It could be your husband, wife, sister, brother, best friend, colleague, or next door neighbor. Every day you see that they become more and more miserable, depressed, and unhappy because of a recent layoff or they happen to be a part of the 70 percent that hate their jobs. Their job, boss, or life is beating them down, and you have no idea what to do or how to help, and you are worried. Here are five ways to support your loved one going through a career transition:
1. Be Patient – Losing a job or changing careers can be a scary, frightening, life change. Be patient. If they have just been laid off, they may need time to process what has just happened. Give them some space. When they are grumpy or testy, love them through it. If they have been in a bad job for a long time, it’s even harder to make the break and try something new. Tell them that you know they are going through a hard time and you are here for them when they are ready.
2. Keep in Touch – Send cards, texts, stop by for a visit, or offer to go with them to a networking event, class, or an association meeting. When someone has lost their job, they have suddenly lost a huge part of their social network. Respect their personal space, but don’t forget about them.
3. Bring the Fun – Find fun (and inexpensive) things to do together. Maybe setup a walking routine, cook a meal together, or volunteer in the community. Help get their mind off their troubles and have a little fun.
4. Share Your Connections – 70-90% of all jobs are found through one’s personal and professional network. Become their recruiter, advocate, and champion. Post a message on your social media platforms. Ask your connections to send you any openings or contacts that would be helpful to your loved one. Get a copy of your BFF’s resume and pass it around to your professional colleagues.
5. SHHHHH, Just Listen – Even though you are trying to help, please do not keep asking about their job search, how many resumes have the sent out, or have they tried this job board or that job board. Trust me, they will tell you when something good happens. Everyone is different and a career transition is a very personal life change. They will figure it out in their own time, in their own way. The best thing you can do is be a sounding board for when they are ready to talk.