How relatives and friends can help m10.jpg

In many cases you may be amazed to find that both relatives and friends don't know how to react to your job loss. Both times that I have been out of work I found that the people who I thought would help me the most, ended up helping me the least. Yet, complete strangers out of the goodness of their heart bent over backwards to help.

Although there are no easy answers, you can help your relatives and friends help you by making the first move.

  • Help them overcome their awkwardness by reaching out to them, letting them know that you are "OK" and that it is "OK" to talk about the job loss process.
  • You have nothing to be ashamed of, and neither should your relatives and friends.
Many times relatives and friends need reassurance that you and the family are coping as best as possible given the circumstances.
  • Their concern may prompt needless probing into your affairs and unwanted advice. Recognize and appreciate a relative or friends true desire to help.
  • Don't be afraid draw firm boundaries to prevent awkward or inappropriate intervention.
When I was out of work I had one concerned family relative who called weekly requesting a full report on my job search activities. Although I appreciated their love and concern, their probing questions made me very uncomfortable. After several weeks of cross examination. Finally I said: "You know how much I love and appreciate your concern. When I find a job, we can all celebrate together! Going forward, let's talk about anything but my job search unless it's about job information that you have generated for me. You can help me by sharing any job leads you may come across and by telling all your friends that I am out of work. I will bring you copies of my resume to carry in your purse…Pass them on to as many friends or helpful strangers as possible. Thank you for your help."

Many days I felt that I had "LOSER"" tattooed on my forehead and "WILL WORK FOR FOOD" tattooed on my chest. But relatives and friends, and all others couldn't see my tattoos because they didn't really exist!

  • Encourage your relatives and friends to assist you throughout the re-employment process by providing job leads, encouragement, humor and fellowship.
  • In the process you'll learn very quickly who your true friends are and who your "work acquaintances" were. For me, it was a painful lesson in reality, and may be for you too.

©Copyright 2008 Professionals In Transition Support Group, Inc.

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