one girl’s guide to surviving unemployment

helping your unemployed friends

Many friends and family members have asked what they can do to help me get through this period in my life.  Here are answers to that question.

  1. Keep in contact with words of encouragement.  I love getting e-mails, texts, Facebook wall posts or calls from friends, telling me that they’re thinking of me.  It doesn’t have to be every day, or even every week.  A little love now and again helps.
  2. Let me know if you run across any leads.  I appreciate leads very, very much, and even if I’m not qualified or right for the role, I can likely pass it along to one of the seven other friends that are in my boat.
  3. Link me in. If I’m not already in your LinkedIn network, let’s make that happen. Introduce me to key contacts in my industry, even if their company doesn’t have any open jobs.
  4. Proofread my resume and cover letter, and if you’re feeling really adventurous, practice interviews with me.  I could use all the direct feedback I can get.  
  5. Hang out with me and invite me to do stuff with you.  Keep it on the cheap or free side. Going to parties, bbqs, happy hours and the like is good for me.  I can meet new friends, do a bit of networking and remain socially active.
  6. If you invite me out for food and/or drinks, you don’t have to pay.  Just make sure to pick a place that’s nominal. 
  7. Don’t tell me that “everything happens for a reason,” that there is a “silver lining” on this cloud or that I’m “better off.”  I know they give people something kind to say when they don’t have better words. Instead, ask me how I’m feeling and be an open listener. Understand that what’s going through my head is a complex maze of emotions.  One day I may agree that yep, it’s been one of the more insightful and peaceful times in my life, and the next I may be angry and upset.  
  8. Little gifts and favors are AMAZING.  I’ve had friends and family lend me a computer, offer me a ride to run errands, cook for me, send me home with leftovers, get me a gift card to the grocery store, bring me that great book that they just finished, loan me DVDs, offer me guest passes to their gym and much more.  These favors have saved me money and time, and I am so, so thankful.
  9. If I’m getting annoying on the “poor me, I’m unemployed” tip, please tell me.  Be gentle, but let me know if it’s becoming too much of a pity party to hang out with me.
  10. Learn to say “you’re welcome.” 

I hope this helps give a bit of insight.  

Any other tips or thoughts from people on either side of the table?


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