8 ways to help someone who has been laid off

February 17, 2010 at 7:13 pm in Family & Relationships, Work & Money by Carol Orsborn

There are many ways to help out a friend who has been laid off besides finding them a job. We can help them keep their spirits intact while in transition. Some specific suggestions:

  1. Be approachable.
    You don’t need to be able to work miracles to be helpful. Know that there are things you may be willing to do for someone who seeks your help — but that there are things you can’t do, too.
  2. Return their call.
    Even if you don’t know of something specific, a simple return call can let them know that you continue to respect and value them.
  3. Help them make a networking connection.
    Sometimes, all it takes is a few minutes with your contact book to drum up the name of someone who might be of assistance in some way.
  4. Invite them to lunch.
    People who are out of work look forward to breaking the isolation of job-hunting with an invitation for lunch or coffee. Hint: You’ve got the job so you should pick up the tab.
  5. Offer to review their resume.
    You can provide valuable outside perspective to help sharpen the content or format.
  6. Suggest a brainstorming session.
    Build on the job seeker’s current efforts, by helping them think of some additional companies to consider contacting or out-of-the-box ways to apply their skills.
  7. Help them stay current.
    It is vital to stay in-the-loop in regards to what is happening in the company, industry and economy. You can provide that valuable insider’s perspective to someone who no longer has access.
  8. Shoot straight.
    If something the job-seeker says or does makes you feel uncomfortable, let them know. Chances are they haven’t been trained on how to approach someone for help, and your honest feedback can be extremely helpful.

When it comes to helping the job hunter, know that anything you can offer – even if it’s just a hanky and a cup of tea – is better than withdrawing from the relationship out of concern or discomfort that you’re not sure what you can do to help.

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