job just to get some money coming in. She finally got a job at Ulta beauty, but got so few hours that she ended up at a restaurant to make more money. Since he seems to have a head for math, maybe he could tutor, either high school kids or young college. Schools have different “labs” that offer tutoring (I worked at my school’s writing lab in college), but sometimes it’s limited to upper classmen. But he could also contact Any of the tutoring services in your area (we have one called “Mathnasium” that tutors math). I needs to understand that college is about figuring out what he wants to do, and until he graduates and gets that job that “clicks”, he can work other places.

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I understand completely.....my son is now 24 and I can finally see some maturity, but it's been a really long and sometimes very painful road! I agree that our ADHD boys are behind their peers by several years. If you can stand him in your house, I would allow him to stay as long as he follows your basic rules, but don't expect much right now. The fact that he's actually going to one class is good and having one part-time job also shows that he needs at least some money. I know this sounds enabling, but I filled out on-line applications for my son for several years. He just could not seem to get the paper forms completed - too many little details that he either didn't know or didn't want to find out. He worked at several fast food places, the movie theater, etc. And the money and hours were very inconsistent, but it was all he could manage at the time, I think. My son was in and out of college for about 4 years too. Fortunately, he had no loans, but when he finally decided to return to community college, we made him pay for the first 2 semesters. I wish I could say I had really good insight into our boys, but all I can tell you is that they seem to be extremely immature, as well as having very little motivation and no organizational skills! I assume you pay for his car and medical insurance? And all the food, clothing, etc. This will continue for a few more years......just try not to get too upset. We could not stand to have our son living with us, so we have paid the rent for a small apt in our town. Our son has to pay his cell phone, internet service, gas, food, and entertainment. He finally decided he wanted to pursue a 2 year degree in criminal justice and seems to be doing well, with graduation actually in sight! But I do not get too excited - our boys can and do disappoint on a regular basis. There have so many "2 steps forward, 1 step back" over the years. Based on my experience, you probably have about 2-4 more years before your son really shows some maturity, and it's a slow process. But if he's not heavily into drugs/alcohol and is not getting arrested, then I think you have to count yourselves lucky! When our son either got another speeding ticket, or quit another job, or was acting like a lazy ass, I reminded myself that it could be worse! A final note: my son also decided that he needed his ADHD medication for college, so he's back on his Vyvanse, which helps with organization and focus for things besides school.

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He’s 20. You don’t Need to be driving him to job interviews or filling out applications for him. Set some boundaries for him about living in your home and being able to provide for himself. If you don’t, he will continue to take a advantage of you. Not intentionally, but it will happen. If he has a roof over his head and meals provided then he has no reason to change. And if nothing changes, nothing changes.

I am 42 and have ADD. I didn’t find my “dream job,” until I was 37. Plus, is there really such a thing as a dream job? 🙈😂

He needs to get a job waiting tables that can provide him with 40 hours a week. I waited tables for 15 years. Slow season or not, people still go to restaurants. If the job he’s working at now is in providing him with enough hours Maybe he just needs to quit and get a new restaurant job that does. I would not suggest a second job on top of college as A good alternative. Maybe just a good first job. Good luck!

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I gave him three options: go live with his dad, get a job or join the coast guard. He went job hunting the next day and has a possible job as a lot porter at a car dealership. Waiting for call back. Meanwhile the restaurant where he works is short a dishwasher and he said he would pick up some extra shift time there. Progress

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Sounds good!

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