12 Ways to Help an Out-of-Work Friend (Rev)

By Ken Marsh

Ken Marsh is a Houston Business Show Contributor for Price of Business. He is an authority on this subject and author of the book Fearless Networking.

“Create joy and happiness for others by, joyously giving unconditionally to others your time, interest, connections and support. You will receive joy and happiness in return.”   –Fearless Networking Principle

In today’s economic recession, it’s unusual if you don’t know someone who is out of work and looking for a job. Following are 10 suggestions on helping an out-of-work friend in her job search:

  1. Understand that your friend must go through a grieving process (shock, denial anger, guilt, depression/withdrawal, acceptance) and, that it takes time to grieve. Avoid phrases like “you need to get on with your life.” Just sitting and listening is most appropriate at the beginning.
  2. Encourage your friend to consider joining a job support group like a ministry group for people in job transition.
  3. Buy a book on networking for a job. Of course, I will first suggest going to www.fearlessnetworkers.com and ordering my e-book “How to Fearlessly Network for a Job.” Another good job and career book is by Sally Hogshead called “Radical Careering.”
  4. Give positive reinforcement. Encourage the friend to look at the positive side of being laid off, the opportunity for self-discovery. Surveys suggest that 50-70% of workers are unhappy with their job/career. This could an opportunity to reassess career choices or consider self-employment.
  5. Take your friend to a business expo or industry trade show. Getting out and meeting others in the industry always helps your friend stay on top of the latest happenings in the industry.
  6. Provide a referral in the form of a job referral, informational interview with an associate or contacts in the recruiting/staffing business.
  7. Tactfully suggest that the friend be an active rather than passive job searcher. Passive job searchers tend to spend and exorbitant amount time applying for jobs online and mailing out resumes. Active job searchers are attending networking functions, being active in job support groups, meeting referrals and are personally dropping off resumes.
  8. Be an empathetic listener. However, don’t forget to share words of encouragement and favorite positive quotations.
  9. Help recall good times. Remember, laughter is truly the best medicine.
  10. If your friend appears to be battling depression encourage him or her to seek help from a grief Counselor; if appropriate his pastor or Rabbi.
  11. Purchase or recommend an inspirational book. If you don’t know which to choose, suggest “50 Self-Help Classics” by Tom Butler-Bowdon.
  12. If your out-of-work friend has not joined a social networking site like linkedin, Twitter and FaceBook, strongly recommend that they do so. There are helpful articles on how to find a job through linkedin, Twitter and FaceBook. Simply doing a Google search on this topic will provide excellent resources.

For more information about “Fearless Networking,” go to www.fearlessnetworkers.com.

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