Q. I’m still looking for a job (seven months so far), living at home and mostly supported by my parents. A friend invited me to drive to Florida for the long Thanksgiving weekend, so I’m heading south rather than spending the holiday with my parents. Should I feel guilty? -SP
A. Perhaps this question should have been directed to “Dear Abby,” but I, of course, have a point of view since I’m a parent–and because you asked. My advice: Don’t feel guilty, but surprise your parents with a thoughtful note expressing appreciation for all they have done for you. Be as specific as possible so they know you fully understand what they have done for you and that you recognize even the little things. (Email notes are satisfactory, but hand-written have the greatest impact).
If authentic thank-you notes aren’t your forte, simply call your parents to say thanks–and don’t ask for anything. They’ll be surprised and appreciative. Have fun in the Sunshine State, but come back fully committed to your job search. That, too, will impress your family. While you’re at it, you might consider sending notes to your mentors, relatives and others who have been helpful to you over the past year.