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How to Help a Friend or Relative Through a Lay Off

Layoffs are happening all across the country and they continue to increase. If you weren’t laid off yourself, you likely know someone who was. In fact, that person may be a close friend or relative. How can you help them through this troubling time?


Be available to listen. As a close friend or relative, you should be that shoulder to cry on or that listening ear. Most of their talk will start out as rants. This is okay. Your first thought may be to say “get over it and find a new job.” As much as you have the urge, suppress it. After a life-changing event, like a job layoff, we all need to rant, vent, and whine. Let them. This stage will pass. In no time at all, you will be listening to them talk about their job interviews or new coworkers.


Carefully provide advice. Once the shock wears offer, advice from others is regularly sought. Your friend or relative may ask for advice on finding a new job, how to save money, and so forth. When that point comes, proceed with caution. The wrong tone can cause a serious strain on your relationship. It is best to avoid unsolicited advice, especially at first. Wait until you are asked or approach the subject carefully. Never talk down to them.


Offer your assistance. Was it your 50-year-old uncle that was laid off from work? Has he never touched a computer in years? In fact, does he even have a computer? Offer your assistance with help finding a new job. You can help get him setup with a computer and internet access or let him use yours. If you like to write, offer to compose his resume or review it. Many Americans who are laid off haven’t been job searching in years. Your help will be appreciated. Moreover, it comes from the heart and is free.


Send along job information. If you know your close friend or relative is looking for a job, be on the lookout yourself. Did you come across a job posting online or hear at a party that a local company is hiring? After getting laid off from work, many suffer depression and enter into seclusion. Those not feeling these emotions still need to cut costs, so they spend more time at home. They are not out networking, but you are.


Be positive. When dealing with a close friend or relative who was recently laid off, it is important to always be upbeat and positive. Most importantly, watch what you complain about. Your best friend just got laid off from work. He may be on the verge of losing his home. Say, you need to spend $400 to put new tires on your truck. This added expense is not welcomed, but the two do not compare. Always watch what you say around someone laid off and be positive at all times.


Offer to watch their kids during job interviews. If the friend or relative you know has small children, he or she is likely home with them right now. Terminating daycare services is one of the first things unemployed parents too. It is too costly. Unfortunately, this may impact their ability to find a new job. If you have freedom and flexibility, offer to watch their children during a job interview. This small step goes a long way.


Do not start handing out cash. Above was a list of things you should do when dealing with a close friend or relative who was laid off from work. One thing you should not do is start handing out cash. Your loved one will experience financial complications. Good choices, such as reducing expenses, should limit the financial hardship. Better alternatives include bring a few extra groceries by their house, offering to pay for lunch twice a month, and so forth. Giving your best friend a $1,000 loan sounds like a good deed, but this is where many relationships and friendships go bad.

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