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8 ways to help someone who has been laid off Hot Conversation

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.

Posted in family & relationships, live it! lists, work & money.

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10 Responses

  1. Five to Nine Five to Nine says

    Truer words were never spoken.  I’ve been out of work for some time and I have really gotten an education about what a true friend is — and that includes certain members of my family.  I get that people can get weary of constantly hearing bad news but you know what?  I’m living this. This is my life and the stress of receiving emailed job rejection letters every week and constantly having to think, worry, and obsess over every dollar is very wearying.  I’m not expecting anyone to hand me a pile of cash but you know, a little support goes a long way.

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    • Generic Image Newsgirl58 says

      There’s a new book out called HELP for the LAID OFF, by Mary Aucoin Kaarto. Ch. 8, “Encourage Your Discouraged”, was written specifically to the family member or friend of someone who is between jobs. At the end of this chapter is an exciting, difficult, reality-based challenge that includes a contract to sign and hand over to the unemployed loved one. If someone is strong enough to accept the challenge, at the end of that 30-day period, he/she will be blessed even more than the person who is without work. Autographed copies are available through http://www.marykaarto.com. You may also be interested to join Mary’s free “HELP for the LAID OFF” support group and fan page, both of which are on Facebook. Each offers its own unique ways of ministering to and helping the unemployed.

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      • discoveritall discoveritall says

        Awesome! I love to read and am always looking for new things to learn. Thank you for posting this as I’m sure it will help a lot of people. I’m surprised how close this is to home. Yesterday in church a lady I am acquainted with but not ‘friends’ with came up to me and said “I heard you got laid off – I am too!” I go to a fairly large church and guess the news has really traveled because I’ve had so much encouragement! One of our ministers has a spouse who has also been laid off – I am wondering how many others there are. I’m going to invite this lady to coffee and see if we can develop a support group to share resources and encouragement perhaps using this book. Thanks again for the resource!

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    • Paisley Paisley says

      I agree…been laid off for some time. I know what its like to try and live on very little. Im fed up with people who have good jobs and salary and they still complain about money…they have no clue. Im not expecting anyone to give me money either, but support, maybe a tea or coffee and some help in networking…now I have vented. Good luck with your job hunting.

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  2. discoveritall discoveritall says

    As part of a downsizing last fall, I can attest to the helpfulness of these suggestions – YES!!! I have been very fortunate in having a great support system – husband, extended family, friends, and my church have been the epitome of this list and yet I still have my ‘days’ when it all seems hopeless. It makes me wonder how on earth people function without supporters and resources. I am grateful for everything that has come my way and believe that the right thing is out there just waiting for me to discover it. I refuse to see myself as a victim or less than because of a job loss that was completely due to the economy and am blessed that what goes around does come around -as I’ve helped others in the past, I am currently being helped. Many days the support has made the difference between successfully coping or being depressed. Unfortunately, some have been scared away worried that if it could happen to me with my experience and passion, it might somehow happen to them. It’s not catching y’all!

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    • Tundi Kit Tundi Kit says

      What goes around does come around only if you let it.

      I have this strange personality, I love to give, I have been a single mom for the past 20 years. Have volunteered and it is in giving when I feel whole. My problem is, when I can’t give and need help I become a loner, I get very depressed when I get help. I wish I could accept help without the depression. I am not stupid and realize those people just want to be nice, and they are not going without, but still, this horrible feeling comes over me when I don’t stand on my own two feet.

      Is anyone out there feel like this?????????

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      • discoveritall discoveritall says

        Most assuredly Tundi Kit! As a grief counselor I am most often the “helper” but the secret of being able to do it for 20 years is that I have had to learn to see what I am getting from this – there is no such thing as true altruism! This has been a process and my journey hasn’t always been easy but it has been worth it. God has been my guide and this is part of my lessons – self-worth without ‘work.’ Often times we lose something only to have it replaced by something better and the lessons are NEVER lost – God always brings good out of even very difficult situations and often it is what we least expected. Check where your self esteem is rooted. If it’s in an unhealthy place, you can move to a mental, emotional, and spiritual higher level. Learning that you have worth just for being is a huge lesson – don’t waste the experience. The fact that you get depressed when others help you speaks loudly that this may be your issue. Depression is also a part of grief – losing a job can cause a lot of grief.  It is one thing to give (help) out of abundance but an even greater thing to give out of scarcity – ask yourself what you can offer to others from this place in your life. Good luck!

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  3. Generic Image Sammysmom says

    I am out of work now. How ever I am looking for work and my family has been so supportive of me. I have the responsibility of being a home owner  and all my other bills. My son took me out for dinner and I had a good time laughing. I believe this had made me a postive person who will get a job. By the way I am so glad when I could I volenteered and built a life outside of my job. I can use the referances   of the volentering postions and can take joy in after 20 years of working every day and get other things done.

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    • Generic Image Newsgirl58 says

      I was a single mom for 17 years, and have been laid off twice during this time. Each layoff lasted approximately two years. Being laid off is one of the best things that can ever happen to someone, it’s all about how they respond. You’re right about volunteering – it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Getting out of the house on a regular basis is vital to someone who is laid off, because isolating oneself is a breeding ground for depression. The more people you share your story with, the more opportunities there are just waiting to happen. You never know – who knows who. And, you may never have this much free time again in all of your life. Why NOT make a positive impact in the lives of others while looking for work?

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  4. Carol Orsborn Carol Orsborn says

    wise words!

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