In today’s C19 world, many are expecting huge numbers of people losing their jobs.
What makes it worse is that they won’t be able to find new roles too quickly, given the dearth of new openings.
How then can you support a friend who has just been retrenched?
Here are 3 ideas .
1. Be encouraging, not condescending
There’s a difference between, “I know how you feel, I’ve been there before…but I found a job in 1 month” vs “I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you, but I’m sure things will improve.”
Remember, when you’re helping a friend in this state, it’s NOT about you. It’s about him.
Encourage him to think of the past where he overcame a similarly tough situation.
Or get him to focus on a future where he has a nice job and looking back at this tough time with a smile.
Be there for him/her. A listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or just someone who will tell him/her things are going to be alright.
2. Be practical
Someone who just lost his job doesn’t need your “Thoughts and Prayers”… Or your condolences and pity.
What they need sometimes, are solid job leads or just good advice.
If you’re in the same industry, or maybe are counterparts in similar roles, pass leads on to them. You might even want to give them contacts of headhunters whom you’ve spoken to before.
Offer your network to him or be his advocate…speak to your networks about him to see if there are any suitable openings in the pipeline.
3. Be there.
Check in on him regularly…even a simple Whatsapp message would be able to cheer him up. Ask if he needs anything.
If he doesn’t respond, that’s also fine. Sometimes, folks just want to be by themselves to ruminate and not be bothered.
As long as you let them know you’re around to talk when they’re ready, I think that’s good enough. They will come to you once they feel the time is right.
It’s never easy being retrenched, and having good and supportive friends around you helps a lot. They’re lucky to have a great friend like you!