With the national unemployment rate still hovering around 9 percent, the odds are that one or more people close to you is out of work. Supporting a friend or relative going through a job search is difficult for both of you.
Here are a few tips to keep from making a bad situation worse.
1. Don’t bring your friend every single job opening you find.
Talk to your fiend about the type of work they are looking for and their career goals. Giving an experienced assembly worker job leads for construction work, for example, is not helpful or realistic. Focus on helping your friend find the right job, not just any job.
2. Don’t check up on their job search activities as if they were a naughty child.
There is a difference between trying to motivate someone and nagging them. If the first or only thing you bring up is how many resumes they sent that week or if they heard from XYZ Company, then you’ve crossed the line from friend to homework monitor. Your unemployed friend is likely feeling enough stress right now. You don’t need to add to it.
3. Don’t remind a job seeker about his or her financial troubles.
She’s aware of how quickly debt can grow and how many bills might not get paid without a new source of income. Unless you have a new, practical money-saving tip, try not to bring up finances.
4. Don’t avoid your friend.
An unemployed person is still a person. And your friend needs your support and companionship more than ever. Talk to your friend and hand out with him or her as much as you did when you were both working. The types of activities you do together might change to less-expensive outings. But your friend has value beyond his or her bank account or employment status. Spend time together so you both will remember that.